Malcolm Knowles developed Andragogy (Adult Learning) theories including 5 assumptions about adult learners:

  1.  Adult learning is self-directed and independent;
  2. Adult learners bring prior experiences and knowledge into learning situations;
  3. Adult learners are ready to learn;
  4. Adult learners thrive in problem-based learning situations that immediately impact their current situations, careers, and/or lives
  5. Adult learners have internal (intrinsic) motivation

The following 4 principles apply to adult learning:

  1. The following 4 principles apply to adult learning:
  2. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluating their instruction.
  3. Experience is the basis for learning.
  4. Adults flourish when learning subjects of immediate relevance and impact to them.
  5. Adult learning is problem-centered (Kearsley, 2010)

Learning Scenario

If I develop an online course for new business owners on how to use a digital media tool to streamline the e-Business process. For instance, topics might include how to create your own website, how to price your packages, how to market yourself online, and more. There could also be an online support community where they can ask questions and collaborate with other students.I’ll need to explain the reasons for learning these topics. Instruction will be task-oriented. I’ll consider the broad experiences, skill levels, and backgrounds of learners when it comes to using computers or digital media software. The online course will be self-directed and autonomous, although I will available via email or private Facebook group to offer support, guidance, and troubleshooting as needed.

Andragogy Infographic

For more information about Adult Learning Theory, see the infographic (below) I’ve created about Andragogy or read my blog post: Andragogy: Adult Learning Theory