Course Title: Principles of Adult Learning and Teaching

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Principles of Adult Learning and Teaching

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008

Course Coordinator: Peter Rushbrook

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 7854

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora, Building 220

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines theories of learning and their relationship to adult learners. Emphasis is on the impact of change and the implications of such change for adult education and training programs. You will examine key issues in the field and various approaches used to accommodate the individual within the adult learning environment.

The following topics will be addressed both as content and in the approaches used throughout the- sessions.

  • What is adult learning?
  • Factors affecting adult learning and teaching
  • Ethical issues in needs analysis and training
  • Learning styles and approaches to training
  • Recognising and overcoming barriers to learning
  • Assessing training needs and tailoring practice to needs
  • Effective methods of training and presenting
  • Learner support systems
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of training

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Identify and explain the factors affecting learning in adulthood with reference to the relevant literature
• Analyse and apply various methods to determine training needs
• design and sequence learning activities to match learning objectives
• identify barriers to learning among trainees and evaluate strategies to overcome them
• Compare and contrast a variety of training methods

Your learning in this course is focussed on the development of the following program learning outcomes:

Program learning outcomes:

• Communicate effectively and facilitate the development of knowledge and skills in others
• Analyse professional practice in a range of educational, commercial and community settings with a view to applying strategies for improvement
• Synthesize, interpret and integrate, at a high level, knowledge and information derived from multiple sources and perspectives, and apply this knowledge in creative problem solving
• Identify student needs, design, plan, resource and implement research and development projects in a variety of educational, commercial and community settings.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will engage in a combination of workshops and other learning activities, which may include presentations, case studies, videos, online activities, and student led discussions. The course may be delivered fully online. The focus for workshops will be negotiated with the learner group but will incorporate aspects of: Approaches to teaching adults, including skills practice; Planning programs and designing tasks for adult learners; and evaluating the effectiveness of education and training.

Overview of Learning Resources

There are no compulsory texts for this course. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the relevant program capabilities. Assessment may include an evaluation of a training session, case studies, report, essay writing. Learning or training needs analysis, teaching and learning journal or a negotiated alternative task.  Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: