September 2018

Applying Adult Learning Principles to Your Precepting

When students first enter your practice, you need to assign tasks or patient cases that challenge them just beyond their comfort zone. You’ll want to assess your students' knowledge base by talking to them about what they can already do and what they want to be able to do. Adult learners want to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their own instruction.

Students fall somewhere along a scale of clinical competence as they start to apply knowledge from their coursework to clinical situations. Early learners focus on remembering and applying basic facts, while more advanced learners will able to evaluate a specific clinical situation or create a care plan.

By taking a few moments to discuss learning goals with your students at the very beginning of their rotations, you will be able to quickly develop a learning plan and incorporate the students into your practice schedule.

More About Principles of Teaching

Visit the Precepting Principles section for more tips on how to apply adult learning principles and adapt your teaching style based on the experience and knowledge of your learners.