Some factors that affect adult education include the aging process, motivation, experience and level of engagement of the learner. The learning methods applied also affect adult education.
Aging leads to physical changes such as impaired sight and hearing as well as changes in the cognitive function. These changes affect the ability of an adult to learn.
The level of motivation of the learner affects learning. Motivation diminishes if the instructor fails to encourage and nurture interests in the learner. Adult learners are more motivated if they see a connection between the learning objectives and their own work or life.
Adults bring a range of experiences and preferences into the learning environment. Instructors should give opportunities for adults to use what they already know and apply what they are learning in the learning environment.
Adults have a need to direct and decide for themselves what to learn. They enter into the learning process with a clear goal in mind and generally take a leadership role in learning. Teachers should encourage learners but also reinforce the process of learning.
The instructional methods used to teach new content affect the learners' response to learning. The instructor should employ a variety of instructional methods and also consider the different styles of learning that each adult brings to the class.