Adult Learning Definition

Adult learning refers to educational endeavors undertaken by adults outside the official training. It encompasses a wide range of adult learning theories and principles and education options, including self-directed learning, informal environments, professional development courses, and continuing education programs.

One of the distinctive features of adult learning concepts is that it is choice-based and self-directed. Adults have more influence over this process and can choose to pursue opportunities that are relevant to their personal and professional life. This means that adult learners have the choice to pick their own training objectives, adult learning methodology, and accountability for their own outcomes and results. These features are often used by LMS for employee onboarding, as those have proven themselves very efficient. So, how do adults learn?

Adult education is differentiated by its relevance to learners' lives and jobs. So, it is essential to know what's an adult learner. In contrast to traditional teaching, which usually focuses on abstract or theoretical notions, adult learning is grounded on the actual realities of the learners' life. Adult learners are more likely to be motivated and engaged in the process because they can create a clear link between their learning and personal experiences and goals.

Adult Learning Theory Principles

Several ideas underpin the adult education hypothesis. Adult learners, for example, are more likely to be self-directed in this process, to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the educational process, and to be motivated by real-world, when it comes to valuable experiences. Other guiding themes include the need for active and experiential education strategies, the need to accommodate different training preferences and styles, and the importance of creating a welcoming, cozy, and respectful environment.

The adult learning cycle is based on several principles. Even though those may vary depending on the industry and main goals, certain fundamental ones are common to every field of human activity. Among the essential ideas are the following:

Models Of Adult Learning

Adult-based learning models can aid in the design and execution of adult education and training programs. Gerald Grow developed the self-directed model, Jack Mezirow developed the transformational model, and Malcolm Knowles developed the andragogy model. Each model focuses on a different aspect of the adult learning process and provides a framework for understanding how adults learn and how they might be assisted in their training. The best option is to use the strengths of all these approaches. Thus, AcademyOcean, in their LMS for sales, allows utilizing these and other approaches to boost learning. Here are the main ones: 

Adult Learning definition

The Most Effective Adult Learning Techniques

A range of excellent adult training tactics may be used to improve the educational process. These tactics and approaches include more traditional methods like lectures and conversations and more modern methods such as role-playing, simulations, and problem-solving activities. Other means include:

  • Employing real-world case studies and examples.
  • Leveraging technology-based tools.
  • Providing opportunities for reflection and feedback.

Using these strategies, educators and trainers may create successful educational experiences that meet the needs and interests of adult learners. Thus, it is wise for a company interested in upskilling its employees to utilize them in real work and training programs.

The majority of successful adult training techniques are founded on the concepts of adult learning theory and consider adult learners' needs and preferences. Here are some of the more effective ones that highlight how adults learn best:

distinctive features of adult learning

To summarize, adult learning is a vast and dynamic subject that includes various educational options outside of regular environments. Adult learners have more significant influence over their learning and are motivated by real-world experiences and relevance to their personal and professional lives.

Principles such as self-directed learning, active involvement, experiential learning, and the significance of accommodating varied learning styles and preferences underlie adult education. Effective adult training approaches focus on these concepts and include tactics like active learning, collaborative training, self-directed learning, blended learning, and microlearning. These techniques can assist firms in developing compelling educational experiences that fit the requirements and interests of adult learners, resulting in more productive and engaged employees.

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