Topics Map > EPD Instructor Resources > Teaching & Learning

EPD - Teaching & Learning - Theories & Principles - Adult Learning Theory

Adult learning theory, or andragogy, encourages learning that is self-driven.

Adult Learning Theory


Adult learners are motivated by practical application, and need the following principles of andragogy (developed by Malcolm Knowles) to flourish in an educational environment (Toister, 2014):

 Principle Explanation
Need to KnowAdults need to know why they are being asked to learn.
ExperienceLearning should be build upon existing knowledge.
Self-ConceptAdults need to be held responsible for their own growth and learning.
ReadinessMotivation increases when there's an immediate need to learn.
Problem OrientationLearning should be problem-oriented, not content-oriented.
Intrinsic MotivationAdults learn best when motivated from within, not from incentives or other external influences.


Courses must:
  • Explain the purpose of activities
  • Know their audience
  • Hold learners accountable
  • Promote problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Motivate learners to be engaged with the material


Keywords:LDT, teaching and learning theories, designing online courses, instructional design, instructional technology, adult learning, andragogy   Doc ID:99457
Owner:Rebecca K.Group:Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
Created:2020-03-25 12:44 CDTUpdated:2020-04-22 11:45 CDT
Sites:Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
Feedback:  0   0