If you want training to stick, allow learners to talk it over. That’s what a recent meta-analysis of adult education techniques suggests.

The research highlighted the numerous benefits of dialogue and discussion in adult education, including learner engagement, performance and critical thinking.

One such study, which took place in an upper-level college biology course, measured an average learning improvement of 16% when peer discussion was added to traditional instruction.

Researchers concluded that, because adult learners have a wealth of life experience, discussion helps integrate new information into their existing knowledge base and assists in making content relevant.

Also, group discussion turns learning into a social event, which makes it more likely to be remembered (see Rapid Learning Insights Vol. 2 Issue 6).

When designing your next training session, consider carving out some time for group discussion to reap the benefits.

Sources: Davis, H.S. (2013). Discussion as a bridge: Strategies that engage adolescent and adult learning styles in the postsecondary classroom. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(1), 68-76. Knight, J.K., & Wood, W.B. (2005). Teaching more by lecturing less. Cell Biology Education, 4, 298-310.

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