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Executive Summary: As humans, we never stop learning. With the advent of learning apps, it has become easier than ever to expand our knowledge and skills. Learning apps for adults incorporate microlearning and spaced repetition. This can be an effective and efficient way to acquire new knowledge and skills. This also provides the flexibility and convenience to learn at one’s own pace. This blog explores the science of adult learning. It also looks at the benefits of using learning apps for adults. It provides guidance on how to choose the right learning app to fit individual learning styles and preferences. The blog also highlights the top 10 learning apps for adults. These apps cover a wide range of topics, from language learning to personal development. By utilizing these learning apps, adults can gain knowledge and skills conveniently and at their own pace. This results in significant personal and professional growth.

As an adult, John always felt like he was falling behind in his career because he lacked certain skills. However, with the rise of learning apps for adults, he finally found a solution. He began using apps that offered courses and tutorials on everything from coding to marketing to graphic design.

Before using the learning apps, John had been skeptical. How could an app teach him something he struggled to learn in a classroom? To his surprise, the apps were interactive and engaging, and he could learn at his own pace. Plus, he could access the courses anywhere, anytime.

As he progressed, John noticed an improvement in his work. His boss praised him for his newfound skills, and he was even promoted! John realized that the learning apps for adults had opened up a whole new world of opportunities for him. Now, he encourages all his friends to try them out.

đź“Ł Message for the reader

Dumping documents, PPTs, and classroom sessions is a waste of your training budget. This is because folks will forget 95% of the concepts within 7 days if not reinforced.

You can’t reinforce each and every concept because of practical limitations. 

What should you do instead? Arm them with one concept at a time. And keep ’em short. A human’s attention span is 8 seconds.

RapL is your software for that.

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Learning apps have significantly improved the way adults learn and enhance their skills. Learning apps make learning easier and more accessible than ever before. With just a few taps on their smartphones or tablets, adults can now unlock a wealth of knowledge. Through this, they can easily advance their careers.

Understanding the science behind adult learning is important. It can further enhance the effectiveness of the apps and benefit the individuals who use them. It can also help individuals better understand and support the learning processes of others. Let’s take a look at the principles and science behind adult learning.

Principles of adult learning

The principles of adult learning are grounded in decades of research. They reflect a deep understanding of how adults learn best. Understanding the science of adult learning can help individuals design effective learning experiences. This can improve their own learning outcomes.

One key aspect of adult learning is the importance of relevant and practical application. Adults want to know why they are learning something. They also want to know how it will benefit them in their personal and professional lives. Learning activities must be relevant and applicable to adult learners’ personal and professional lives. By incorporating real-life problem solving and critical thinking into the learning experience, adult learners can immediately see the relevance of what they are learning and how it can apply in their daily lives. (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2017).

Adults bring a certain amount of prior knowledge and experience to the learning process. (Merriam and Bierema, 2014) emphasize the importance of recognizing and integrating this knowledge into their learning process. This requires a learner-centered approach. This approach values and builds upon the individual learner’s strengths, interests, and experiences. When learners see the relevance of the material to their own prior experience, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in the learning process. This results in more meaningful and lasting learning outcomes. Therefore, the learning experience must be designed in a way that actively engages learners. It must promote critical thinking and problem-solving. It must also provide opportunities for learners to reflect on and apply their learning to real-world situations.

In addition, adult learners are autonomous and self-directed. This means they want to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their own learning (Knowles, 1980). Feedback and recognition for their progress and achievements can further motivate and sustain their learning efforts.

The implementation of mobile learning can transform pedagogy to better suit the needs of the current generation of learners. This leads to more advanced levels of learning. Mobile technology allows learners to access electronic repositories of content and collaborate with peers regardless of location. They can also create a cycle of learner-generated content that benefits other learners. (Ally & Prieto-Blázquez, 2014).

What motivates adult learners?

Motivation plays a crucial role in adult learning. This is because it drives learners to actively engage in the learning process. When adult learners are motivated, they are more likely to persist in their studies, take risks, and apply what they have learned in practical settings. This leads to more significant learning outcomes. At least six factors serve as sources of motivation for adult learning:

  • Social relationships: Building social connections is a fundamental human need. Adult learners may be motivated to learn in order to form new friendships or networks. Learning in a social setting can be a rewarding experience that fosters collaboration, teamwork, and mutual support.

  • External expectations: Adults may feel compelled to learn in order to comply with the expectations of others, such as a boss or supervisor. Or, they may want to fulfill the requirements of a formal authority figure. Such external expectations can be a powerful motivator for adult learners.

