Andragogical learning: why it works.


The traditional learning environment has changed. Online higher education has gained huge popularity over recent years, with its flexibility and accessibility for those with busy schedules.

Following the events of the global pandemic, traditional students also found themselves out of the classroom and learning behind a screen. It is no secret that students and teachers alike have struggled to adopt a more traditional pedagogical approach to learning to a virtual learning experience. This inevitably led to questions around traditional methods of teaching and what is best for university students.

As a result of recent events, it is likely university students will develop a hybrid style of learning, with a mixture of online and in-person study. It is no surprise then, that the andragogical approach to learning is at the forefront of higher education. Which has led many to question – will the more conventional methods of teaching be a thing of the past?

In this blog, we will dive into what andragogy is, and why it is so successful.

What is Andragogical learning?

Andragogical learning puts the student at the forefront, allowing their learning to be self-directed. Tutors are not there to spoon-feed information in a lecture hall. Rather, they are present to support and guide them. It is an immersive method of learning allowing intuition and independent education to thrive. Andragogical teaching presents a more relaxed environment, centering around collaboration with engaged students willing to learn, and are more likely to present experimental tactics.

Why does it work?

The truth is, adults learn differently from children, and so they need to be taught differently. After high school, lessons that can directly relate to the workplace and translate into skills as an employee are more sought after and valued. Students are looking for experience in practical scenarios for their chosen field of work. Creating a space for students to collaborate, think for themselves, and act as a guide and support for their own journey. The tutor does not control the narrative and learning is not based on their knowledge, allowing students to think for themselves.

The benefits in higher education

For students taking on master's, MBA, and postgraduate diploma courses, andragogical learning has huge benefits. It enables students to fully immerse themselves in the material, instead of being lectured. They lead themselves in researching, exploring, and discussing solutions to scenarios brought to them. They are expected to work within a team and practice skills needed for their future career path. Resulting in graduates who are work-ready and able to hit the ground running in their chosen specialist area.

Managing director at Learna, Steve Davies, agrees: “Beyond academia, many of these practices are equally well applied to the corporate world of work where graduates are expected to demonstrate work-ready skills. Including problem-solving, active listening, teamwork, and decision making, beyond those of the specific skills required for the job itself.”

At Learna we have been perfecting our online learning platform for over 10 years. With our courses, there are no lectures, seminars, or set times for study. Our programmes are taught through immersive scenario-based forums, and self-reflection focusing on solutions. Our deeply engaging, discussion-led courses mean you can interact and network with like-minded multidisciplinary colleagues from all over the world. Giving you fresh perspectives and new experiences that a traditional ‘sage on the stage’ pedagogical classroom simply could not.

To find out more about our wide range of andragogical led programmes visit