As I discussed in my most recent post the topic of andragogy and how it refers to adult learners, I came across the following question:

What makes an “Adult Learner an adult?”

In the United States, a child legally becomes an adult at the age of eighteen. However, there is a chance that many of these so-called “children” must take on adult responsibilities before actually reaching the age of eighteen.

On the other hand, there are people in the United States who are legally considered to be adults but do not have the same set of responsibilities as an average adult may have.

A few examples of the adult responsibilities that I refer to are maintaining a job, paying bills and raising children.

During our analysis when designing instruction, when we consider adult learners, we need to consider the life experience of individuals rather than the actual number of years in which one has lived.

Throughout my years as a teacher and student, I have become very familiar with the concept of pedagogy. I don’t think it’s possible to to be a K-12 teacher without having some familiarity with this slightly overused and many times misinterpreted term.

For anyone who may be reading this that may be unfamiliar with this term, I used to describe the term pedagogy as a one’s method of teaching learners. However, since I have been introduced to the term andragogy, I would like to add that pedagogy should also be primarily used when referring to non-adult learners.

(Now you may be asking yourself, What is a non-adult learner? Who qualifies as a non-adult learner? – I will discuss this in a later post).

On another note, the concept of andragogy is new to me. Oxford languages describes andragogy as, “the method and practice of teaching adult learners; adult education“.

So, besides the actual age of the learners, what distinguishes the practice of andragogy from pedagogy?

In regards to instruction, andragogy is used by implementing instructional methods that provide learning for adult learners to access to learn while pedagogy is used by implementing instructional methods that attempt to teach non-adult learners.

Due to the different daily life and responsibilities of adult learners, there is much to consider when providing them with meaningful learning experiences.

In summary, as Instructional Designers we should not approach adult learners expecting to teach them as if we were walking into a high school classroom to instruct an AP U.S. History class. Instead, when creating learning exercises for adults, we should continue to ask ourselves, “Am I teaching this or am I providing a variety of learning opportunities for all different types of adult learners?”


Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2018). Adult learning: linking theory and practice. Vancouver, B.C.: Langara College.

As I begin my third (and final) year as a graduate student in UNC Wilmington’s Instructional Technology program, there are a few goals that I would like to accomplish:

Goal 1: Create a Web Portfolio

Purpose: To exhibit the work and projects that I have completed for my classes, contract positions, and current position as Instructional Technology Facilitator that involves a fair amount of EdTech Coaching.

Goal 2: Create/Edit Professional Social Media Accounts

Purpose: To meet (and learn from) other professionals in the industry, potentially meet future employers and provide multiple access points to my web portfolio as well as my work. To begin, I will most likely use LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Goal 3: Blog

Purpose: To begin writing/blogging about my life and work as I attempt to transition from the role of a IT Facilitator/Teacher to the role of an Instructional Designer. My entries will include different topics that I am studying in the program, different software and hardware that I use/learn to create instruction, balancing my life as a husband/father/student/employee, steps I take to transition from K-12 education to a higher education, corporate, or government setting (I have yet to decide which route I will pursue), and anything else that may inspire my design.

I hope that completing these goals will assist those who are in similar positions as they transition into the role of an Instructional Designer.