2.1 Identify characteristics of learners

mod2-adultstudentsMost of the students at the post-secondary level will exhibit characteristics of “adult learners” and will differ in their motivation and learning styles from children and youth. For these reasons providing a learning environment that suits the learning needs of your students should be based on the particular learning styles of your students’ stage of educational development.

For example, generally, adult learners:

  • Have a greater level of maturity and understanding;
  • Bring a wealth of experience and prior knowledge to a learning situation;
  • Are more likely to choose what they want to learn;
  • Determine the extent to which they will engage in a learning experience based on what they feel is relevant and interesting to them.

Therefore, teaching adults should:

  • Aim to take these factors into account
  • Take advantage of the adult learners’ knowledge and experience
  • Be relevant to what they want to learn [1]

[1] Lieb, S. (1991). Principles of adult learning. Available online: