- Both Want a Reason Why Learning the Information Is Important
“Give me a reason why I need to know this information!” This is a common phrase heard throughout every class, at every grade level. Kindergarteners are just building the foundational skills necessary to be academically successful. They want to know that learning how to read, count, and add will be useful to them. While higher education students are typically trying to advance themselves—to be better citizens or find a better career—they want to have reasons why what they are learning will be useful in their career. Ensuring that a course always gives “a need” for learning the topic is essential at all grade levels.
- Both Want to Feel Successful in Their Learning
Building confidence in learners should always be a focus when building a course, from Kindergarten all the way up to higher education. Learners need to feel that they are progressing and getting better at a skill or concept. When building a course, always consider ways in which you can build confidence in all learners. Providing reassuring feedback, presenting a problem in another manner that may be better received by some learners, and giving second chances will help learners feel they can be successful.
- Both Want to Be Interested in What They Are Expected to Learn
Engage Kindergarten and higher-education students by developing courses that are interesting to learn. Whether you are building a digital or paper-based course, use different interactions and item types—not just boring multiple-choice items. Use intriguing real-life situations, stories, or experiments that make learning the concept applicable to life but fascinating to learn. The best courses are the ones that engage the learners both by thinking and doing.
- Both Need Courses that They Can Learn
Kindergarten students come to school with different learning backgrounds. Some have had extensive preschool teaching and therefore are ready to learn the new information they will encounter in Kindergarten. Other Kindergarteners may not have the preschool knowledge base necessary to learn the new content. The same can be said about higher-education students: Some come well prepared, with a solid foundation, while others may lack the basic knowledge needed to understand the higher-education content. Creating courses that are accessible by all learners is necessary at any level of education.
- Don’t Act Like I’m a Dummy!
Whether you are building a course for Kindergarten or higher education, learners don’t want to feel like they are being looked down on by the way information is presented to them. Even if the concept seems easy, think of creative ways to make it challenging in some aspect. There are concepts in both Kindergarten and higher education that seem like basic information that everyone should know. Present this information like it’s something new and discover a way to convey that it’s an important concept that learners must understand from the start. Develop lessons for the age of the learner, not the “grade level” of the concept.