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Adult Learning: Theory to Practice

Discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about adult learning but were afraid to ask.

Anyone who supports others in their learning efforts must at least understand foundational adult learning theory. Decades of research have contributed to our understanding of the way in which adults learn. In this course, discover what motivates adults and how adult learning differs from the traditional academic model.

New from ATD! Self-paced, on-demand courses covering a wide range of topics and employing a variety of interactive learning techniques, including animations, case studies and branching scenarios, expert videos, downloadable tools and templates, an Ask the Expert feature, and relevant ATD articles and blogs. Enroll today and start your program immediately!

  • Self-PacedTake anytime, anywhere

Dates & Locations

Self-Paced (anytime)

12 months online access

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Program Overview

Program Overview

This course distills theory and research to the basics and gives you the language you need to talk to colleagues and stakeholders about developing and maintaining powerful adult learning experiences. See examples of proper application of theory, and gain ample opportunities to reflect on course concepts and decide how those concepts could be applied in real-life scenarios.

Why You Should Attend:

  • Learn the basic theory that supports good adult learning experiences.
  • Apply new theoretical knowledge to real-world problems.
  • Learn from well-respected adult learning practitioners.

Introduction: Watch this video to learn more about the content covered in this course.

What to Expect:

This On Demand e-learning course is available online immediately after purchase. Within the course you will have the opportunity to view video and animations, interact with content, and reflect on your learning. You will have access to this On Demand e-learning course for 12 months from your date of registration.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

After this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe adult learning.
  • Define key terms and theories related to adult learning.
  • Explain core principles of adult learning.
  • Identify the benefits of applying adult learning theory.
  • Apply adult learning principles to real settings.


Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

New learning professionals or others who are not familiar with the theory behind common practices in adult learning. This could include instructional designers or trainers, but also managers responsible for individuals’ learning or subject matter experts who have been asked to help others learn. 

Anyone responsible for creating, supporting, or leading learning experiences for an adult audience will benefit from the foundational concepts in this program. This may include trainers, facilitators, instructional designers, academic educators, community educators, consultants, coaches, and beyond. This program is also applicable if you are not a full-time learning professional but a practitioner or manager who is responsible for developing team members or transferring your knowledge through learning opportunities.

Credits & Attendance

Credits & Attendance

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Earn 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon successfully completing this program. Learn More

Attendance Policy

Full completion of the program within the one-year access period is mandatory in order to receive 0.1 CEUs. Participants who complete all aspects of the program will see their completion status reflected on their transcript in the ATD Learning Portal.

To view our transfer and cancellation policies, please click here

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