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Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning

Helping People Learn

Certified facilitator of adult learning course design essentials

Helping People Learn

Whether you are a corporate trainer, a continuing education provider, a community college teacher or a presenter at your group or library, I know that you do it because you want to share what you know and help people learn from your knowledge and experiences.  You see the satisfaction when a light bulb goes off in someone’s mind and you know they “got it”. You are disappointed when someone doesn’t understand or isn’t interested in learning from you. You are here because you have a passion for helping the folks you teach learn what you teach. 

My first teaching job was a disaster.

I was a physical therapist practicing at a local hospital when I was offered a position teaching physical therapist assistant students at a local community college. I had no teaching experience. I’d stand up and talk, and demonstrate a technique, and have them practice for a few minutes and I thought that was all there was to teaching. But when it came time to test their knowledge and abilities it was disastrous. They hadn’t learned!

Why hadn’t they Learned?

Why hadn’t they learned? I told them. I showed them. My first thought was that they must not be as bright as I thought they were. My second thought is that I needed to teach “harder”. So I began teaching with a stronger voice, with more authority.  I’d hit them with knowledge and make them learn! One day a brave student came up to me and said, you know Miss Jill (that’s they way you are addressed in the south), we like you as a person, but you are so hard and demeaning as a teacher that it’s diffiult to learn anything from you. And a lightbulb clicked inside my head. They were not learning because of me, not them.

Being Authentic

What I could do is be authentic with my students. I stopped pretending to know what I was doing. I told them that this was my first teaching job (they already knew) and that I was frustrated with myself, not them. That right now I didn’t know a better way to teach them. I asked for their forgiveness and for their help and suggestions in how they could learn better. I asked them be a team with me as leader but not as this teacher-student role I was trying to maintain. And miracles happened.

Teaching Adults

The community college students in my class ranged from 20 to 55 years old. We sat down together and looked at what they needed to learn in this course. And then together we planned out how they were going to learn it. Their suggestions were amazing once I let them in on teaching. For example, rather than me talking about what an orthopedic surgeon did, could I arrange for one to come in to talk with them, or better yet a field trip to watch the surgery? I said yes, even though I had to go through some hoops because this was considered too advanced for community college students. They asked if we as a class could get to know each other better and they arranged a party! Hand in hand I relaxed from having to teach to watching them learn. I discovered how to facilitate adult learning.

Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning (CFAL)

I went on from two years teaching at the community college back into clinical practice, then into college teaching and studying adult learning theory with Malcolm Knowles, the Father of Adult Education, then back into practice, then studying Total Quality Management with Edward Deming, it’s creator, then into corporate training and consulting. Along the way I received my Doctorate in Adult Education. You can read the whole journey in the about us section of this website.

In CFAL I have collected the wisdom and techniques I have gained over the years into a series of steps to help you design the environment for anyone to learn what you teach, even if you are teaching an online course.  Teaching can be joyous, interactive, confidence building experience for the learner and result in the development of new skills and positive attitudes about whatever you teach. It is my greatest joy to share with you how to help people learn by becoming a Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning

In CFAL you will learn how to:

Awaken your creative abilities by designing your own course

Integrate Knowledge and Understanding with Attitudes and Feelings

Identify and use the ways people learn in your course design

Build Learner Competence and Confidence

You learn all these things and more when you write your own course. CFAL is self-paced so you can write your course over weeks or make a go of it in a few days. It will take about 20 focused hours of your time. You turn in your course design in progressive steps along the way for feedback. This is where facilitation comes in. You have a learning coach who is an expert in Adult Education to coach you at 7 checkpoints when you submit your work for feedback on your CFAL hosted google drive page.

Designing a Course or Workshop is like Building a House. Your Learning Coach is your architect, checking your plans as you build.


Mentor Coached Checkpoints:

FOUNDATION – Adult Learning Theory and Practice (also know as active learning) sets the foundation for your course.

WALLS – Writing observable objectives for knowledge, skill, and attitude/values are the colors and placement of the walls of your course.

ROOMS – You come with your own content and fill your rooms with furniture.  Your furniture shows the nature of what you are about to teach and makes the room and makes it ready for learning. 

EXPERIENCES- You develop creative learning experiences designed to build learner confidence and competence. In this metaphor it’s allowing your learner to re-arrange the furniture within the parameters of the room.

OPEN HOUSE PARTY  – Towards the end you prepare facilitator questions helping the leaners understand and retain the learning in a casual manner.

FINAL INSPECTION -This is evaluation time, making sure your learners have mastered your course objectives and will be able to carry their new skills into their own lives.   

Your certificate is awarded when your new course design reflects your knowledge and skills in helping people learn is complete. You become a Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning. More than that, you become a  person who really helps others to learn with caring and compassion. 

Video Script
Why become a Certified Facilitator of Adult Learning? Why take this course. 5 reasons 1.Your training class needs to be more effective. Passive training techniques cost businesses millions of dollars each year  in employee re-training and new hiring. The cycle goes like this.  First you train, then you notice poor performance so you re-train. If re-training takes more time and money, often resulting in the employee quitting or being fired. And so the cycle beings again with the hiring of a new employee. It’s like throwing money down the toilet. Reason’s 2 and 3 for taking this course 2. You have been asked to train as a part of your job. 3. You want to get into training. Here it’s all about course design and learner retention. For example, retention of material covered in a lecture is about 5% after 2 week.  On the other hand, retention after having to do a group project involving each group member teaching what they found is around 90% after two weeks. Reason 4 for taking this course. You want to know the secrets in training. A big secret is how to shift attitudes, from bored or angry to happy and enthusiastic. Reason 5 – you want others to be able to do what you do.