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Andragogical Issues In eLearning – eLearning Trade

Andragogical considerations

The way children learn is very different from the way adults learn. Likewise, there are two areas of study on how people learn: pedagogy and andragogy. Pedagogy deals with children and their learning process, while andragogy deals with adults and their way of learning. Therefore, in order to design effective learning material for adults, we need to consider andragogical factors. Adult education, or andragogy, examines the way adults learn and helps us formulate a teaching strategy for adult learners.

In this day and age, when eLearning is becoming more and more popular, some scholars are skeptical about how andragogically fit eLearning modules are. The way adults learn is very different from the way children learn. The physical, social, emotional, and individual learning needs and motivations for adults vary widely and the learning material for courses should address these issues for adults. Adults just don’t learn to learn, they are purpose-driven and needs-driven. Let’s find out how eLearning modules meet andragogical needs and make learning effective for adult learners. Here we will examine the 6 key aspects of adult education and how eLearning addresses them.

6 key aspects of adult education

1. Knowledge needs

As mentioned earlier, adults do not learn, they learn when they have a purpose. They learn when they need a specific skill or knowledge.

How eLearning helps

eLearning may be best suited for needs-based learning interventions. The two most popular eLearning delivery formats, just-in-time training and microlearning, are the perfect answer to needs-based learning solutions. Anyone can take an eLearning module if they need a skill. eLearning modules are available anytime, anywhere, making them perfect for adult learners. Another popular eLearning format is micro-learning, which is focused and specific to learning needs.

2. Motivation

Adult learners are intrinsically motivated as opposed to young learners who are extrinsically motivated. Adult learners are motivated when the learning material addresses their real-world problems or improves their current skills.

How eLearning helps

eLearning can make optimal use of learning analytics by analyzing learning behavior such as time expenditure, progress, feedback, formative assessment, etc. Learning analysis forms the basis for understanding how the learner will respond to certain learning materials and how they can be improved to enhance the learning experience.

3. Readiness

Adults are curious about the relevance of the learning outcomes of a particular module and how it will help them in their lives. They want to be sure of what is included in the module for them.

How eLearning helps

With eLearning, the learner can navigate the course material and thus gain an insight into what is contained in the module for him. This increases the willingness of the learner to take the module.

4. Previous experiences

Unlike children, adult learners receive experiences that play a key role in the way they learn. Adults like to share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others which the learning material confirms in their real life.

How eLearning helps

eLearning enables social learning and breaks the barriers of time and space. In this way, learners can share their experiences through integrated platforms such as forums, wikis, discussion boards, etc.

5. Self-control

Adults like to steer and control what and how they learn.

How eLearning helps

eLearning is the most appropriate form of learning delivery that enables self-directed learning. eLearning gives the learner complete control and allows them to choose how they want to learn, how much time they want to spend, when they want to learn and where they want to learn. There is complete control over the learning experience, thus meeting the self-directed needs of adult learners.

6. Learn by doing

Adults enjoy learning by being active rather than passive learners. They like to research, experiment and focus their learning on their job or their real-world tasks.

How eLearning helps

eLearning offers many interactivities and simulations, scenarios, etc. in which the learner can learn. You can interact with the screen elements and practice your skills in a virtual or simulated environment.


eLearning is becoming increasingly popular not only because it sounds cool, but because it is based on a solid andragogical foundation. It helps educators respond efficiently to the needs of adult education. We can say that eLearning is andragogy friendly.


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