EEL418 Learning Theory in Adult and Vocational Education (8)

This subject explores the key learning theories which underpin teaching and learning within adult and vocational education training practice. The emphasis is on understanding that learning theories help teachers reflect on their practice and incorporate relevant aspects of the theories into their teaching in order to improve students' learning experiences. The subject explores key individual and developmental theories of learning and examines how these theories are embedded in our understanding of learning and adult learners in post-compulsory education. Finally, the subject uses different forms of learning as a lens for shaping practice, and how this considers student needs, motivation and learning abilities by tracing these concepts back to different learning theories and educational philosophies of students and teachers.


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: EEL418. 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 EEL320 or EEL405 or EEL440.

Subject Relationships

EEL320 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects

EEL201, EEL220, EEL320, EEL405, EEL440

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to analyse the key learning theories of adult and vocational education;
  • be able to analyse the differences between varied approaches to learning and workplace practice;
  • be able to evaluate the importance of the context in shaping our learning;
  • be able to recognise the situated and social nature of learning and the conditions which maximise or impede learning;
  • be able to analyse theoretical concepts of learning in the light of their own educational practice; and
  • be able to examine strategies to adapt and apply theoretical processes to their own educational practice.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: What is Learning?
  • 1.1 What is Learning?
  • 1.1.1 What is a Theory?
  • 1.2 Understanding Learning
  • 1.3 Metacognition
  • Module 2: Major Theories of Learning
  • 2.1 Learning Theories
  • 2.1.1 How does the study of learning theories help us?
  • 2.2 Andragogy and Adult Learners
  • 2.2.1 Knowles? Principles of Adult Learning
  • 2.3 Major Learning Theories
  • 2.3.1 Behaviourism
  • 2.3.2 Cognitivism
  • 2.3.3 Constructivism
  • 2.3.4 Humanism
  • 2.4 Further Theories of Learning
  • 2.4.1 Cognitive Constructivism
  • 2.4.2 Social Constructivism
  • 2.4.3 Experiential Learning
  • 2.4.4 Transformative Learning
  • 2.5 Notable Learning Theorists/Theories
  • Module 3: Theory Informed Teaching
  • 3.1 Performative Learning
  • 3.1.1 Teacher-Centred Models
  • 3.1.2 Learner-Centred Models
  • 3.1.3 Vocational Learning
  • 3.2 Situated Learning
  • 3.3 Problem-based Learning
  • 3.4 Work-based Learning
  • 3.5 Approaches to Learning and Teaching
  • 3.5.1 Meeting Student Learning Needs
  • 3.5.2 Learning Needs
  • 3.5.3 Motivation
  • 3.5.4 Preferred Learning Styles?
  • 3.5.5 Transfer of Learning

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of EEL418 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Learning theories
Theory informed teaching

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.