  • Social welfare: Many adults are motivated to learn in order to improve their ability to serve their community. They are driven by the desire to make a positive impact on society. This motivation can be especially strong for individuals passionate about social justice or community development.

  • Personal advancement: Advancing in one’s career or profession is a common motivation for adult learners. Learning new skills or knowledge can help individuals stay competitive in the job market. It can even help them qualify for promotions and raises.

  • Escape/Stimulation: For some adults, learning can provide a much-needed break from the monotony of daily life or work. Learning can be a fun and stimulating activity that provides a sense of excitement and adventure.

  • Cognitive interest: Some adult learners are motivated simply by a love for learning. They may desire to explore new ideas and concepts. These learners may be curious about a variety of topics and motivated to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

The four critical elements of learning

  1. Motivation: Motivation is the driving force that compels a person to engage in a particular behavior. It is an essential element of learning, because it creates the necessary enthusiasm and interest that leads to effective learning. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic, and is influenced by various factors such as personal interests, goals, rewards, and learning environment. RapL’s platform uses features like gamified learning and attractive reference materials to keep employees motivated and engaged in the training programs.

  2. Reinforcement: Reinforcement is the process of increasing the likelihood of a behavior by providing a stimulus that follows the behavior. It is an essential element of learning, because it strengthens the connection between the behavior and the consequence. Reinforcement can be positive or negative, and it can be used to increase desirable behaviors or decrease undesirable ones. RapL’s platform uses AI-based spaced repetition to boost reinforcement. AI-based spaced repetition techniques can be used as a positive reinforcement tool to improve concept reinforcement. Spaced repetition is a method that involves repeating information at increasing intervals to improve long-term retention. By using an algorithm to determine when and how frequently to review material, RapL’s spaced repetition feature maximizes the efficiency of learning and promotes better recall over time.

  3. Retention: Retention is the ability to remember and recall information or skills learned over time. It is an essential element of learning, because it ensures that the information or skills are stored in long-term memory and can be accessed when needed. Retention is influenced by various factors such as repetition, practice, relevance, and emotional engagement. RapL leverages microlearning to boost knowledge retention. Microlearning involves breaking down complex topics into easily digestible pieces. RapL’s use of microlearning incorporates repetition, practice, relevance, and emotional engagement through short, focused bursts of information.

  4. Transference: Transference is the ability to apply knowledge, skills, or concepts learned in one context to another. It is a critical element of learning that ensures learners can transfer what they have learned to new and unfamiliar situations. Factors that influence transference include the similarity between the original and new contexts, the level of understanding of the underlying principles, and the amount of practice and feedback. Effective transference strategies include creating analogies, using case studies, and providing opportunities for practice in diverse contexts. RapL uses scenario-based MCQs in the quizzes. This ensures practical application of learned skills, which promotes transference. Testing their knowledge through practical scenarios helps learners apply knowledge in new situations.
Four Critical Elements of Learning

Benefits of learning apps for adults

  • Accessibility and flexibility: With learning apps for adults, learners can access educational content anywhere, anytime, and at their own pace. Whether they are at home, work, or on-the-go, learning apps enable adults to fit education into their busy lives. Additionally, learning apps for adults allow learners to repeat lessons, take notes, and interact with the material. This makes it easier to absorb and retain knowledge. Learning apps for adults provide a convenient and flexible approach to lifelong learning.

  • Personalization: Learning apps for adults offer learners a tailored experience based on their needs, interests, and learning styles. With personalized content, learners can focus on what they need to learn, and skip what they already know. This approach saves time and improves retention. Learning apps for adults offer personalized feedback and assessments. This enables learners to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Personalization in learning apps for adults enhances the learning experience and makes it more effective for adults.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Learning apps for adults are generally more affordable than traditional educational methods, such as attending in-person classes or hiring a personal tutor. With learning apps for adults, learners can access high-quality educational content without breaking the bank. Additionally, learning apps for adults eliminate the need for travel or transportation expenses associated with attending classes in person. Learning apps for adults offer a cost-effective way for adults to continue their education and improve their skills, regardless of their budget.

  • Interactive and engaging: Learning apps for adults use gamification, multimedia, and interactive features to make learning more fun and engaging. This approach helps learners stay motivated and interested in the material. This leads to better retention and understanding. Additionally, learning apps for adults enable learners to interact with the material, ask questions, and receive instant feedback. This personalized approach to learning enhances the experience, and makes it more enjoyable for adults, leading to better results.

