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The University of Southampton

EDUC6435 Supporting Individual Adult Learners (January)

Module Overview

This module examines the particular strengths and weaknesses of adult learners and the most appropriate support that should be offered by the teacher. It explores the barriers and enablers to effective learning in adults. This module is taught at M level.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify & plan individual and group learning needs (Initial assessment and diagnostics)
  • Select and critically apply a range of relevant primary and secondary sources including practitioner, theoretical and research-based evidence to support learner needs.
  • Evaluate learners' achievement using suitable data gathering tools.
  • Demonstrate evidence of a knowledge and understanding of the appropriate communications techniques and interpersonal skills for facilitating coaching and support.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and the support available to SpLD learners
  • Planning for the delivery of individual learning sessions using an appropriate range of inclusive teaching and learning strategies
  • Evaluate your own professional practice with regard to individual and group learning sessions (using feedback from peers and others and with reference to minimum core)
  • Identify and discuss potential barriers to Adult Learning
  • Respond to complex coaching and support issues presented by students that require referral and liaison with other agencies
  • Provide ongoing personal support to learners
  • Ensure access to coaching opportunities and professional support.
  • Demonstrate evidence of a knowledge and understanding of equal opportunities and diversity in the context of post-compulsory education and training.


The syllabus will focus on the learner theories associated with teaching adults in a professional development context. It will explore topics such as student support, differentiation, barriers to learning, Andragogy, self-efficacy and learner motivation. It will consider how experience and reflective learning are key to adult learning and development. It will also require students to explore the support that can be offered to adults with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be a mix of formal taught sessions, peer discussion and individual research

Independent Study120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Brockbank, A (2013). Facilitating Reflective Learning: Coaching, Mentoring & Supervision. 

Egan, G. (1993). The Skilled Helper. 

Carter, T. (2012). In hope of transformation : teaching and practice through relational practice in the Adult Learning Classroom. 

Knowles, M. et al. (2011). The Adult Learner :the definitive classic of adult education and human resource development. 

Lesgold, A. (2012). Improving Adult Literacy Instruction : Supporting, Learning & Motivation. 

Henry, B (2011). Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision for Work place Learning. 

Rogers, J. (2009). Coaching Skills : A Handbook. 

Daloz, L (2012). Mentor : Guiding the journey of adult learners. 

Moore, A (2012). Teaching and Learning : Pedagogy, Curriculum and Culture. 

Sutton, B (2014). Teaching and Learning On-Line: Pedagogies for New Technology. 

Earwaker, J. (1992). Helping and Supporting Students: rethinking the issues. 

NIACE (2007). Safer Practice, Safer Learning - A whole-organisation approach to safeguardingvulnerable adults for the learning and skills sector. 

Benson, P. (2011). Beyond the Language Classroom. 


Assessment Strategy

Summative assessment. Module must be passed for successful completion of the programme


Presentation & Peer Discussion


MethodPercentage contribution
A Learner Case Study & Commentary  (1000 words) 40%
Assignment 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
A Learner Case Study & Commentary 40%
Assignment 60%

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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