5 Ways to Thrive as an Adult Learner

intl-adult-lrnrs-week 200pxIt’s Adult Learners’ Week from April 11-19, 2015. In celebration, we’re giving you our top tips for success as an adult learner at MRU’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension.

Been a while since you were a student? Don’t worry — it’s a little like riding a bike. Technology may have changed but the basic principles of academic success have not.

As an adult, no one is forcing you to come to class. It’s something you choose yourself to meet your professional development goals. You’re already motivated to succeed, so here are some tips to guide you on your learning journey.

1. Before you go to your first class, find out where your classroom is.
There’s nothing worse than showing up on your first day late and flustered because you couldn’t find your classroom. Reduce your stress level by finding out your classroom location in advance.

This information — and other requirements for your first day — can be found on your Confirmation of Registration. Here’s how to access it. (Click on “How do I find out where my classroom is?”)

You can refer to campus maps to locate the class once you know the number. Tip: classrooms starting A through Y are in the main building. EA classrooms are in the Faculty of Arts building; EB in the the Bissett School of Business building; and EC in the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning.

2. Figure out how to get to campus and where to park.
Never mind your classroom — what if you’ve never been to the Mount Royal campus before? Where can you park?

The MRU campus is located 10-15 minutes from downtown Calgary at 4825, Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6. It is served by several Calgary Transit bus routes. Get information about bus routes and parking lots here.

This information and more is in our Welcome Guide for Continuing Education students.

3. Do you need textbooks or other course materials? Check your Confirmation of Registration to find out.
Almost as bad as arriving late to class is arriving unprepared. Make sure you know about required textbooks and other materials in advance. These are also listed on your Confirmation of Registration. Here’s how to access it. (Click on “How do I get my textbooks?”)

You can order your books through the MRU BookStore online. If you prefer to shop in person, these are the BookStore hours. They even have special tips and advice for Continuing Education students.

4. If your course is online, there are things you need to know before it starts.
If you’re new to online learning, you can take our free Online Tutorial to become familiar with the online learning environment.

You should be prepared to log in to your online course right on the start date to find out about course expectations, assignments and other important information. Instructor contact information is available on the online course site. Make sure you’re in the know right from the start of your course.

5. Come to class prepared and stay on top of your assignments.
There’s really no special trick for this. It can be difficult to find time for studies in your busy life, but skipping classes and leaving assignments til the last minute definitely won’t help you reach your goal.

Mount Royal University has some tips and advice on studying and writing effectively that are applicable to adult learners, too.

Happy learning — this week and all year round!

— by Karen McCarthy

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