Deeper Understanding of the Adult Learner – Theory and Application for Adults Teaching Adults

Course Available
3 Units
Online Self-Paced

Course Description

Further Explore Adult Learning for Professional Development Facilitation

Andragogy and the field of adult learning is a dense and complex area of study. Anyone working with adults or providing/designing learning opportunities for them could benefit from a deeper understanding of how adults learn, how they differ from younger students, and how to design learning experiences with their needs in mind. The prerequisite to this course created a solid foundation for adults who work with adults, but there is much more knowledge to be gained in this area. This course will add to the foundational knowledge to include more theory on learning, theory on teaching, human resource development, neuroscience, concepts beyond Andragogy, as well as diversity and inclusion. The exercises and journals will remain centered on application and experiences that the learner can use in their own work to demonstrate their understanding.

NOTE:  This course is not applicable toward Adult Education preliminary credential in California.

Course Details

Number of Units: 3.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This course provides continuing education for any educator looking to hone skills in designing and facilitating professional learning experiences for other adults (workshops, trainings, presentations, courses) by understanding adult learning theory and implementing skills to reach the adult learner.

Course Materials: Text, The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development (9th Edition) by Malcolm Knowles, Elwood Holton III, Richard Swanson, and Petra Robinson available at or your local bookstore.  Ebook and paperback versions are available.  NOTE:  This is the same text book that was used in the previous course, EDU-X797R.  If you have it already, you do not need to repurchase it.

Technical Requirements


None, but it is recommended that you take EDU-X797R, Understanding the Adult Learner -- Theory and Skills to Become a More Effective Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator prior to this course for foundational knowledge.

Course Options

Course Date Units Price
EDU-X716S – 004 Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 3 $504

Deeper Understanding of the Adult Learner – Theory and Application for Adults Teaching Adults

Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled
Online Self-Paced
Kevin Popadines

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

What You Will Learn

  • Strengthen understanding and ability to apply the six assumptions of Andragogy, the Andragogical Process Model, as well as the Practice Model
  • Gain an understanding of theories of learning so they can relate profounders and interpreters, as well as elemental and holistic models to adult learning
  • Gain an understanding of theories of teaching to better apply this knowledge set to teaching situations involving adults
  • Gain an understanding of human resource development and how this relates to adult learning and learners
  • Gain an understanding of how not all adult learners fit in with Andragogy and how differences in adult learners should be understood and addressed
  • Gain an understanding of diversity and inclusion and how this understanding and an intentional approach is not just the right practice but a valuable practice in meeting adult learners' needs
  • Gain an understanding of Neuroscience and how better understanding the brain can help those working with adult learners in meeting their instructional needs
  • Apply in real situations the course knowledge gained from all previous objectives


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

The Professional and Continuing Education program nurtures key partnerships on the local, national, and international level. The goal is to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers and help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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Online Self-Paced

Our online self-paced courses are similar to online fixed-date courses, but are designed to give you a six-month period from time of enrollment to complete all assignments. Your instructor will provide feedback via written responses on your assignments and exams. Grades are based on completed projects, assignments and exams.

How is the self-paced course structured? Like fixed-date courses, online self-paced courses are asynchronous meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime; the difference being there are no assigned due dates in self-paced courses. The content is divided into learning modules. Each module will cover one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, websites, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments (which may include: written assignments, quizzes, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.

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