The Learning & Development PodcastThe Learning & Development Podcast

Adult Learning Theory With Carrie O. Graham

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Adult Learning Theory can help L&D to improve learner engagement, knowledge retention and skills application. In this episode, Dr Carrie O. Graham explores this topic and its application to the priorities of today’s L&D departments.



  • Adult learning theory focuses on the fact that adults learn very differently from children.
  • Improving information retention and ensuring new skills are appropriately and accurately applied cement that learning.
  • Learning can thrive in informal settings.
  • Design the learning experience so that it places the environment where they will use those skills.
  • Make things real for people by comparing what they are doing now with what they will do when using the new skills or information.
  • Incorporate opportunities for problem-solving.
  • Understand what motivates your learners, Carrie shares a couple of examples to help you with this.



'My work focuses on improving the engagement of the adult learner. Supporting their information retention.'

'Understand who they are as a learner.'

'If you’re thinking long-term, using a quantitative assessment of learning is absolutely mandatory. '

'As you are building your content, make references back to who they are as a learner.'



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Carrie O. Graham Bio

Owner of Carrie O. Graham Learning & Solutions, Dr. Graham helps subject matter experts improve learning outcomes by strategically integrating adult learning best practices. A published author, researcher, and conference presenter with 25+ years’ experience in learning, instructional design, and leadership development across industries.

Dr. Graham has a reputation of understanding problems that are stated and revealing what is not stated, then asking critical questions to help people uncover clear and insightful solutions. Not believing in the “one-size-fits-all” approach she customises solutions to support unique individual and organisational needs. 



David James 

David has been a People Development professional for more than 20 years, most notably as Director of Talent, Learning & OD for The Walt Disney Company across Europe, the Middle East & Africa. 

As well as being the Chief Learning Officer at 360Learning, David is a prominent writer and speaker on topics around modern and digital L&D. 



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The Learning & Development Podcast

This is a fortnightly topical podcast show for L&D professionals hosted by David James and presented 
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