How to Adjust from Classroom Training to Online Training as an Adult Learner



Learning as an adult is difficult. We all have busy schedules and sitting through an 8-hour training day seems impossible, but if you're in the food industry you've learned to accept it.
 
Now we are navigating new waters, where classroom training is no longer the best approach. In 2020, most people are used to online training, webinars, presentations, etc. But how do you, as a participant, sit in your home with all your daily life distractions and take an online training course for 8-12 hours? Now that, seems impossible. 
 
Here are some tips and tricks to help our adult learners adjust to this new "normal". 
  1. Plan your day. Go into each training day with a goal in mind. "Today, I'm going to tackle sections 1-3." Even if you don't get everything done that you set out to, setting goals will help you focus. 
  2. Create a distraction-free training area. Don't sit on your couch or your bed. Find a desk or table in a quiet area of your home. With everyone being home, we know this can be difficult but in the long run it will lead to better information retention and understanding. 
  3. Take breaks! Don't be afraid to stop when you catch yourself day dreaming or picking up your phone too frequently. Small breaks throughout your day will save you from sitting through 8 hours of training and then asking yourself, "What did I just learn?" Don't just cruise through the training, remember your knowledge will be tested at the end. If you are taking a live virtual course, don't worry - instructors will build breaks into the schedule. They understand and they need breaks too!
  4. Involve the other people in your house. The SURE Food Safety Manager Manual is a great tool to use in conjunction with your online training. Have your family quiz you with the end of chapter questions.
  5. Relate the material back to yourself and your work responsibilities. How can you use the information you are learning in your everyday life? How can the information make you more effective in your daily life? 
  6. Take notes. Keep a notepad beside your learning area and write down 3-5 key bullets from each section. This is a great way to involve yourself in the training and not just listen After you complete a section, go back and read your bullets and see what other information it pulls from your memory. 
  7. Don't expect yourself to just "get it" after a day or two. Online training and self-study isn't for everyone, but with some patience you will get through it. Repeat a section if you have to. The benefit to online training is that everything goes at your pace. You can slow down or speed up as you feel necessary for your level of understanding. If you are taking a live virtual course, don't forget - the instructor is real person. Ask them to slow down, repeat themselves, and ask questions! Their main goals are to help you understand the material and prepare for your exam. 
This new "normal" isn't normal. Give yourself some grace as you learn to learn differently. Take it day-by-day and pretty soon it won't seem so looming. We may be apart, but we are in this together. 
 
This blog is not intended to be a substitute for the user's judgement and common sense.
Any errors are unintentional.


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