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      Adult Learning Theories in Context: A Quick Guide for Healthcare Professional Educators


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          Adult learning theories play a pivotal role in the design and implementation of education programs, including healthcare professional programs. There is a variation in the use of theories in healthcare professional education programs and this is may be in part due to a lack of understanding of the range of learning theories available and paucity of specific, in-context examples, to help educators in considering alternative theories relevant to their teaching setting. This article seeks to synthesize key learning theories applicable in the learning and teaching of healthcare professionals and to provide examples of their use in context.

          Method and results:

          A literature review was conducted in 2015 and 2016 using PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and ERIC academic databases. Search terms used identified a range of relevant literature about learning theories, and their utilization in different healthcare professional education programs. The findings were synthesized and presented in a table format, illustrating the learning theory, specific examples from health and medical education, and a very brief critique of the theory.


          The literature synthesis provides a quick and easy-to-use summary of key theories and examples of their use to help healthcare professional educators access a wider range of learning theories to inform their instructional strategies, learning objectives, and evaluation approaches. This will ultimately result in educational program enhancement and improvement in student learning experiences.

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          Most cited references46

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          Adult learning theories: implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 83.

          There are many theories that explain how adults learn and each has its own merits. This Guide explains and explores the more commonly used ones and how they can be used to enhance student and faculty learning. The Guide presents a model that combines many of the theories into a flow diagram which can be followed by anyone planning learning. The schema can be used at curriculum planning level, or at the level of individual learning. At each stage of the model, the Guide identifies the responsibilities of both learner and educator. The role of the institution is to ensure that the time and resources are available to allow effective learning to happen. The Guide is designed for those new to education, in the hope that it can unravel the difficulties in understanding and applying the common learning theories, whilst also creating opportunities for debate as to the best way they should be used.
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            Perspective Transformation

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              Within and Beyond Communities of Practice: Making Sense of Learning Through Participation, Identity and Practice*


                Author and article information

                J Med Educ Curric Dev
                J Med Educ Curric Dev
                Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                10 April 2019
                Jan-Dec 2019
                : 6
                [1 ]Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, University of Bath, Bath, UK
                Author notes
                [*]Banan Abdulrzaq Mukhalalati, Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar. Email: banan.m@ 123456qu.edu.qa
                © The Author(s) 2019

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                : 19 May 2018
                : 15 February 2019
                Custom metadata
                January-December 2019

                adult learning theories,social theories of learning,communities of practice,constructivist,healthcare professional education


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