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Creating E-Learning Based on Adult Learning Theory

, IBM, Design & Information Development, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-56-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Today, more and more businesses and universities are implementing e-learning. But, in a hurry to embrace technology, some developers forget that e-learning is, at its core, all about learning, and so the needs of adult learners become secondary. Many e-learning courses are ineffective and fail to hold the attention of students. As a result, course completion rates can be low, reflecting poorly on the course developers. E-learning developers must understand how adults learn, in order to create quality multimedia materials. This paper examines the seven principles of adult learning, according to Malcolm Knowles, and how to apply them to e-learning courses. Techniques to help create engaging, relevant course content, including blended learning, interactivity and simulated problem solving are discussed. Using these techniques will help developers to design effective courses that students are motivated to complete.


Olka, K. (2005). Creating E-Learning Based on Adult Learning Theory. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2005--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2924-2931). Montreal, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved October 15, 2019 from .