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The University of Southampton

EDUC6439 Supporting Individual Adult Learners (May)

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)
  • Demonstrate evidence of a knowledge and understanding of the appropriate communications techniques and interpersonal skills for facilitating coaching and support
  • 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.
  • In the context of supporting learners: - Analyse the impact of your own professional values and judgements on how you deal with your learners through a case study.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and the support available to SpLD learners
  • Plan 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egan, G. (1993). The Skilled Helper. 

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

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

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


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  (2000 words) 60%


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

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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