Consistency is key in training, and is extremely important as part of your instructional design best practices when creating courses for adult learners. As it turns out, consistency in puppy training is also essential. While puppies and adults are not necessarily alike, I believe there are some similarities when it comes to training.
As a gift, my parents decided to get my toddler a puppy. Thankfully, they are keeping it at their house! As you know, a new puppy means puppy training...oh joy! For the past week, my family and I embarked on the wonderful adventure of training a puppy, while also training a toddler about the puppy. Let me paint a picture for you: four adults and one toddler (each with their own style and opinion on how to train a puppy), rain and cold weather, and cold and flu season. Picture painted?
Needless to say, it was a tough week with a lot of “accidents.” After reflecting on what we could have done differently, I realized that lack of consistency in training was the major problem. Each of us had a different approach and method for training the puppy (bathroom, biting, jumping, etc.) which meant this poor puppy was receiving different messages on where to go, when to go, and what was good (and bad). To top it off, the puppy was also receiving varied “rewards” and “consequences.”
Now, how does this connect to adult learners? Well, below are four standards I believe are beneficial for adult learners (and puppies!):
1. Consistent standards outlined and taught by all instructors
2. Repetition of the task being learned
3. Immediate feedback, praise, and discussion of opportunities for the task
4. Rewards and recognition when the task is performed to the standard
So, remember, when training an adult learner, consistency, repetition, and timely feedback are imperative to his/her success. If you want to add more adult learning principles to your training toolbox, check out Langevin’s How Adults Learn workshop—now offered in both instructor-led and virtual classroom formats!
Hello, from Washington, DC, I am Beth Brashear. I was born outside of Pittsburgh but spent the majority of my youth in Charles Town, WV. I have lived in the DC area for the last 15 years and absolutely love our Nation’s Capital!