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Adult Learning: what is it and what are its objectives

Chiara Mastroleo
 Chiara Mastroleo
31/10/2018: Adult learning is a training methodology aimed at adults. The field of educational research has identified factors that are essential in relation to the target audience when designing an e-learning course.
Adult Learning: what is it and what are its objectives

What should you consider when designing a e-learning course for adults? Let's see together what features and suggestions to consider:


Of course, adults are by nature much more responsible than young or very young people. They have already experienced during their life what it means to lose or gain positions in their careers and know the value of investing in training. It is therefore appropriate to pay attention to individual responsibility. In a e-Learning course it is important to consider the possibility for users to evaluate their progress and compare their results with those of others.


An adult student already knows from the beginning what goals he/she intends to achieve when he/she decides to attend a e-Learning course. For this reason, it is important to carry out a preliminary study on the needs of the students in order to analyse the training needs that must be met.


In the previous point, we have seen, that an adult always has a specific purpose for attending a e-Learning course. It is important to clarify that theoretical information does not serve much in the "adult learning" field: in adulthood, training is related to daily experiences and objectives to be achieved. Therefore, the contents of an e-Learning course must be treated in such a way to provide useful and practical information.

Learning by doing

Lack of attention does not necessarily affects young people only. Also adult students, accustomed to work practices, may have difficulty in concentrating and their interest may fall. For this reason, e-Learning courses must always keep the attention high by the use of tests, games, interactive videos, etc.


An e-Learning course allows you to stop a topic whenever you want. The risk that a student will abandon the course due to distraction, boredom or other causes is always around the corner. To ensure that this does not occur and that the adult arrives to finish the course, it is essential for you to measure your results constantly and compare with other students.


The more a person advances with age the less time he/she has available to devote to extra work and family activities.
A e-Learning course must compete with all the other distractions, if we want to get the attention and commitment of an adult student: the challenge for those planning a e-Learning course is to maintain a high level of attention despite the many distractions like chat, social, etc.

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