Four Essential Principles of Adult Learning

Four Essential Principles of Adult Learning

One of the principles of adult learning is relevance. Learning is effective when it is relevant to real life situations. Adult learners should know what they will gain from the learning process. Relevance is the key. Using the principle of spaced repetition, training should emphasize what learners need to know. This is especially true for difficult topics. Relevance also helps people understand what they have to gain from the training. And the third principle is active recall.

Active recall involves learning material in a way that is most relevant to the person who is learning.

Active recall

Adult learners are able to remember what they’ve learnt best if they apply it in some way. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including using quizzes, scenario exercises, and case studies. For best results, use a combination of methods and strategies to make learning fun and effective. Active recall principles apply to any training, including courses that are designed for non-learners. If you’re planning to use this strategy in your next training session, here are four essential strategies:

Use regular and specific feedback to motivate adult learners. Specific feedback is most effective when provided while the learning moment is still fresh in the trainee’s mind. Regular, systematic opportunities for practice and review allow trainees to monitor their own progress. Remember to always provide supportive, yet corrective, feedback in a constructive manner. Positive feedback creates a learning climate where the material is more likely to be retained. And when it is offered in a constructive, non-judgmental tone, adult learners respond better to it.


When teaching students, the relevance of adult learning principles can make a big difference. This theory emphasizes the importance of connecting new information with prior knowledge. By placing new knowledge in the context of everyday practice, adult …

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