Many times we have been asked the question: “Andragogy? What is that?”
Andragogy is simply the engagement of the adult learning theories within the knowledge development environment. Many training and eLearning providers completely miss out on this basic element of instruction design for the adult learner.
Andragogy, is similar to the word “pedagogy”. It simply implies to the idea that adult learners think different from child learners. E Learning programs often fail because they have been designed in the “traditional” format. This traditional format follows the rules and styles we have seen in textbooks and classrooms while growing up! Ever experienced an extremely boring “click – next” eLearning program? Something that constantly reminds of the Power Point presentation given out by someone a while ago? Well now you know why you felt that way!
Andragogy is a philosophy coined by cognitive scientists like Malcolm Knowles. An eLearning course that is developed without Malcolm Knowles would inevitably see a shorter shelf life and purchase period!
Principles of Andragogy
Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning:
- Adults need to know why they need to learn something
- Adults need to learn experientially,
- Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and
- Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value.
In practical terms, andragogy means that instruction for adults needs to focus more on the process and less on the content being taught.