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Symptoms of Adult Learner Disengagement
April 25, 2016
There is not room for two feet in one shoe.
-Greek Proverb

Constant Hine outlines some common indicators that adult learners are not engaged in a learning experience in CD toolkit, Engaging Adult Learners Using Multiple Intelligences:

  1. Learners are hesitant to interact with you or peers.
  2. Learners do not care — leaning back, arms crossed, putting hands on heads, etc.
  3. Learners do not ask questions about the material.
  4. Participants do not share an understanding of the content when opportunities are provided.
  5. Participants repeatedly make "Yeah... but" statements.
  6. Participants make comments like, "This is good theory, but..."
  7. Learners have a "deer in headlights" expression.
  8. Learners are acting in inappropriate ways during the session — texting, arriving late, side talking, etc.




These down-to-earth practical strategies will help you address the learning principle that an audience's interaction with content is actually more important than the presentation of the content.

This dynamic resource will transform your presentations, creating lasting change through authentic engagement, empowered learning, and intentional practice.

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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Jennifer O'Hagan · April 25, 2016
S.E.E.D.S Childcare
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


We often find the 'buts' as to why we can not do something, whether it's accomplishing a particular task or resolving a problem. " But I can't because....." I often think of the word IMPOSSIBLE and how it clearly says I'M POSSIBLE, when we turn all those buts into 'so". "So what if I......" This positive attitude is contagious, think of all the people that can learn from this role model.

Larry DePoe · April 25, 2016
CPE La Mere L'Oie
Montreal, Canada


the way this reads is inconsistent with the learning process. If 'yeah but' thoughts are out of bounds, where is the debate, clarification and discussion? As for side talking, students can learn as much from each other a they can from a teacher.
As a former college teacher, I encouraged students to come up with their own thoughts, to create their own way to become an educator. sitting quietly in rows listening to lectures is not the way to learn...



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