Evidence-Based Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners: A Review of the Literature

Rebecca Carlson McCall, Kristy Padron, Carl Andrews


Students who are older than age 25 are increasingly becoming a higher portion of enrollments in higher education. These students, known as adult learners, have different educational needs, expectations, and interests than traditional college students because they enter college with life and work experiences as well as responsibilities. Andragogy is the main theory of adult learning that addresses ways to teach adult learners. While the construct of andragogy is subject to debate, the education field draws on its findings to create learning environments for adult learners. Academic libraries can apply andragogy in their library and information literacy instructional practices. This literature review examines articles in education and library science to summarize key strategies in providing evidence-based instructional strategies to address the needs of adult learners, and identifies the need for further studies on applying andragogy in library instruction.


library instruction; adult learners; andragogy; libraries; learning information literacy

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