Some factors influencing adult learners in the way they approach their studies include:
- prior learning;
- access to other learners;
- access to resources in workplace or home;
- prior training;
- sense of failure;
- prejudice; and
- How many learners are you likely to have?
- What ages are they? Are they children? Adults?
- Are your learners men? women?
- What is their family status?
- How many children do they have?
- What is their geographic location (for example, rural, urban)?
- What is their previous education?
- What language or languages do they read and speak?
- Do they hold jobs?
- Why are they learning?
- How might your programme relate to their lives or work?
- What do they want from the programme?
- What are their hopes and fears?
- What are their beliefs about learning?
- What learning styles do they prefer?
- What learning skills do they have (for example, reading ability)?
- What experience do they have of open and distance learning?
- How do they feel about the subject of the programme?
- What knowledge and skills do they already have in that subject?
- What misconceptions or inappropriate habits do they have?
- What personal interests and experience might they have that are relevant?
- Where, when, and how will they be learning?
- Who will be paying their fees or expenses?
- How much time will they have available for study?
- What access will they have to facilities such as study centres?
- What access will they have to the equipment and media required for the course?
- What access will they have to human support from tutors, mentors, colleagues, and other learners?
Learner Support in Open and Distance Learning. The Commonwealth of Learning and Asian Development Bank.