Designing eLearning courses for adults requires a sound understanding of why and how adults learn. By understanding and applying Adult Learning Principles, Instructional Designers can create the right engagement quotient in eLearning courses.
In this blog, I share an overview of Adult Learning Theory and its principles and outline the theory’s application in Instructional Design. I also share four Instructional strategies that are relevant to adult learners and wrap up with a few ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ you need to consider while designing eLearning solutions for adults.
Malcolm Knowles proposed the Adult Learning Theory (also called Andragogy) in 1968.
Andragogy means ‘the art and science of helping adults learn’, and it helps facilitate the development and implementation of learning in adults.
Andragogy is based on six assumptions about adult learners:
eLearning courses are typically offered to heterogeneous learner profiles. However, all adult learners do share some generic characteristics and the Adult Learning Theories are based on these characteristics. I am outlining six common characteristics of adult learners here that can be used to identify Instructional strategies for adult learning.
In general, adult learners are:
I am listing four easy-to-use Instructional strategies here that can be used to design eLearning courses:
Here is a simple check-list that will help you retain your adult learner’s engagement and achieve the desired impact:
While designing online learning solutions for adults, one must:
While designing online learning solutions for adults, one must avoid:
I hope this blog gives you insights on Adult Learning Theory to help you understand your adult learners better and create Instructional strategies that will engage them. If you have any queries, do contact me.
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Additionally, you can take our online course on Adult Learning Principles, one of the 15 Instructional Design courses from the first suite of our ‘InSight’ product line. For more details and to buy the course, click here.
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