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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

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

Situated learning. 

Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think. 

Thinking, problem solving and cognition. 

Understanding effective learning. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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