Adult Learners and Adult Learning Theory

The following is a group training best completed live, in-person.

Step 1:
Read through this Adult Learners presentation and answer the two questions on the last slide.

Step 2:
Download the following document and complete the questions on page 1 and 4 with the help of the PowerPoint.

Once completed, turn in the training worksheet, along with your answers to the questions in the PowerPoint to your supervisor by the specified deadline.

The following is an independent training to be completed on your own.

This training goes through three adult learning strategies and is designed to teach tutors about non-traditional students and how to accommodate them in tutorial sessions.


This training aligns with CRLA Peer Tutor Certifications Guidelines. Upon completion of this training, peer tutors will be able to:

  • Be able to articulate the characteristics of an adult learner
  • Have the ability to differentiate a tutoring session for a traditional versus non-traditional student
  • Be able to provide motivation for adult learners

Step 1:
Download the Adult Learning Follow-Along PDF. You will use this worksheet to answer questions as you click through the PowerPoint and to get further instructions about your hands-on assignment.

Step 2:
Click through the PowerPoint below, watching all the videos and answering all the questions in the space provided on your worksheet.

Step 3:
To complete your story, make a free account to create stories on Storybird.
(Educators: Note that you can make a "Teacher" account and then create a "Class" from there where you can make accounts for all your students. They will then be automatically registered in your class when they login. You will be able to create assignments specific to your class and receive all the submissions through Storybird!)

Step 4:
Read through the story "Stranded as an Adult Learner".

Step 5:
Create your own story. Choose from any of the illustrations and add your own text to your story. Once you are done, press the Menu in the bottom left corner and press "Publish". Make sure you have a Cover Page and Story Title.

Once you publish your story, submit your story to your Supervisor via email or URL and hand in your completed worksheet to your Supervisor by the specified due date.

Supplemental Readings & Materials

Knowles, M. (1996). Adult Learning. In Robert L. Craig (Ed.), The ASTD Training and Development Handbook (pp. 253-264). NY: McGraw-Hill.

Smith, M. K. (2002) 'Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy', the encyclopedia of informal education,

Video on Adult Learners from Walden University

"Working with Student Veterans and Other Adult Learners" by Jill Cooley, University of Central Florida Veteran's Academic Resource Center.