Rural Health Education Foundation resource: A guide to facilitating adult learning

A guide to facilitating adult learning  resource was developed in 2007 and remains applicable for understanding adult learning today. It is written in an easy to read style that provides succinct information about adult learning principles and environments for learning. It also discusses types of learners.  In addition to providing overview information about instructional design; session planning and communication it also discusses group dynamics.

This guide  also provides information on learning resources. This section is useful for clinical facilitators or preceptors to consider when they are conducting tutorial or feedback  sessions with students in the workplace. Offering students opportunities to understand concepts using different learning styles promotes their learning.  The section on communication provides a summary of the major concepts such as verbal and non- verbal interactions; barriers to communication and effective communication strategies. There is also a brief section on managing difficult participants. Lastly this guide provides a simple template for users to modify for their own needs.

Clinical supervisors do need feedback regarding their own performance or of sessions they conduct.  This document provides session evaluation forms. The School of Nursing and Midwifery now also provide forms that preceptors, facilitators or supervisors can modify and use to evaluate their own performance in this role. A reflective practitioner will use this information to improve their own performance and it can also be used to ensure supervisors meet their own performance management goals and collect evidence for their own reviews.

If you know of other resources that clinical supervisors can use to guide their own performance or practice of supervising students you are welcome to comment here, or alternatively email


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