April 21, 2015

Addressing Adult Learners in e-Learning

Posted by IN

Several of you have noticed the use of the term “adult education” in our communications. How is this concept different from pedagogy, you ask yourself? The andragogical model applies principles relating to adult education and differs from the traditional school model. It aims to create a learning environment adapted to the characteristics and needs of a professional or adult audience.

Anyone undertaking a corporate training project soon realizes that targeted learners combine work and life experiences, pursue specific goals and outcomes, and already know the learning styles that work best for them. The trainer or online training takes the form of a guide who will lead the user with an approach based on practice and on solving actual problems.

Knowing the characteristics of your audience is critical in the development of both a suitable training and approach.

Young Learner Adult Learner
The tasks I am asked to perform should be fun. The tasks I am asked to perform should make sense.
I rely on my teacher to help me develop my skills. I expect specific results after my training.
What I’m learning will help me later on. What I learn should be applied to my work.
I need to be guided. I need autonomy.
Training should stimulate my imagination and curiosity. Training is complementary to my experience and my knowledge.


Inkpen, Kori. Three Important Research Agendas for Educational Multimedia: Learning, Children, and Gender. Département de Science informatique, British Columbia University, 1997.

Trussart, Jean-Luc. Andragogie et technopédagogie. Cégep régional de Lanaudière à L’Assomption, 2012.