Pipi Learning
Women studying on laptop.

Does eLearning work for adult learners?

June 30th, 2023 - Student Engagement - Elizabeth Asbury

In recent years, eLearning has become increasingly popular, raising the question: does it work for adult learners?

A research study from New Zealand led by Niki Davis and Jo Fletcher from the University of Canterbury suggests that eLearning can indeed be effective for adults when improving their literacy, language, and numeracy skills. However, the key to success lies in crafting a learning program that meets individual needs and preferences, digital proficiency, and reading literacy levels.

The study concluded that eLearning, particularly when blended with face-to-face support, can be an effective approach to addressing literacy and numeracy learning needs in adults.

It offers numerous benefits to adult learners, making it an excellent choice for those looking to upskill, expand their knowledge, and advance their careers. In this blog, we'll explore the effectiveness of eLearning for adult learners, highlighting the various advantages it offers.

Flexibility and convenience

One of the biggest advantages of eLearning for adult learners is its flexibility. Adult learners often have busy schedules, juggling work, family, and other commitments. Online education and training allow learners to access learning materials and complete coursework at a time that suits them. This means that learners can fit their education around their existing commitments, making it much easier to balance their responsibilities. Furthermore, eLearning platforms can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, eliminating the need for travel to a physical location.

Mobile phone & laptop.

Diverse learning styles and speeds

Adult learners typically have different learning styles and speeds. eLearning offers self-paced learning, allowing learners to move through the material at a pace that suits them. This means that participants can spend more time on topics they find challenging and breeze through topics they already understand. Self-paced learning also enables learners to revisit topics whenever they need to, making it easier to reinforce their learning and ensure comprehension.

Interactive and engaging learning experience

eLearning provides an interactive learning experience, which sets it apart from more traditional forms of training and education. Many eLearning courses incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, interactive quizzes, simulations, and even virtual reality. This not only makes the learning experience more engaging but also reinforces the learning and makes it more memorable.

Pipi eLearning flip card interactive features.

Customized and relevant content 

Another advantage of eLearning is that course content can be tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of adult learners. Many courses can be customized to fit different industries, ensuring the information presented is directly relevant to the learner's career. This relevance can increase motivation and improve retention of the information.

Collaborative learning opportunities

eLearning offers various opportunities for collaboration, allowing adult learners to interact with their peers and instructors. Platforms often include discussion boards, chat rooms, and video conferencing, enabling learners to ask questions, seek feedback, and share ideas with others. This can lead to a richer learning experience, as learners can draw on the experience and knowledge of their peers.


While initial course fees may vary, eLearning often proves to be more cost-effective than traditional classroom-based courses in the long run. Since most courses are accessible online, there is no need to purchase physical textbooks or materials. Additionally, learners save on travel and accommodation costs that may be associated with attending in-person courses. Furthermore, the self-paced nature of eLearning means that adults can learn more quickly, potentially shortening the timeframe of their education, and reducing overall costs.

Improved career prospects

By embracing eLearning, adult learners can improve their skills and knowledge in various areas. Completing courses and gaining certifications demonstrates to potential employers dedication and commitment to improvement. This can lead to better job opportunities, promotions, and increased earning potential.


eLearning presents a highly effective solution for adult learners, catering to their unique needs and preferences. Through flexible scheduling, customized content, and interactive experiences, eLearning enables adults to upskill and further their education, ultimately improving their careers and achieving their goals. As the advantages of eLearning continue to garner attention, it's likely that this innovative approach to adult education will only become more popular in the years to come.

Pipi Hover Text Effect