Guided Independent Learning: A Teaching and Learning Approach for Adult Learners

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

International Journal of Innovation and Learning


Adult learners bring life and work experiences into the classroom beyond those of the traditional undergraduate student. These same students, however, often lack a firm foundation in the college-level language arts, mathematics, humanities, et al. that help round out perspective and fine-tune critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Although adult students can draw upon a richer context when building new knowledge, they typically exhibit knowledge gaps that must be closed in order to successfully continue on to higher-level coursework. For this reason, courses should be designed and taught with their specific strengths and needs in mind. The development of a modular, hybrid online teaching approach incorporating and employing varying teaching approaches including andragogy, constructivism, collaboration, critical thinking, and other techniques and tools is described. The application of this method to courses in the context of a specialised adult learner programme is examined. The employment of this and related approaches, and the implications for adult learners and universities, is also examined.



Published Citation

Hsu, J., Hamilton, K., & Wang, J. (2015). Guided independent learning: A teaching and learning approach for adult learners. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 17(1), 111-133.