Motivate Online Adult Learners – Gilly Salmon’s model

November 17, 2021 Off By admin
Motivate Online  Adult Learners – Gilly Salmon’s model

From my personal experience, I can tell you that grabbing the attention of a busy adult learner is no small task. We are constantly exposed to messages, emails, notifications or to-do lists reminding us of the next thing. There are various tactics to consider, but one element you can not afford to leave out is addressing learners’ motivation. Motivated students learn more effectively and are more actively involved in the learning experience. Today, I want to look at Gilly Salmon’s 5 Stage Model and how you can use it.

Professor Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model is a perfect place to start when you want to support your adult learners with a structured and fulfilling online learning journey. According to Professor Salmon, the five-stage model provides a framework or scaffold for a structured and paced programme of e-learning activities. The model offers specified support factors which are crucial in the development and learning of adult learners. These are the five stages of the model and how educational institutions can use them to stimulate learners to stay motivated. 

Arcs model

Image Source: Gilly Salmon

Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model 

Professor Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model is a perfect place to start when you want to support your adult learners with a structured and fulfilling online learning journey. According to Professor Salmon, the five-stage model provides a framework or scaffold for a structured and paced programme of e-learning activities. The model offers specified support factors which are crucial in the development and learning of adult learners. These are the five stages of the model and how educational institutions can use them to stimulate learners to stay motivated. 

Stage 1: Access and motivation

Most adult learners may need encouragement and individualised technical assistance to overcome the barriers and fears of online learning. Access and motivation mean as a course creator or educational institution can identify learners’ technical abilities and obstacles in advance, i.e. during the application and registration process. After that, find ways to bridge any shortfalls and ensure the learner is supported at all stages so they can focus and have a successful learning experience.

Stage 2: Online socialisation

This stage of the model suggests that an educational institution is co-responsible for developing a sense of community. In a face-to-face environment, you can achieve this by hosting events where learners get to meet and do engagement tasks that promote conversations. In e-learning, this can be facilitated via online discussion forums where instructors can lead and direct the conversation or create opportunities to network and socialise, such as support and peer groups. When learners feel comfortable with the technology and online culture, they can engage in meaningful conversations and learn from each other. 

Stage 3: Information exchange

Juggling a career and a personal life can be a lot, so as a course creator, you can design initiatives that assist learners in organising and managing their knowledge and information better. You can share tips and tricks, conduct workshops or provide opportunities to become more confident, develop skills and exchange information. 

Stage 4: Knowledge construction

If you have done your course design correctly, one of the central questions you probably have answered was about the real-life problem your course resolves. Ensuring that the training delivers this promise and learners construct knowledge and use it to fix the real-life challenges keeps them motivated. It gives a sense of purpose and improves their attitude about the whole learning journey. 

Stage 5: Development

The biggest win that learners get is from applying knowledge and skills gained to solve their real-time problems. Learning and development are most effective when situated in a real-life context. You can also encourage tasks such as journaling, reflecting on learning experiences or planning the ways learners can use the experience for future problem-solving. This can help learners formulate better solutions to real-life problems and invigorate their enthusiasm about the newly acquired skills or knowledge.

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