EEL320 Learning Theories for Post Compulsory Education (8)

The subject explores the learning theories which underpin teaching and learning within vocational education and training practice. The emphasis is on understanding that the learning theories proposed help teachers to reflect on their practice and to incorporate relevant aspects of the theories in order to improve students' learning experiences. The subject introduces the concepts of learning as making meaning from our own experiences and as a social construct; different ways of defining learning and the concept of metacognition as double loop learning; theories of learning which shape the learning and teaching within the VET environment including the social theories of learning on which VET practice are based and some of the emergent experiential theories. The subject looks back at some of the individual or developmental theories of learning and how the metaphors and practices of these theories are embedded in our understanding of learning and our practice working with adult learners in post-compulsory education. Finally, the subject uses different forms of learning as a lens for shaping practice, this includes looking at performative learning, situated learning, problem-based learning and workplace learning and how these types of learning reflect the theories of learning which inform them as well as considering student needs, motivation and learning abilities by tracing these concepts back to different learning theories and educational philosophies of students and teachers.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 3 (90)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: EEL320. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Education

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed EEL201 or EEL220 or EEL405 or EEL440.

Incompatible Subjects

EEL201, EEL220, EEL405, EEL440

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • recognise that learning is the new performance which results from us making sense of our experinces
  • understand the theories and debates underpinning theories of learning
  • appreciate the differences between varied approaches to learning and workplace practice
  • understand the importance of the context in shaping our learning
  • recognise the situated and social nature of learning and the conditions which maximise and impede learning
  • analyse theoretical concepts of learning in the light of their own educational practice
  • enhance their educational practice by adapting and applying theoretical processes to their own educational practice


This subject will cover the following topics:

WHAT ARE THE MAIN IDEAS? - What is learning? - How do we understand learning? - What is metacognition? - How does the study of learning theories help us? THEORIES OF LEARNING - Social theories of learning - Experiential theories of learning - Notable learning theorists - Emerging theories of learning * The three dimensions of learning * Vocational learning - Underpinning developmental theories of learning * Behaviourism * Cognitive learning theory * Constructivism CONCEPTS OF LEARNING - Performative learning - Problem-based learning - Work-based learning - Approaches to learning * Meeting student learning needs * Learning needs * Motivation * Preferred learning styles * Metacognition * Transfer of learning - Landscaping the swamp - Lifelong learning - What have you learnt?


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.