As an adult, what drives you to learn?
Enjoyment? Fun? Growth? Developing new skills? Seeking a new career? Job promotion? Professional certification requirements? New experiences? Supervisor mandates?
All of the above? None of the above?
The Motivations To Learn
ASAE’s research, The Decision To Learn, states that the top two reasons people join nonprofit associations are:
- Education and Professional Development
- Receiving Cutting Edge Information
According to ASAE’s The Decision To Learn, the driving extrinsic motivation for adults to learn is to increase their job status which then increases their income and social standing in their chosen profession.
Knowing the latest research and how to apply it opens up new opportunities for career advancement. Learning, not information, is important to a better life. Information by itself does not improve one’s life. Knowing information does not improve one’s life. It’s the application of that information and what it means to the learner that’s important.
The driving intrinsic motivation for adults to learn is a general sense of accomplishment.
In order to feed their personal passions about subjects that they have limited knowledge or experience, adults want solutions to their real-world problems and issues. They desire solutions that improve their companies or their professional condition. And they want those solutions provided in provocative learning formats, not the standard boring talking head lectures.
Research Rants Or Relevant Solutions
When you plan education programming, do you remember these two driving motivations? Do you program annual meeting content that helps your customers advance their careers? Does you conference content provide solutions to real-world problems and issues?
Or are you education sessions nothing more than data dumps that force the listener to sift through the junk to find something meaningful to them? Is your conference content just research rants with all the facts, figures, numbers, stats and kitchen sink that learners never get to the root of results?
The learner does not need to hear speakers that recite all the data details. They can read that in a report if they want. What matters to them are the results and how it solves their problems or advances their careers.
During a paid education session, what matters more to you, the relevant results or the data details? Why do so many associations push content that is nothing more than a talking head research rant with very little takeaways?