Adult learning & training

Using contemporary adult education principles − A study of 254 large organizations that were implementing large-scale change projects found that 90 per cent of the successful projects used training that was designed following contemporary adult education principles. (Source: Prosci Research).

Learning in the workplace

In today’s fast-paced and frequently-changing business climate, more than ever organizations need to ensure that their training dollars generate the highest possible value. For that to happen, organizations need to ensure that learning is based on contemporary adult learning principles. Learning should:

  • be relevant to the learner’s job;
  • be delivered close to the time it is needed to be applied;
  • be “pitched” to the right learning level — not too basic or advanced, with concepts and skills sequenced in a logical flow;
  • allow learners to practice using concepts and skills within the training setting, and not just be a presentation by an expert;
  • be designed by instructional designers who can ensure that the content, the agenda, the activities, and the measurement of learning are achieving the organization’s goals;
  • be delivered by either a Subject Matter Expert trained to facilitate or a professional facilitator;
  • and be accompanied by accurate and complete supporting materials.

For some ideas on how to design training based on adult learning principles, see Facilitating Adult Learning and Tips for Technical Trainers.

Templates to assist you in your design and planning are available here. For more personalized assistance, contact us.


Revised January 23, 2017
Content copyright 2017, Ryan Bannerman Associates

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