Applying Adult Learning Best Practices to Compliance Training

Compliance training has a bad reputation – one which it has mostly earned. Because of irrelevant scenarios and training that focuses on the legal requirements instead of what the employee needs to know, employees have become turned off and tuned out. There is a better way to give training, and it all starts with understanding adult learning.

This whitepaper details current thinking on adult learning best practices, assumptions for adult learning, types of learning styles, and how to apply those theories to compliance training. We will also look at the trends in compliance training and ways to measure the effectiveness of the learning program.

The topics

  • Putting adult learning best practices into action 
  • The underlying assumptions for adult learning
  • Four theories of learning and how to apply them to compliance training
  • Five learning styles
  • Trends in compliance learning
  • Measuring effectiveness 

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An excerpt

Current theories of adult learning are underpinned by the assumptions put forth by American educator Malcolm Knowles in the late 1960s/1970s. These assumptions include the idea that adults want autonomy and to be able to self-direct and control their experience of education.

Knowles posited that adults prefer to act as autonomous learners with teachers working as facilitators of that learning. This establishes a broad model of “teacher,” where the teacher is a mentor, coach, peer, or expert rather than the traditional childhood didactic authority figure reciting facts.

Adults see learning through the framework of their past experiences. They do not arrive at education or training with the fresh eyes of a child. Instead, they apply their existing knowledge and preconceived notions to the learning process.

Where adults seek their own learning, it is based on a desire to gain knowledge, skills, and social interaction, rather than the mandated study undertaken by children. As a result of this, adults expect to be able to immediately apply or to see the application of their learning.

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