Emerging Conceptualizations of Adult Training and Learning

Wendy L. Bedwell, Sallie J. Weaver, Eduardo Salas and Mitchell Tindall

in The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195390483
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Emerging Conceptualizations of Adult Training and Learning

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Educational Psychology


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The learning landscape is changing. Learning occurs throughout the day, utilizing new content areas and different methods for distribution. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight new directions in adult learning, differentiating it from more traditional forms of learning. Toward this aim, we focus on the what (i.e., content), how (i.e., delivery mechanisms), and why (i.e., issues driving change) of new directions in adult learning. We discuss recent trends in learning content, highlighting what areas are important for adults to know in today’s dynamic work environment. Then we review new directions in learning methodology, looking at how individuals access content (i.e., key evolving formal and informal delivery mechanisms). A discussion of underlying factors driving these workforce changes is then presented, specifying the issue of why there is a need for new directions. We end with points for consideration, drawing up years of training and education literature.

Keywords: learning; training; technology; development; self-directed learning; blended learning; delivery mechanisms; training content; adult learners

Article.  15840 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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