Application of Adult Learning Theory in Academia

Running head: Application of Adult Learning Theory in Academia

Application of Adult Learning Theory in Academia
Pamela McClamb
INFT 101-D64

Application of Adult Learning Theory in Academia

A large number of adults between the ages of twenty-five (25) and fifty plus (50+) years are returning to the world of academia, precipitated by changes in workforce dynamics and various socioeconomic factors; loss of employment, reentry into workface, delayed enrollment into postsecondary education and many other reasons. The term pedagogy is concerned with transmission of content in a teacher directed approach, which for years has been the foundational method for educational instruction. Growth in the number of adults entering universities and colleges has prompted the development of learning theories that demonstrate specific intrinsic value, provide guidance as to how to navigate information being presented; relate adult learners ???life experiences??? to subject matter and overcoming preconceived belief regarding education.
Article One
Adult Learning Theory: Applications to Non-Traditional College Students use a familiar scenario which is typical in the current workforce environment of today, a job loss to demonstrate how various Adult learning theories apply to this specific scenario, and many other factors which are drivers for adult learners reentering the academic arena.
Article Two
Assessing Students for Online Learning acknowledges that the concept of online learning or distance learning was not embraced by those in the academia, but because of the great influx of adults returning to school, it has become incumbent upon institution of higher education to seek proactive methods in which to assess the needs of student in the Online learning environment and to increase success rates for these students.

Both articles emphasize the importance of understanding the learning capacity of adult learners in an academic environment and the need to use the Andragogy theory of learning instead of the standard Pedagogy theory in order to effectively bring value to the adult learners view in evaluating the value of obtaining additional knowledge and skill sets.
To effectively serve the growing population of what is categorized as non-traditional, distance or online learners, university educational development teams must understand learning modules and theories associated with how adults comprehends information being presented and use applicable methods of integrating this knowledge transfer within the adult learners frame-work of life.


With a clearer understanding of why I learn and the value I assign to the information garnered positions me to continually assess through tools and resources provide by Liberty University in gauging my ability to be successful and complete my online studies in the capacity of a non- traditional student. The authors Kenner, Weinerman in Adult Learning Theory: Applications to Non-Traditional College Students makes a very insightful statement of ???collegiate level coursework requires adult learners to explore different ways for examining and incorporating information??? (Journal of College Reading and Learning, Volume 41, Issue 2, pages 87-96)
The various practical applications that are outline in article on in the applications of adult learning theories can be applied not only in the scenario of job lost but also in all scenarios in which adults in the age range of twenty-five(25) to fifty(50) years are returning to school. In that I fit into that age range, it is important for me to apply principle framing information to see the correlation and benefits for my academic endeavors.
Assessing an adult learners or online student is crucial in determining the potential of successful completion of distance learning in a virtual scenario. I have participated in a few virtual campus scenario at various interval in my learning phases, enrolling in Liberty was my first experience in actually having an institution assess, what areas of additional preparatory work was required in order for me to be successful.

Both articles, written at various times 2008 and 2011 are still relevant today because even with continual advancement of technology, there still exist a digital divide within the community of adult learners. The ability to apply ingrained fundamental principles of how we view teaching and learning has yet to match the ever growing need of effective and successful reorientation to how adults perceive and comprehend new skills sets and knowledge. It is imperative that developers of educational systems do not lose momentum in shifting the focus of how we educated and present information to adults. Continuous advancement in the study and application of the Adult Learning theory will be critical for the academia and business arena. The landscape of workers is still changing with more people of advanced years and work experience remaining in the workforce. Providing the necessary skill-sets and training resources will become a demand market in the not so near future, and the ability to apply worker life experiences as building block for advancement in learning newer and more productive skills is key in the viability of businesses.

Kenner, C., & Jaso, W. (Spring 2011). Adult Learning Theory: Applications to Non-Tradition College Students. Journal of College Reading and Learning 41.2 , 87-96.
Milligan, A. T., & Buckenmeyer, J. A. (2008). Assessing Students for Online Learning. International Journal on ELearning 7.3 , 449-461.