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The Key to Effective Adult Learning: Mastering Essential Principles

Adult Learning: What is it?

Ever noticed how learning as an adult is quite different from the way kids learn? Let's explore this idea a bit more. Adult learning is a special kind of education that considers how grown-ups, like you, prefer to learn. It's not just about teaching in a classroom; it's about making learning personal and relevant to your life.

According to experts like Malcolm Knowles, who studied how adults learn, there are some key things that make adult learning unique. He believed that as an adult, you've got a ton of life experiences and knowledge. You're eager to apply what you learn in real-life situations. Plus, you want a say in how you learn and what you learn about.

Doris Savron from the University of Phoenix explained: “Adult learners come with knowledge and life experience and want to be able to apply those lessons in new environments. They learn better by applying lessons to real situations and having some say in how they plan their learning activities. They are also motivated by understanding that what they are learning is relevant.” (source)

Adult Learning Principles

Alright, picture this: you're at the helm of your own adult learning journey. You're not just sitting in a classroom, absorbing information passively. As an adult, your learning experience is all about being engaged and actively participating in a way that reflects real-life situations. To ensure this, both you and the instructors need to keep in mind certain essential principles.

Think of these principles as the compass guiding your educational journey, steering it in a direction that aligns with your needs, preferences, and goals. These principles of adult learning act as the solid ground on which your learning journey stands—crucial for constructing a learning experience that's tailored specifically for you.

  • Adults take the lead: You, as an adult, naturally set your own learning goals and figure out how to reach them.
  • Learning by doing: You don't just want to listen or read; you love to get your hands dirty, diving into projects that mirror real life. It helps you understand and apply what you're learning.
  • Learning has to be relevant: If what you're learning is connected to your job or personal life, you're more likely to get engaged and stay motivated.
  • Experience matters: Learning is better when you get to experience it hands-on. Think internships or job shadowing—those experiences help you connect the dots between what you're learning and the real world.
  • Engage all your senses: Sitting in a lecture doesn't cut it. You learn better when you can see, hear, touch, and do. That's why different ways of learning work better for adults.
  • Practice makes perfect: Repetition is key. The more you practice, the better you get. It's all about building that self-confidence.
  • Guide your own development: You grow by challenging yourself and thinking critically. It's about questioning and learning more about yourself in the process.
  • Set goals: Having specific goals makes your learning experience way better. Whether it's learning a new language for a trip or mastering a skill for your job, having clear goals keeps you motivated.
  • Learn differently: You don't learn like kids do. You bring in your life experiences, and you learn best when it's tied to real-life situations.
  • Own your adult learning: You love feeling in charge of your learning. It’s all about your inner motivation and feeling good about your achievements.

Understanding these principles is crucial for making your learning experience more engaging and fulfilling. When educators know how to tailor your learning experience to fit your unique needs, it becomes an exciting journey rather than just another class.

Some (final) thoughts

At Knolyx, we firmly believe in comprehending learning needs to shape educational experiences. If you're eager to explore our e-learning platform, simply book a demo, and we'll guide you through its features. Additionally, if you're passionate about sharing your own learning journey and have ideas on how to enhance it, send us a message or leave a comment. We'd love to engage in meaningful conversations with learners like you, delving deeper into your unique experiences to further improve the learning process.

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