Advertising
Advertising

How to Make Learning Fun for Adults

How to Make Learning Fun for Adults

The advantages of continuing education as an adult learner are numerous. By learning and perfecting new skills, you could advance your career, secure a new job, or even pursue your ambitions in a new field.

But as adults, our motivation to continue education wanes. Not to mention, we have far more on our minds now than we did as children, teenagers, and students. Those simple rewards of the past are no longer relevant, and the mere thought of returning to academic practices of the past is soul-sucking.

So first, let’s address the common difficulties and misconceptions often held by potential adult learners.

“I’m too old; it’s too late for me to learn something new”

As human beings, our true education is lifelong. Your brain will never switch off or refuses to take in new information. The only limit is your curiosity and willpower. You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks, especially with a fun approach.

“I finished formal education, and I have no desire to return!”

With strict, formal education out of the way, why not choose to learn about something that interests you? Being forced to learn is not effective, but now you have the freedom to choose. You will be surprised how fast you will learn when the subject interests you, or will create a better future.

Advertising

“I’m already working full-time; continuing to learn at home feels like just another work shift!”

Try changing your perception. Learning is an investment into your future, whether for financial security, career progression, or pursuit of your true desires. Make learning fun and purposeful, and you will enjoy it.

“The conventional methods brought me great results in the past; how can a fun learning approach be as effective?”

By making learning fun you will manipulate the brain’s reward center to work in your favor. Not only will it fuel your motivation, but your brain will absorb information like a sponge!

How to Make Learning Fun for Adults: Six Methods

For us adult learners, the conventional methods of learning soon feels dull and arduous. Yet, making things fun never ceases to boost our motivation. Loosen up your approach to learning with these six methods, you’ll be amazed how much you can learn while having fun!

1. Inject a Tickle of Humor

suit-673697_1280

    Even if you are severely lacking motivation, lessons fused with laughter can be highly effective. Not only are they entertaining, but humor has actually been seen to boost retention significantly!

    Advertising

    By sandwiching humor between instruction and repetition, you can learn incredibly fast while still having a laugh. Just make sure you the humor matches your own taste or age group.

    Even more complicated subjects, such as programming, can be mixed up with humor. In this case, you could try using your lessons to create comedic gif animations.

    2. Utilize Smart Devices and Applications

    mobile-1125445_1280

      Flashcards are a thing of the past, and applications are their modern replacement. For most of us, our smartphones, tablets, or computers are with us at all times. With thousands of applications and software, covering a wide variety of subjects, we can easily make learning both fun and convenient.

      For instance, if you are interested in learning languages, Duolingo offers a fun learning platform with challenges to keep you motivated. Whenever you have a bored moment, don’t waste it browsing social media. Hone your new skills using your favorite interactive applications.

      3. Embark on Field Trips and Educational Travel

      paris-843229_1280

        Travel leads to exciting experiences, personal growth, and inspiration, just to name a few. Exploring in new environments produces a rush of sensory stimuli. As our awareness rises, we absorb new information more rapidly as a matter of survival. As a result, these experiences and lessons learned stick with us forever.

        Advertising

        Break out of the conventional learning conditions, the same office, room, or school. Going for a field trip or travelling to a new place will supercharge your progress.

        If you are learning a new language, visiting a native country would be the ultimate way learn the language and a fantastic experience. In other cases, you could consider travelling to attend a seminar, a training course or meet with a new mentor.

        4. Challenge Yourself Using Games

        chess-942241_1280

          Games are not only for kids. Even as adults, our competitive spirit and gaming addiction still burns just as bright. There are countless educational games that will challenge and reward you. You will be surprised how quickly you will learn while having fun.

          Whether you’re interested in learning to code, or defeating calculus once and for all, there are games out there that will get you hooked and learning in no time!

          The majority of educational games may not be directly marketed at adults, but don’t let that deter you!

          5. Find Supportive Communities (Local/Online)

          Advertising

          startup-593341_1280

            There are literally thousands of groups around the world, where individuals come together over common interests or goals. These informal communities are a hive of shared knowledge and experience, motivating, and teaching others in the most natural way possible.

            If you can find the right community, you will receive a powerful sense motivation and a wealth of knowledge. There is a great social buzz as ideas are shared freely and collaborations blossom as everyone helps each other.

            If you can’t find any local meetings to suit your chosen study, look for an online community on forums or social media. Whether you’re trying to learn a new language or how to become a freelance designer, you can be sure there’s a community that caters!

            6. Free Yourself to Explore

            hipster-863054_1280

              Focusing too heavily on stringent learning approaches is going to burn you out and down your motivation eventually. Instead, why not let the winds of exploration help you take flight.

              Let your curiosity guide you across a variety of different resources such as videos, documentaries or even podcasts. By freeing yourself to explore intuitively, knowledge will be accumulated in a more natural and meaningful way.

              Let’s say you were trying to learn Spanish. Instead of burying your head in textbooks, you could break up your sessions with other interesting resources such as YouTube videos, blog articles, radio shows, etc.

              Now that we’ve shown you how to make learning fun for adults, go out there and learn something new!

              More by this author

              How To Wake Up Earlier: Science-Backed Tricks For Night Owls How to Make Learning Fun for Adults 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month When You Drink Water On An Empty Stomach After Waking Up, These 8 Amazing Things Will Happen 20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks

              Trending in Learning

              1 The Faster You Learn, the Easier You’ll Fall Behind 2 12 Reasons Why Rote Learning Isn’t Effective in Learning 3 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 4 How To Learn Effectively With Kinesthetic Learning Style 5 30 Best Quotes to Inspire You to Never Stop Learning

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on January 12, 2021

              The Faster You Learn, the Easier You’ll Fall Behind

              The Faster You Learn, the Easier You’ll Fall Behind

              Garry Kasparov is a chess grandmaster – and also a former world chess champion. Over the last few decades, he’s beaten hundreds of first-class chess players. It’s no surprise then, that many people consider Kasparov to be one of the greatest chess players of all time.

