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Some Methods/Strategies for Formation Process to Work on Roles in the Adult Learning Environments

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In a previous article, we described the process of forming adult learning environments and provided some theoretical background. In this article, we will present four strategies/methods that can be utilized during the formation process.

  • Playing  Games

The trainer’s role as someone who gives instructions may not engage trainees particularly well, nor may applicants engage well as candidates; we cannot conclude that both roles are effective at engaging participants. The use of educational games helps trainees learn more effectively by providing a motivating and stimulating environment and providing immediate feedback. Trainees bring different levels of motivation, commitment, ability, and cultural background to the learning experience. Biggs (2003, p. 79) says; ‘Being active while learning is better than being inactive’ and using games as a teaching technique provides an animated learning environment. Using games in learning environment is a good strategy since the learners respond naturally to this type of learning dynamic because they are enjoyable and interactive. Another benefit of the games can satisfy the needs of the  participants who have different learning styles such as the theorist, pragmatic, active and reflector learners; and the needs of the visual, audio, reading and kinesthetic learners. They can be used at any stage of training as energizers, getting-to-know-each-other sessions, or main sessions of the training.

  • Drama

There are many studies indicates that using drama in the learning environment helps the trainees to learn academically, socially, and developmentally. “The use of drama as a tool for teaching is not new. Historically, both drama and theatre have long been recognized as potent means of education and indoctrination. The ways they are used today, however, are new, and they differ in a number of respects from the ways they have been used in the past” (McCaslin 271). The use of drama as as an integrated way of learning have been using by art advocates and trainers in any stages and kind of education. It helps to involve actively the trainees who otherwise couldn’t be involved, and challenge trainees who have already knew or understood the concepts. It is a fun way of learning which  use the emotions in learning process. There are some recent researches that proves that emotions are linked with learning. It gives possibility to the trainers to link prior experiences with new ones. Most importantly of all, using drama to teach gives the trainees the power to have a key role in their learning process. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm says “Through drama, students became a part of the learning process rather than mere observers or inactive receptacles of the rich experience of learning; in this way, their learning was deeper, more sustained, and infinitely more complex” in his article “Drama is Imagining to Learn: Inquiry, Ethics, and Integration through Drama”.

  • Simulation of Different Role

Role playing, a derivative of a socio-drama, is a method for exploring the issues involved in complex social situations. It may be used for a wide range of training programs such for training of professionals or in a classroom for the understanding of literature, history, and even science. On the other hand, simulation involves participating in a very real learning experience that closely resembles an actual setting. These actual settings may be replicated by either employing models or mannequins or in the case of role-play, the use of actors to bring the experience to life. The advantages of using simulation include the ability to help learners make meaning of complex tasks, while also developing critical thinking and cultural skills. Simulation accomplishes this by incorporating active learning, emotions, and reflection, key components to creating lasting understanding.

Role-play and simulations provide trainees opportunities to learn and develop skills in purposeful ways. Trainers/facilitators can give a traditional lecture in history, or students can experience it for themselves through role play that provides deeper historical context while making it personal. For simulations, students can replicate real scenarios they may encounter either in their chosen discipline or just in life. Instead of relying on traditional assessments, role play/simulations can better introduce key concepts in a more authentic way that promotes better engagement and retention among learners.

  • Social Cooperative Learning

Collaborative learning involves groups of learners working together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a product. Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction where individuals are responsible for their actions, including learning and respect the abilities and contributions of the others. Collaborative learning suggests a way of interaction within people which everyone respects and highlights individual group members’ abilities and contributions. There is a sharing of authority and acceptance of responsibility among group members for the groups’ actions. The underlying premise of collaborative learning is based upon consensus building through cooperation by group members, in contrast to competition in which individuals best other group members. There are 3 ways defined for learning environment when individuals take action in relation to the actions of the others:

  • Working together cooperatively to accomplish shared learning goals;
  • Working against each other (competitively) to achieve a goal that only one or a few can attain;
  • Working by oneself (individualistically) to accomplish goals unrelated to the goals of others.

An according to the Johnsons’ survey of educational research demonstrates cooperation, in comparison with competitive and individualistic efforts, results in;

  • Higher achievement and greater productivity;
  • More caring, supportive, and committed relationships, and;
  • Greater psychological health, social competence and self esteem


O’Riordan, F., & Kirkland, D. (2008). Games as an engaging teaching and learning technique: Learning or playing. Novel Approaches to Promoting Student Engagement77.

Bodnar, C. A., Anastasio, D., Enszer, J. A., & Burkey, D. D. (2016). Engineers at play: Games as teaching tools for undergraduate engineering students. Journal of Engineering Education105(1), 147-200.

Moore, M. M. (2004). Using drama as an effective method to teach elementary students.

Blatner, A. (2009). Role playing in education. Disponibile all’indirizzo: http://www. blatner. com/adam/pdntbk/rlplayedu. htm.

Clapper, T. C. (2010). Role play and simulation. The Education Digest75(8), 39.

the last access: 13 April 2023

Laal, M., & Ghodsi, S. M. (2012). Benefits of collaborative learning. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences31, 486-490.

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