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Malcolm Knowles (1980) define the andragogical approach to learning climate as being relaxed, trusting, mutually respectful, informal, warm, collaborative, and supportive, with openness, authenticity, and humanness as key contributing factors. Learning theorists consider all these process elements, defined in Knowles's process model of andragogy, to be crucial to adult learning.

Combined strategies, relevant course materials, suitable facilities, and reliable instructional instruments all contribute to success of the learning experience. Independently, these features may not ensure success, but without their relevance to the work environment, guaranteeing success under any circumstances would be difficult.

I have asked several experienced trainers how they apply adult learning principles in their delivery. The following are a summary of their descriptions to help adults learn classified in four main categories:

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Have you ever completed a course of study that truly inspired you? One in which you really got a lot out of the learning experience? You left feeling more competent, at least understanding how you could become more competent, and confident that you could do it!

Have you ever taken a course or participated in a learning session that left you very disappointed? Did you tune out and turn off early in the session? Although you had some interest to learn and grow in the instruction are when you arrived, you left with a negative attitude and with very little you could use.

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