Adult Learning

Definition of an Adult Learner:

An adult learner depends on a specific society. Often times, there is not a specific minimum age. Adult learning theory is a based on the science Andragogy (how adults learn).

Adult Learning Theory:

Adult learning theory contains different assumptions or principles that relate to how adults learn. A complete list of adult learning theory principles, as given by Fidishun, includes the following principles (2009):
• The Learner’s Need to Know (Why should they have to learn something?)
• The Learner’s Self Concept (Change the learner’s previously learned dependence on others for guidance to a self-directed learning style.)
• The Learner’s Past Experiences (How can adults use what they know?)
• The Learner’s Readiness to learn (How does it relate to their needs?)
• The Learner’s Orientation to Learning (How will it apply their life?)
• The Learner’s Motivation to Learn (Internal properties.)

Instructional Design:

Applying these principles to instructional design can best be done with the use of technologies such as the Internet. Technology can allow the learner to complete lessons anytime, anyplace, and at the desired pace of the student (Fidishun, 2009).


Fidishun, D. (2009). Andragogy and technology: Integrating adult learning theory as we teach with technology. Retrieved July 1, 2011, from hhtp://