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Taking the Leap Into Adult Learning

By: Sarah Folega - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Adult Learning Learning Learning Advice

Learning can be highly enjoyable if you are learning about something you are truly interested in. If you are returning into adult learning after a substantial break, adult learning is a great way to catch up on those important subjects that you missed out on at school.

Starting adult learning is also a great way to prepare you for a new career move or a move up in your existing career.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons are for leaping into adult learning, by choosing the right course and the right way to study, you will be more confident and you will be having fun!

Learning Advice

You can get free learning advice by visiting your local careers advice service. You can find information about your local careers advice service by getting in contact with your local job centre. They will talk you through your options, what you want to do, what learning you will need to complete and what jobs are available after.

Starting With Your Strengths

You may not have seen the inside of a classroom for years and you may not have written an essay for just as long! However, living in the world we do, you will have been picking up key skills that will help you to become a much better learner.

  • Time management skills – organising school runs, cooking times on recipes and completing tasks around the home are all ways of keeping good time management. Time management is important to adult learning as you will be able to keep a study timetable and stick to it.
  • Asking important questions – We all ask questions throughout the day – this skill will be important if you need some clarifying in your coursework.
  • Listening skills – Listening is a very important skill when you are taking the leap into adult learning. Simply because you will need to listen to learn. Even if you are doing a distance learning course at home, you will still need to listen when you liaise with your tutors or go for exams.
  • Solving problems – You have no doubt come across many problems that you have had to solve one way or another in your day to day life. This skill can come in very handy while doing an adult learning course.
  • Recognising your strengths and weaknesses – You will be able to do this very easily as you already know what you are good at. You can improve your weaknesses and exploit your strengths while doing an adult learning course.

Finding The Right Course

Finding the course for you is crucial to success. If you pick a subject and a course which doesn’t really interest you, are you going to be willing to put the extra effort in to complete it?

By realising what you are good at and what interests you, enables you to pick the right course for you. You may have many reasons for choosing the course you do – maybe it is for a career boost, maybe just for personal learning and interest, or maybe for a total change of career.

You may have hated exams and tests when you were at school, and if you do you won’t be alone, if this does sound like you don’t worry! You don’t have to do a course that ends in an exam or module test. There are many courses that allow you to use assessment throughout the course rather than an exam at the end.

These assessment courses will mark you on your contribution to the class, your coursework or portfolio, and assess you on a practical demonstration of your skills.

Of course, depending on the final qualification you want to receive and the type of course and subject you choose, you may have to attend a final exam in a learning centre. When you look for the adult learning course you want to do, you can find out all the information related to the course, the work involved and whether you will have to do any tests in the course information.

Higher Education

You may be looking to go to university to complete your studies or start again. Many universities have ‘mature students’ that go back to learn for personal or career gain. You will have to be subjected to the same entry requirements for the course that younger students do; however, you may find that work experience can count towards credit for the course.

Colleges have the same entry requirements into certain courses as universities do. You may need to do an entry level course (usually a short course) before you can start your qualification.

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