Infographic illustrating the characteristic of experience, one of Malcolm Knowles’ assumptions about adult learners stating that as a person matures, he/she accumulates a growing reservoir of life experiences that become a rich resource for learning.​

Children derive their self-identity largely through external definers – their family, friends, and the community in which they live. To them, experience is something that happens to them, whereas adults draw upon their accumulated life experience as they continue learning.

Examples of how the assumption can be utilized in learning environments include: case studies, problem-based learning, role-play, field experiences, scenarios, and simulations.