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How to Apply Adult Learning Principles in E-learning

To survive in today’s competitive work environment, employees need to enhance their knowledge and skills. This is not only beneficial for the staff members as individuals, but also helps organizations to be productive. For this reason, organizations need to train their workforce regularly. Most companies prefer eLearning to impart knowledge to their employees, as it is a cost effective training medium.

To help adult learners complete an eLearning course successfully, it is very essential for instructional designers to understand how adults learn and what motivates them. Here are a few adult learning principles and ways to apply the context of eLearning.

1. Need to Know

Adults have a need to know why they should learn and what they would gain from the learning. Therefore, it is essential To spell-out the benefits of taking an online course at the start. Begin the course with effective learning objectives and answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ very clearly.

2. Self-directing

Adult learners never like to be restricted. They wish to be self-directed. The learners must be allowed to choose the order of the topics they need to learn. It is very important not to lock the navigation of your digital course.

3. Experience

Adult learners are experienced and have prior knowledge; they would concentrate more on learning new things. So, the instructors need to know who their target audiences are and what they prefer to learn. The eLearning courses must explain unknown topics elaborately and give a brief description on the known ones.

4. Problem-centered

Adults like to learn something, only when they feel that the learning would solve their problems. The eLearning courses should focus on the challenges that employees face and provide solutions to them. Incorporating activities, scenarios and case studies in the course helps them learn better as they could relate their learning to their work.

5. Motivation

Adults need to be motivated to learn something. In eLearning courses, providing feedback for the activities and assessments would be helpful. The feedback should be motivating and encourage the learners. It is necessary to explain why the learner’s answers are right or wrong.

Understanding how adults prefer to learn is critical to the success of an eLearning course. Hope you find this blog useful. Do share your views.

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