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Adult Learning Certificate

Harness the experience and self-direction of adult learners in all your development initiatives.

Reach your adult learners where they are with best practices and proven techniques.

Credits: CEU 0.9
Level: Foundational
Role(s): Instructional Designer More
Language(s): English
Course Info

Practices for successful adult learning differ greatly from those for teaching children. In this interactive, self-paced certificate program, you will gain foundational knowledge of the theories underlying best practices for adult learning in the workplace and discover strategies to add to your learning and education toolbox.

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Practices for successful adult learning differ greatly from those for teaching children. In this interactive, self-paced certificate program, you will gain foundational knowledge of the theories underlying best practices for adult learning in the workplace and discover strategies to add to your learning and education toolbox.

This comprehensive certificate program includes eight application-based courses, each covering a different facet of adult learning. You’ll be exposed to a variety of interactive learning techniques, including animations, case studies, branching scenarios, expert videos, downloadable tools and templates, an Ask the Expert feature, and relevant ATD articles and blogs. After completing all eight courses, wrap up your learning experience with a capstone that guides you in prioritizing your learning and determining how to apply it at work.

Chart your own learning path! Adult Learning course modules can be purchased and taken individually in whatever sequence you prefer. Enroll in the full certificate program to gain a comprehensive mastery of planning, designing, and developing impactful learning for an adult audience, or decide later after taking one, two, or more modules whether to pursue the certificate.

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 the course(s) for 12 months from your registration date.


  • Gain a complete understanding of adult learning theory to help you improve your talent development efforts.
  • Get actionable advice from well-respected adult learning practitioners via the course videos.
  • Learn at your own pace, gain mastery through a variety of interactive learning techniques, and get access to a set of practical, ATD-exclusive tools to use on the job.

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What You Will Learn
  • Illustrate adult learning key terms and assumptions.
  • Use methods for assessing the needs of adult learners.
  • Employ instructional design techniques for developing learning content.
  • Apply methods that engage and motivate learners.
  • Choose technology that meets learning objectives.
  • Demonstrate strategies for extending learning beyond the classroom.
  • Produce plans for supporting transfer of learning.
  • Employ approaches for evaluating the successful application of learning.

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Module 1 - Adult Learning: Theory to Practice

No matter what role you play in your organization, if you assist others in learning, the foundations of adult learning theory are important. Years of research have gone into the understanding of how adults learn, what motivates them to learn more, and how this is different from a traditional academic model of learning.

Module 2 - Assessing Learning Needs

What do the learners need to know, and how will you find out? Assessing learning needs is all about identifying the goals and purposes for learning and ensuring they support both the organization and the individuals. Focus on assessing learning needs at three levels—the organization, the job or task, and the individual. Ask the right questions to get the right information.

Module 3 - Developing Learning Content

What are your top tips for designing and developing learning content? Applying a model to your development process will strengthen your ability to develop quality learning content in an efficient manner. Consider the importance of adult learning principles in developing content that is appropriate for your audience.

Module 4 - Motivating and Engaging Learners

What does it take to motivate and engage adult learners? Learn the best practices for gaining the attention of learners and keeping it throughout the learning experience. Use the principles of adult learning to create exciting formal and informal learning.

Module 5 - Selecting Learning Technologies

Technology is everywhere. It can be very powerful when used to support learning programs. Learn what you need to consider when selecting a learning technology and how to use technology to add value.

Module 6 - Extending the Classroom

Learning doesn’t need to be forced into a traditional classroom environment. Learning happens everywhere, so how does the learning professional support that with intention? Consider how to support learners before, during, and after learning events. Find out what role supervisors play in supporting the learning of their employees.

Module 7 - Applying Learning in the Workplace

How can you be sure learning experiences are resulting in improved performance in the workplace? Focus on the learning outcomes, involve all the key players, and support your learners in applying new knowledge and skills on their jobs.

Module 8 - Measuring Learning Results

Evaluation is important to the learner, the learning professional, and the organization. Without a strategy for evaluation, how do you know if learning programs are achieving their intended objectives? Explore the importance of collecting and exchanging feedback to improve learning programs.

Who Should Attend

Professionals in workplace learning, career and technical education, higher education, community education, healthcare education, and so forth. Individuals who are occasional trainers and educators will also greatly benefit from this foundational survey course in adult learning.

Level: Foundational
Roles: Instructional Designer, Trainer
Language: English
What Our Participants Are Saying
Cindy Lam

"ATD is an organization dedicated to talent development - with their research and expertise, I trust that their programs can give me what I am looking for to implement within my organization."

Ruth de Zayas

"ATD is a leader in the industry and their credential and certificate programs are a valuable asset to have on your resume."

Annie Myers

"ATD has a strong reputation in the training and development community. Having an ATD endorsement is a globally recognized "feather-in-your-cap."

Things To Know



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

If applicable, a certificate will be issued to you through the ATD Learning Portal at the end of the program.


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0.9 CEUs awarded

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