By understanding these benefits of learning apps for adults, learners can choose an app that meets their unique needs and preferences. This can help ensure they have the best possible learning experience. Ultimately, the right learning app can make a significant difference in an adult’s career and personal growth. Now, let’s understand how to choose the right learning app.

How to choose the right learning app

  • Consider learning goals: Learning goals are an essential part of choosing the right learning app. It is crucial to identify the skills that need to be learned or improved, and the objectives that need to be achieved. By doing so, an appropriate app can be selected that aligns with those needs and provides relevant content. For example, if the goal is to improve coding skills, then an app that focuses on programming languages should be chosen. Selecting an app that meets specific learning goals can maximize the learning experience.

  • Evaluate learning style: Understanding whether one is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner can help select an app that delivers content in a way that suits their learning style. For example, visual learners may prefer an app that incorporates images and videos, while auditory learners may prefer one that includes audio recordings. Evaluating learning style can help find an app that delivers content in a way that maximizes the learning experience.

  • Assess budget and time commitment: It is essential to choose an app within the budget, and that does not require more time commitment. Some learning apps may require a subscription fee, while others may have a one-time purchase price. Additionally, it is important to consider the time available for learning. By assessing budget and time commitment, one can find an app that is affordable and feasible to use.

  • Read reviews and compare features: Reviews from other users can provide valuable insight into the app’s best features. It is also important to compare the features of different apps to find the one that best meets specific learning goals. For instance, some apps may offer more interactive features, while others may focus on providing a more comprehensive curriculum. By reading reviews and comparing features, one can make an informed decision on the best learning app for their needs.

How to Choose the Right Learning App

Now, let’s explore the top 10 learning apps for adults.

Top 10 learning apps for adults

App Name

Top Features

Pros

Cons



RapL

Bite-sized lessons, personalized curriculum, gamified learning approach

Interactive and engaging learning experience, real-life scenarios, ability to track progress

Occasional technical glitches



Duolingo

Gamified learning, short lessons, audio and visual cues

Free to use, interactive and engaging learning experience, wide range of languages

Repetitive exercises, frequent ads/prompts to upgrade to premium



Coursera

Massive open online courses (MOOCs), instructor-led courses, industry-recognized certificates

Wide range of courses, prestigious partner universities, flexible schedules

Limited interaction with instructors; some courses are expensive



LinkedIn

Learning

Personalized course recommendations, high-quality video content, progress tracking

Wide range of courses, reputable instructors, integration with LinkedIn profiles

Limited interaction with instructors; requires a LinkedIn subscription



Udemy

Wide range of courses, lifetime access to course material, instructor Q&A sessions

Affordable courses, self-paced learning, often on sale

Variable course quality, no formal certification, some courses are outdated



Rosetta

Stone

Immersive language learning, speech recognition technology, adaptive curriculum

Focus on speaking and listening, immersive approach, personalized learning

Expensive, limited languages available



Memrise

Gamified learning, native speaker videos, spaced repetition

Free to use, engaging and interactive, offers a wide range of languages

Inconsistent quality of courses, some courses are repetitive



Skillshare

Creative courses, hands-on projects, community interaction

Affordable courses, engaging and practical learning, community of learners and instructors

Limited courses, not suited to all learning styles, not industry recognized



Babbel

Focus on practical language skills, speech recognition technology, personalized learning

Engaging and interactive learning, affordable, offers a wide range of languages

Limited courses, occasional technical glitches



edX

Massive open online courses (MOOCs), instructor-led courses, micro-credentials and certificates

Wide range of courses, prestigious partner universities, affordable and free options

Limited interactivity and support from instructors, technical issues with the platform

In conclusion, learning apps for adults have become the future of education and training. With innovative features and user-friendly interfaces, these apps are quickly becoming the go-to choice for companies and individuals looking to enhance their learning experiences. RapL is a leading provider of such learning apps, offering engaging and high-quality content to inspire learners to grow and improve. For more information on how RapL can help you, please contact us at hello@getrapl.com.

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1. Speak to us if you want a microlearning strategy deep-dive: Microlearning is extremely effective, if approached sensibly. Microlearning is the answer to today’s shortening attention spans and we know how to make learning successful via microlearning. Drop your context here and we shall partner with you for the rest.

2. Lap up more content: We have written some intense literature on how microlearning is the superglue between people and successful business operations. Access all of it here.

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