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Adults learn differently than children, so it’s important for startups working in education to take this difference into account to differentiate themselves from the competition. With the rapid growth of the adult education market, it has attracted investors.according to Proven Market Researchthe market is expected to grow significantly at a CAGR of 12% over the next seven years.
Unlike pedagogy, which is traditionally associated with children’s education, the way in which adults acquire new skills and knowledge is called pedagogy. Understanding its principles helps EdTech founders bring real benefits and outcomes to adult students. Let’s outline the three main differences between educational technology for adults and educational technology for children, and how to use it to create educational programs.
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1. Adults have different motivations for learning
Learning in childhood is a natural developmental process. Without acquiring the basics, they will have a hard time adjusting to life. The challenge, however, is that it is difficult for children to stay focused. EdTech programs for kids add more gamification and entertainment to keep them interested.Statistics show that students who receive a challenge-based gamified education improve their The result is as high as 89.45% compared to those who only attended lectures.
Adults learn more effectively when they are intrinsically motivated and understand why they need this knowledge. This means they will participate in research even if there is no obvious reward (such as a diploma). Adults choose courses of study that match their interests, support self-development, and the educational process is fun.
Of course, extrinsic motivation also exists. For example, if you are not developing in your professional field, more senior staff may take your place. Examples of extrinsic motivations include raises, career development, advocacy, and influence.
However, the best way to succeed in adult education is to emphasize extrinsic motivation. Lessons must clearly demonstrate what learners gain from their interactions, otherwise, learners will quickly disengage. By demonstrating the value of content, students are more likely to engage in the learning experience. For example, a manager wants to be the head of a department, so he is trained in professional sales skills to break the department’s sales record and get promoted.
How to use it: Founders and educational startup teams must study their audiences in detail and understand their motivations. This could be a raise or a career advancement. Identify which motivations and factors are critical to the person and explain how the educational program will help in obtaining it.
At the beginning of the course, tell students the goals and roadmap, and at the end of each module, summarize and ask for feedback.
Related: Does a College Degree Really Matter for Success?
2. Adults care about real-life skills, not grades
Think back to your high school self. You probably don’t care too much about how algebra or chemical formulas will help your life. The most important thing is to get good grades, or at least not be expelled from school. If an adult knows the formula will be used to calculate, for example, his compound interest deposits, he will learn the formula in most cases.
Adults rarely study for studies or diplomas (unless they are still in school), but for skills that help them quickly solve specific problems in work or business. That’s why they need up-to-date knowledge and skills and don’t care much about theory. An adult learner will only spend a lot of time and effort on the material if they feel it is something they will apply. It’s being updated and integrated into the real world.
How to use it: Build programs that allow students to solve real-world cases in the classroom. Content based on true stories, relevant examples and drawing on first-hand experience will lead to a more thoughtful understanding of the discipline.
At Refocus, we rely on four key components:
- Detect and identify problems.
- Find out what knowledge can help solve it.
- pass on this knowledge.
- Show how it works with real examples.
Learning from abstract examples is ineffective. That’s why, for example, our marketing students receive a real brief from a client and develop a marketing strategy for it. This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the work environment and tackle real-world tasks as you learn.
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3. Adults seek socialization and fun
At school or extracurricular activities, children get to know each other, develop friendships, spend free time together and share results. It is important for them to learn to communicate with peers and adults in a group – learning to resolve conflicts and different tasks, and to share ideas.
Finding friends purely for fun is extremely rare in an adult education program. Even more important for adult students is access to a community of experts with whom they can discuss experiences, cases and negotiate partnerships.
how to use it: In adult education products, it is important to create a separate domain for the web. This is the whole field of education – community management. In an Edtech startup, there can be a separate team or person doing the job.
For example, Refocus has a dedicated staff member who facilitates informal online meetings between students. This helps build partnerships and aligns with our commitment to building friendly and supportive communities.
Building high-quality, successful EdTech products for adults is impossible without understanding and using adult pedagogy principles. So, when developing courses, always do audience research and understand their motivations in order to create practical courses. The focus is on practice, with opportunities to deal with real-life cases in the course. Of course, don’t forget to network to increase student engagement and outcomes.
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