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Adult Learning Principles Training Focuses on Developing and Empowering Adult Learners


Benchmarks’ Center for Quality Integration (CQi) builds and implements prototype projects in North Carolina and through that implementation the impact of effective training programs has been critical to sustaining long-term project successes. To that end, how well the facilitators or trainers understand and develop instructional strategies for adult learners is an important measure of training programs.  

Benchmarks’ CQi is thrilled to now include an “Adult Learning Principles” (ADLP) training module within their training menu. Adult Learning Principles training assists participants in preparing to effectively teach and empower adult learners. Both learning experiences and outcomes for adult learners can be enhanced when these specific principles are applied. Adult learning principles recognize that adults have unique characteristics, experiences and motivations that inspire their learning processes. Facilitators must understand the motivation of their adult learners. Some adult learners are intrinsically motivated to be a lifelong learner for the sake of knowledge, but that is typically not the motivation for most. Adult learners’ motivations may include completion of training hours and certification requirements, to enhance their understanding of how to best help those they serve, or to obtain knowledge that will allow them to pursue career advancement. Adult learning principles aid in fostering a culture of lifelong learning by supporting adult learners in acquiring new knowledge and skills that will help them remain relevant and to thrive in a rapidly evolving work environment.

Adult learning principles emphasize the importance of allowing adults to take control of their learning and engage in self-paced and self-directed activities. The sense of autonomy and ownership can lead to increased engagement. Adults bring a plethora of life experiences, knowledge, and skills to their learning environment and by acknowledging and respecting these, facilitators can incorporate real-life examples and practical applications of the material to build upon the experiences of their adult learners. This aids adult learners in seeing the immediate relevance of the content being trained, which will enhance their understanding and retention of the new information. By building upon the foundation of their current knowledge, adults feel valued and empowered.

“Adult Learning Principles” training helps facilitators recognize that adult learners have different learning styles. It is impossible to develop a training that will be a perfect fit for all training participants’ learning styles at once, but facilitators can use adult learning principles to help them to train in a way that incorporates a variety of training elements for a variety. This includes training through lecturing, role playing, activities, and discussions, all of which can increase the efficacy of the training. The diversity of training strategies includes something for every learning style while enhancing the training for all participants.

Overall, the “ADLP” training aims to support facilitators in understanding the unique characteristics and motivations of adult learners. By applying these principles, facilitators can create learning environments that promote engagement, relevance, and effectiveness, ultimately fostering a culture of lifelong learning.

To learn more about this training, as well as our other Benchmarks’ trainings, please visit:

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