              However, in 1997, Kasparov lost a game of chess to a computer. A year earlier, he had played against IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer and defeated it. But the computer was to have its revenge, as just one year later, when the rematch took place, Deep Blue defeated Kasparov.

                Over the next few years, humans and computers traded chess moves and blows. Fast-forward to 2017, and the picture is crystal clear: today’s best chess programs can easily beat the world’s best human chess players.[1]

                As the Kasparov story demonstrates, even the world’s top players – who practiced a lot – can end up losing.

                Now consider your friends, family and colleagues. How many of these people think they’re doing well in what they do? And how many think they are doing better than the average and have stopped looking for ways to improve themselves? The answer is, a lot.

                Why Learning Can Lead to Stagnation

                When people learn well – they pick up knowledge and quickly become skillful. And the smarter the people, the easier they pick up knowledge, and the easier and faster they become very good at something.

                Advertising

                These types of individuals find learning effortless, and therefore, they pick up knowledge and skills much better than the average person.

                Take a look at the picture below. The tool in their hand represents the skill they have learned, and the cloud is the level they are currently on – in this case ground level.

                  When these learners become knowers, they believe that they know what they’ve learned extremely well. This may be the case, but in reality, they’re already better than average. Because of this, they are unlikely to find anyone who can surpass them. It’s at this point that they may think to themselves, “I’m good enough” and “there’s no need for me learn anything more.”

                    As I’ll show in the next few paragraphs, people’s egos can stop them from learning and improving themselves.

                    For example, let’s take a look at an expert pianist. They can perform proficiently because of their hard work and practice that they’ve put in over the course of many years. To help them, they may have had a tutor who developed their skills and brought out their talent.

                    Advertising

                    The consistent tutoring and practicing led them to become an accomplished pianist – one who regularly performs paid concerts in front of decent-sized audiences. However, their success has led them to believe that they don’t need to make any further changes or improvements to their musical skills.

                      When experts stop learning – they start to fall behind. This is because others will keep improving, and eventually get ahead of them.

                      The world is constantly changing, so sticking to the same way to practice (and failing to improve) will lead to people dropping the ball. A recent study predicted that one in five U.K. employees are under threat of losing their jobs to automation. A person who’s comfortable in their job today, may find themselves replaced by a computer or robot tomorrow. If this prediction comes true, millions of people will soon find themselves out of work.[2] This is a real life example of how people can fall behind when they stop learning and improving themselves.

                      Clearly, any experts who stop learning and improving, will be replaced by those who keep learning – whether these are humans or machines.

                        When You Think You’ve Learned Enough, You Fall Behind

                        The cloud depicted in the visuals isn’t concrete, and it’s prone to fall and disappear any time when you stop paying attention to your own learning and development.

                        Advertising

                        Everyone, no matter how good they believe themselves to be at something, should never stop learning. Reaching an ‘acceptable’ performance only means that you’re doing okay. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing it to the best of your ability or potential.

                        As I stated earlier (but well worth repeating again)… When you stop learning, you’re falling behind.

                          Push Yourself to Reach New Heights

                          To keep ahead of your competitors, you need to keep learning and practicing. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean doing things in the same way. You may need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to improve.

                            Do what you can’t

                            When you think you’re doing something well enough, find what you can’t do – and then do it! Here are four key things to remember about pushing your boundaries:

                            1. If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.
                            2. Getting out of your comfort zone means trying to do something that you couldn’t do before.
                            3. Sometimes you’ll run into something that stops you in your tracks. Find ways around these hurdles by focusing on improving your skills and knowledge, and then practicing them until you become proficient.
                            4. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You may need to try different ways to make things happen.

                            Set yourself specific goals as you practice

                            People who achieve great things set themselves definite goals. And I highly recommend that you do the same.

                            Advertising

                            One great way to do this is to follow the SMART and Stretch goal methods, which will help you set a big goal, while at the same time giving you baby steps on how to reach it. When SMART and Stretch goals are combined, your goal setting will have genuine purpose and power. You’ll be motivated by the giant goal, while having confidence in the small, incremental steps that will lead you there.

                            Find out more about goals setting in my other article: How to Get Bigger Things Done in the Coming Year

                            Along the way, you need to get feedback to help you improve

                            It goes without saying that to make progress, you’ll need feedback to identify exactly where and how you are falling short. This feedback can be from yourself or from outside observers (e.g., your audience, your mentor, your peers).

                            Do you know why computers can beat humans at chess after those times they’ve lost against them? The answer is, that people who program the computers have learned through all the steps humans have performed. They also gathered valuable feedback through their computers losing against some competitors. The programmers pick up the clues and change the way the computers perform in their next matches.

                            Learning Should Never Come to an End

                            When we’re young we naturally crave learning. We constantly seek out new knowledge, skills and experiences. However, as we mature, there’s a tendency for us to stop learning new things.

                            If this happens, you can be sure that stagnation is just around the corner. And as nature shows, nothing (even stagnation) stays the same for long. Things are either building up – or breaking down.

                            To avoid the latter, you must maintain a positive outlook that embraces big goals and constant learning. By doing these things, you’ll stay fresh, lively and ahead of the pack of hyenas snapping at your heels!

                            Reference

                            Read Next