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The University of Southampton

EDUC2030 Adult Learners and Learning

Module Overview

The module is aimed at providing a broad overview of adult learning and adult learners. It touches upon FE, HE and work based learning. It aims to explore the barriers and enablers to adult learning and how such learning is a vital part of the world of work. It considers the perspectives of learning from a range of stakeholders view points and examines how these factors compete and interact. It aims to explore the underpinning learning theory that most impacts upon adults and their learning environment. Finally, it considers why learning in organisations may be ineffective and how attempts can be made to maximise the impact of learning at work.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Appreciate theoretical ideas about learning and learning preferences and apply these in a range of adult learning contexts; - Critique current understandings of the processes that lead to effective learning within adults.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the complex relationship between individuals and learning contexts.
  • Explain the barriers and enablers to adult learning.
  • Demonstrate understanding of some of the factors that contribute to effective adult learning.
  • Synthesise some of the research on learning and its application in a broad array of learning contexts.


Typically, you will cover issues which may include the following: Schools of Learning Theory; Social and Situated Learning; Learner Motivation; Learning Transfer; Adult Learning; Experiential Learning; The Learner, e-learning & future learning; Learning Organisations; Work-based Learning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

There will be one 2 hour session per week. The sessions are interactive and will not be traditional lectures, but instead will require active participation, discussion and group activities. Pre-session info will also be posted on Blackboard.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think. 

Thinking, problem solving and cognition. 

Understanding effective learning. 

Jarvis, P., Holford, J., Griffin, C. (1988). Theory and Practice of Learning. 

Muiis, D. and Reynolds, D. (2011). Effective Teaching Evidence and Practice. 

Conole, G. and Oliver, M. (2006). Contemporary Perspectives in E-learning Research: Themes, methods and impact on practice. 

Situated learning. 

Jarvis Peter with Mary Watts (2012). The Routledge International Handbook of Learning. 

Jarvis, P. (2010). Adult Education and Lifelong Learning. 

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. 

Ways of learning. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical evaluation  (3000 words) 70%
Reflective essay  (1000 words) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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