Four Characteristics of Adult Learners

The adult learning theory suggests that adults have distinct learning requirements. It also states that the most suitable learning environments are those that utilize shared problem-based approach. Students need to know the traits of adult learners, so that they can gain the characteristics they lack.

1. Adult learning relies on knowledge and life experiences
As an adult student, you are likely to thrive in an environment where you can relate the present knowledge base and activities to past experiences. Learn how to bring in past knowledge, experiences and opinions to every lesson you attend. That way, you do not just feel encouraged to keep going, but learning new concepts is easier.

2. Adult learning is autonomous
Most adults who choose to go back to school do so willingly, whether they want to advance their careers or are looking to change careers. Therefore, their involvement in the learning process is based on making choices that are relevant to their learning goals. That is why you should have a reason for going back to college even before you enroll, because it will give you guidance along the way.

3. Adult learning relies on practicality
Adult learners enjoy learning concepts that they can relate to the real-life situations. Although it is the educator’s duty to convert theoretical learning into practical activities, learners also need to identify ways through which they can find practical ways to apply the knowledge. When you do this, you will not just get good grades, but you will also enjoy your time at school.

4. Adult learning thrives on relevancy
One of the best ways that adult students understand concepts is by relating the class work to their personal learning goals. If they realize that the activities they participate in contribute to attaining their individual learning goals, they are motivated to engage in projects and complete them successfully. As an adult student, you ought to find relevancy in what you are doing because it’s all you need to perform well.