Category: adult learners

“I Don’t Care About My Grades – I Want A Job that’s More Satisfying!”: Adult Motivation for Learning is More Intrinsic than Extrinsic

Male instructor and female student working at a computer

Most adult learners will be more motivated to learn if doing so means an internal or intrinsic need is being met. Discover how to appeal to those internal motivators in designing your instruction.

“Will this Help Me Solve this Problem Now?” Adults’ Orientation to Learning is Problem-Centered vs. Subject-Centered

Adults don’t want to learn more content that they need to file away for future use; they want to learn things that can help them solve real-time problems.

On a Need to Know Basis: Adults’ Readiness to Learn Depends on their Need to Know Something

male and female students smiling and chatting

Adults are more likely to be engaged in learning something if they feel they need to know it – for work, play, or personal enrichment. Here are some ideas for making instruction compelling for your adult learners.

“I Know Something About That!” – Adults Bring Personal Experience to the Learning Environment

man sitting in front of laptop listening to someone

Adults learn by experience, but also love to share their own experience with particular subject matter. Thus adults can teach one another.

Be A Trail Guide: Adults are Self-Directed and Independent Learners

navigational compass sitting on a map of southern asia

For adults, learning means self-directed, independent thought and work. The role of the adult educator is to provide support and guidance as needed, with minimal oversight, while allowing learners to explore and make and correct errors on their own.

It’s A Matter of Principles 3 and 4: Learning Needs to be Relevant and Problem-Centered

Adults are practical, even when it comes to learning. To engage them, ensure your instruction is both relevant and problem-centered.

It’s a Matter of Principle 2: Mistakes ARE Good!

two women and a man looking at computer

Adult learners bring a wealth of experience – including mistakes – to any learning experience. Learn how to harness their experience and errors in designing instruction.

It’s a Matter of Principle 1: “Please Involve Me!”

two women laughing while looking at laptop

Adult learners need to be involved in the planning of their instruction. Soliciting their feedback is a great way to involve them.

Adult Learners 101

Women on laptops

Teaching with adults IS different than teaching younger learners – in fact the whole field of andragogy is dedicated to the art and science of how adults learn.