Andragogical Considerations: How eLearning Helps

Andragogical Considerations In eLearning
Summary: The capability to learn sets humans apart from other animals. Learning is a key characteristic of intelligence. Learning is an art as well as a science. For centuries, scholars have been researching how humans learn and how we can make humans learn better.

Andragogical Considerations

The way kids learn differs significantly from the way adults learn. Likewise, there are two fields of study about how humans learn: pedagogy and andragogy. Pedagogy deals with children and their learning process while andragogy deals with adults and how they learn. Thus, to design effective learning material for adults, we need to consider andragogical factors. Adult education, or andragogy, explores the ways adults learn and helps us formulate an instructional strategy for adult learners.

In today’s era where eLearning is increasing in popularity day by day, some scholars are skeptical about how andragogically fit eLearning modules are. The way adults learn is significantly different from the way children learn. The physical, social, emotional, and individual learning needs and motivation for adults are quite different, and course learning material should address these issues for an adult. Adults just don’t learn for the sake of learning, they are purpose-driven and need-driven. Let’s find out how eLearning modules address andragogical requirements and make learning effective for adult learners. Here we will examine the 6 key aspects of adult learning and how eLearning addresses them.

6 Key Aspects Of Adult Learning

1. Need For knowledge

As stated earlier, adults don’t learn for the sake of it, they learn when they have a purpose. They learn when they need a specific skill or knowledge.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning is perhaps the best suited for need-based learning intervention. The two most prominent eLearning delivery formats, Just-In-Time training and microlearning, are the perfect answers to need-based learning solutions. Anyone can take an eLearning module whenever they need a skill. eLearning modules are accessible anytime, anywhere and are thus perfect for adult learners. Another popular eLearning format is microlearning, which is focused and specific to learning needs.

2. Motivation 

Adult learners are intrinsically motivated, unlike young learners who are extrinsically motivated. Adult learners get motivated when the learning material addresses their real-life problems or enhances their present skills.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning can make the most use of learning analytics by analyzing learning behavior such as time spent, progress, feedback, formative assessment, and so on. Learning analytics lays the foundation of understanding how the learner reacts to particular learning materials and how it can be improved to enhance the learning experience.

3. Willingness 

Adults are curious about the relevance of learning outcomes of a particular module and how it will help them in their lives. They want to be sure about what is in the module for them.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning enables the learner to navigate the course material and thus get a glimpse of what is in the module for them. This increases the willingness of the learners to take the module.

4.  Previous Experience 

Unlike children, adult learners are bestowed with experience which plays a key role in the way they learn. Adults like to share their experiences and learn from other's experiences, which validates the learning material in their real life.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning enables social learning and breaks the barrier of time and space. Thus, learners can share their experiences via in-built platforms such as forums, wikis, discussion boards, etc.

5. Self-Direction 

Adults like to self-direct and control what and how they learn.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning is the best-suited form of learning delivery that allows for self-directed learning. eLearning gives total control to the learner, allowing them to decide how they want to learn, how much time want to spend, when to learn, and where to learn. It gives complete control over the learning experience and thus caters to the self-directed need of adult learners.

6. Learning By Doing 

Adults like to learn by doing, they like to be active learners rather than passive learners. They like to explore, experiment, and align their learning with their job or real-life tasks.

How eLearning Helps

eLearning provides a lot of interactivities and simulations, scenarios, etc., where learners can learn by doing. They can interact with the screen elements and practice their skills in a virtual or simulated environment.


eLearning is gaining popularity not simply because it sounds cool but because it is based on a sound andragogical foundation. It helps educators efficiently address adult learning needs. We can say that eLearning is andragogy-friendly.

ISO certified learning & software solutions company.