Adult Learning Theory


Andragogy is the theory that adults learn differently than children. Adults need instruction that is tailored to their more self-directed, motivated, practical and goal-oriented nature.

Authentic documents

Authentic documents are real-world documents that exist outside of the training room. They are workplace materials that workers use on the job and practitioners incorporate in training to contextualize learning and engage participants.

Behaviour Management

Behaviour Management refers to using a set of educational practices and strategies to effectively manage classroom behaviour so that it promotes a positive learning environment. 

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical framework that encourages participants to work their way up towards more complex thinking and cognitive tasks.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology focuses on the science of how people think. This branch of psychology explores a wide variety of mental processes, including attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity and reasoning. Cognitive psychology can help identify effective instructional strategies, such as interleaving and spacing.


Complexity is a task’s level of difficulty. Skills for Success are necessary for every job, but the skills are used at different levels of complexity depending on the demands of the job.

Constructivist Learning Theory

Constructivist Learning Theory is based on the idea that participants build on their existing foundation to learn new information. The participants create their own meaning and knowledge based on their experiences.


Differentiated Instruction (DI) is the planning and delivery of instruction that considers the varied levels of readiness, learning needs and interests of each training participant. Practitioners might employ different methods with different participants, depending on their readiness and needs, and provide options for demonstrating their understanding and mastery of the material.

Emerging Trends in Adult Education

Emerging trends in adult education discusses the research and discovery in adult learning.  These include mobile training, microlearning and video training, self-led learning and game-based learning.    

  • Fenwick, T. (2008). Workplace learning: Emerging trends and new perspectives. New directions for adult and continuing education2008(119), 17-26. (login required).
  • Abraukhova, V., & Zimovetc, A. (2021). Trends in adult complementary education in the modern digital space. E3S Web of Conferences, 273, 12001.
  • Social Research and Demonstration Corporation. (2020). Characteristics of adults who return to education: Understanding barriers to adult learning.


Flexible Delivery Strategies

Flexible Delivery Strategies are various teaching strategies designed to allow for flexibility of time, place, audience and technology in an educational setting.

  • Alex, J. L., Miller, E. A., Platt, R. E., Rachal, J. R., & Gammill, D. M. (2007). Making the Invisible Visible: A Model for Delivery Systems in Adult Education. Journal Of Adult Education, 36(2), 13-22.
  • Cornelius, S., Gordon, C., & Ackland, A. (2011). Towards flexible learning for adult learners in professional contexts: an activity-focused course design. Interactive Learning Environments, 19(4), 381-393.  (login required)
  • LeNoue, M., Hall, T., & Eighmy, M. A. (2011). Adult Education and the Social Media Revolution. Adult Learning, 22(2), 4-12.  (login required)
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