MODEL

Adult Learner

Systems Change
Adult Learner

About This Model

The goals for adult learning include being able to use literacy, numeracy, problem solving, communication, and digital skills effectively across contexts. Understanding the Learner Factors and strategies that impact adult literacies and how they connect to each other can help you build tools and lessons that support all learners.

Our research highlights several key themes about adult learning

Adults need a variety of 21st-century foundational skills to survive and thrive.

Digital Literacy and Oral Communication Skills are critical to pursuing opportunities in the workforce and everyday life.

  • Collaborative strategies such as peer feedback can strengthen learners’ content knowledge as well as interpersonal skills.

Problem Solving skills encompass both critical thinking and creativity, which allow adults to evaluate evidence and generate novel solutions.

  • Encouraging learners to use new technology and create multimedia projects builds confidence in these skills.

Adults must see the benefit of learning tasks to fully engage.

Adults are independent learners who may have complex reasons for setting and persisting at learning goals.

  • To maintain their Motivation in learning, addressing authentic scenarios and purposes allows them to see how new information can be used in the real world.

Adults bring many assets to their learning including extensive Background Knowledge, but they may not recognize the value of that knowledge.

Engaging in lifelong learning activities is interconnected with general well-being.

Having greater emotional, cognitive, and Physical Well-being can positively impact learning; in turn, engaging in learning can improve adults’ life satisfaction and outcomes such as income and social capital.

Adults can face barriers to learning stemming from their Socioeconomic Status, lack of Social Supports, or Adverse Experiences, including negative past experiences with schooling.

  • Building self-advocacy and metacognitive skills allows learners to understand their own learning process and what they need to succeed.

The Research Behind This Model

To create each Learner Variability Project Learner Model, we follow a systematic methodology led by our expert researchers. The process is also overseen by an advisory board of leading content area and learning sciences experts.

Advisory Board for Adult Learner Model

These leading researchers supported the development of our Adult Learner Model and are a source of continued suggestions for improvement.

Brendaly Drayton, Ph.D.

Scholar in Residence, Learning Communities, Pennsylvania State University

Daphne Greenberg, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Georgia State University Adult Literacy Research Center

Jutta Heckhausen, Ph.D.

Professor, University of California: Irvine, Department of Psychological Science

Nicole Ofiesh, Ph.D.

Chief Innovation Officer, Potentia Institute
Adult Learner

Adults need a variety of 21st-century foundational skills to survive and thrive.

Digital Literacy and Oral Communication Skills are critical to pursuing opportunities in the workforce and everyday life.

  • Collaborative strategies such as peer feedback can strengthen learners’ content knowledge as well as interpersonal skills.

Problem Solving skills encompass both critical thinking and creativity, which allow adults to evaluate evidence and generate novel solutions.

  • Encouraging learners to use new technology and create multimedia projects builds confidence in these skills.

Adults must see the benefit of learning tasks to fully engage.

Adults are independent learners who may have complex reasons for setting and persisting at learning goals.

  • To maintain their Motivation in learning, addressing authentic scenarios and purposes allows them to see how new information can be used in the real world.

Adults bring many assets to their learning including extensive Background Knowledge, but they may not recognize the value of that knowledge.

Engaging in lifelong learning activities is interconnected with general well-being.

Having greater emotional, cognitive, and Physical Well-being can positively impact learning; in turn, engaging in learning can improve adults’ life satisfaction and outcomes such as income and social capital.

Adults can face barriers to learning stemming from their Socioeconomic Status, lack of Social Supports, or Adverse Experiences, including negative past experiences with schooling.

  • Building self-advocacy and metacognitive skills allows learners to understand their own learning process and what they need to succeed.

Next:

Adults must see the benefit of learning tasks to fully engage.

View Theme 2

Next:

Engaging in lifelong learning activities is interconnected with general well-being.

View Theme 3

Next:

Adults need a variety of 21st-century foundational skills to survive and thrive.

View Theme 1