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Adult Learning Simplified


November 1, 2019



Adult Learning Simplified

Adults learn in a different way to children and adolescents, meaning that often different strategies must be adopted and successfully executed for functionality.

What exactly is it?

Adult learning is based on the concept of andragogy, which refers to the process of helping adults learn. This means that adults are responsible for their own success and their own decisions once the essential information is provided to them.

How adults learn

Adults learn best when the learning is not focused on the teacher, but rather focused on the adult. Further factors deciphering how best adults learn are;

  • When they understand the importance and significance of what they are learning.
  • They are able to learn in a way which suits them.
  • When Learning is experiential and applicable to everyday processes.
  • When they feel like they are able to and want to learn.
  • If the environment in which they are learning is supportive and positive.

How does it differ from pedagogy?

Pedagogy differs in the process of which it follows in order to satisfy the learning needs and preferences of each individual. Children need more guidance in their learning, where learning is traditionally focused on the teacher sharing information with the students. For adults, learners prefer to focus on their own individual learning, using the material provided to them at their disposal.

How to achieve the best solution

Microlearning is a strategy employed by various organizations to best educate learners with vast amounts of quality information. It is useful for adults as their learning material is available on demand, meaning that they can learn at a time and place that suits them. It is essential that learning is agile and flexible for adult learners as they are constantly on-the-go, living fast-paced and busy lives.

Learning is focused, meaning that lessons are concentrated on the information that they need for maximum success in their responsibilities within their respective roles. When learning is precise and specific, learners are more likely to be able to absorb, retain and recall information easily and more effectively.

Microlearning modules also incorporate an interactive aspect to the learning experience, immersing learners in the knowledge they are absorbing. Adults enjoy interactive lessons as they are able to perform the skills in training as they would in real-life. This is one of the great benefits of microlearning, whereby learners are provided with the illusion of experiencing practical on-the-job training.

You may be interested in our article on how to build a transformative learning experience. Click here or copy the link, https://training.safetyculture.com/blog/transformative-learning/.


Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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