The prospect of advancing your career is exciting — but the journey can be difficult. Adult learners face a unique set of challenges. While pedagogy refers to the process of teaching children, andragogy is the process of helping adults to learn. It assumes that adult learners are autonomous, intrinsically motivated and goal-oriented, and that they have gathered some previous experience.
Skip to main content. Published: 07 Mar By Sasha Pleasance. The purpose of this article is both to highlight barriers to the learning process and to share some techniques and strategies teachers can use to help overcome them. From my own experiences of working with adults returning to education, there can be a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Physically entering a classroom for the first time is an intimidating experience for most adults; that first step can be daunting and scary.
When it comes to learning, adults are not over sized children. Maturity brings unique characteristics that affect how adults are motivated to learn. By appealing to the unique qualities of adult learners, we can design more effective and motivating online courses.
Given the need for flexibility in scheduling and financing, conventional classroom settings and assessments based on seat-time often create unnecessary barriers for adults wanting to improve their knowledge, skills, and behavior. The good news is, there are several ways institutions can use technology to not only meet learners where they are, but to also serve adult students the way they learn best. When confronted with the prospect of having to complete a degree over 4 years, some adult learners find themselves having to choose employment and groceries over their education. However, the rewards for earning post-secondary credentials are quite convincing.