Adult Learning Principles
Adult learners are a big part of today’s eLearning world. They are characterized by maturity, self-confidence, solid decision-making as well as being less open-minded and receptive to change. All of these traits effect how they learn and retain information. Course designers and instructors need to be aware of this so they can structure their courses for maximum engagement and satisfaction.
Here are some things you need to know about Adult Learners…
They are self-directed – Adults like to have control over their own learning
They are motivated – Adults receive their motivation to learn from internal factors
They are experienced – Adults draw upon past experiences to help their learning
They are ready to learn – The learning readiness of adults is related to the assumption of new roles
They are oriented – Adults want to apply new knowledge immediately in problem solving
Adults need to know why they are doing something. They learn from problem solving and doing. They are mutli-taskers by nature. They want to be taught things that will be useful to their work and they expect to have immediate results. Their motivation is the driving force behind their learning so instructors need to create thought-provoking and engaging material that will stimulate the learners.
Instructors must apply adult learning principles by explaining why the skills are being taught and allowing them to learn from their mistakes. It’s also important for instructors to recognize different levels of experience and to create task-oriented training for these students.
Creating a course for adult learners can seem like a difficult task but just focus on maximizing the learners’ advantages, meet the individual needs of the students and address all of the learning challenges. This will let them know that you are there to create a judgment-free, engaging learning environment for them, thus promoting their satisfaction with the course.