ED 610 Syllabus (Winter 2020)

ED 610 Unmaking the Adult Learner: Adult Education from Training to Empowered Possibility


Winter Session 2020


Instructor: Dr. Dana Ulveland

Office: Ed. 227

e-mail: ulvelad@wou.edu


Office Hours:

Please see home page for current office hours.


Course Description:

This course examines the unique needs of the adult learner by critically examining relevant learning theories as well as instructional design practices. Students will examine prevailing institutional constructs and investigate the validity of those constructs by considering the latest neurological and cognitive studies that apply to adult learning. Students will examine dynamics that lead to adult learning success, develop an understanding of adult learning theory, and begin to prepare instructional practices that lead to empowered possibility for both the adult learner and the adult educator.


Required Texts and Resources

No textbook required. All readings will be available online.


Course Objectives

Develop a sensitivity to the social/cultural context and language that impacts adult teaching and learning practice.

Examine the narratives, historical events, epistemological frameworks and cultural practices underpinning teaching / learning environments as they apply to the adult learner.

Develop an understanding of the technological, physical and culturally significant andragogical methods underpinning adult education.

Examine research into the neurological and biological aspects of adult learning.

Articulate how educational contexts can best serve the adult learner.

(Learning Targets)


Required Evidence Showing That Objectives Have Been Met


Written-Oral Reflective Responses

Each student is asked to work on a series of written reflective responses to questions provided. These are responses to the content and to questions we are exploring throughout the course. Not only do these reflective responses consider the content at hand, they help us consider how our responses to, and understanding of, the content might inform our own future teaching.


Written / Oral Responses

There will be eight sets of responses.

Each written response = 10 percent.

These responses will account for 80% of your grade.


Final Project

Each student will be asked to develop and submit a “work in progress” of individual study appropriate for adult learning and teaching.

The final project will be valued at 20% of the final course grade.



Course Grade

GRADES: A= 90-100% B= 80-89% C= 70-79% D= 60-69% F= BELOW 60%


Tentative Course Schedule

Week One  (Tuesday, January 7) (click on this link to access the first lecture notes)


Initial Questions

Androgogy vs. Pedagogy

Week Two  (Tuesday, January 14)

Delving into Themes

Week Three  (Tuesday, January 21)

The Peripheral Nervous System

The Adult Brain

Emotion and Plasticity

Week Four  (Tuesday, January 28)

The Brain Series

Experiential Learning

**** First set of Weekly Summaries due today (Week 1, 2 and 3)****
(See Week Two)

**** First “Work In Progress” reflection due today (Week 1, 2 and 3)****


Week Five  (Tuesday, February 4)


The Conduit Communication Metaphor

Maturana and the Frog



Week Six  (Tuesday, February 11)

Futuristic Thinking

Dunedin Study


More on the Brain


Week Seven  (Tuesday, February 18)


Virtual and Augmented Reality

**** Second set of Weekly Summaries due this week (Week 4, 5, 6) ****

**** Second “Work In Progress” reflection due this week (Week 4,5,6)****


Week Eight  (Tuesday, February 25)

Heutagogy and Technoheutagogy


Week Nine  (Tuesday, March 3)

From Babbage to Programmatic Instruction

Machine Learning


Week Ten  (Tuesday,March 10)

Final summary

**** Third set of Weekly Summaries due today ****

Week Eleven (Thursday, March 19)

**** Final “work in progress” Project Due Today ****



Accommodations: Students with documented disabilities are entitled under the law to reasonable accommodations. If you have a disability and need accommodations, you should also contact the Office of Disability Services at 503-838-8250.


Respect: In this class, the expectation is of mutual respect. Western Oregon University is an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and strives to reflect the diversity of our pluralistic society in our faculty, staff and students. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, class, linguistic background, religion, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, or physical ability. In this class the goal is to establish an environment that values and nurtures individual and group differences and encourages engagement and interaction. Understanding and respecting multiple experiences and perspectives will serve to challenge and stimulate all of us to learn about others, about the larger world and about ourselves. By promoting diversity and intellectual exchange, we will not only mirror society as it is, but also model society as it should and can be.


Disability Accommodations: If you have a documented disability that may require assistance, you will need to contact the Office of Disabilities Services (ODS) for coordination in your academic accommodations. The ODS is located in the Academic Programs and Support Center (APSC) Suite 405. The phone/TTY is (503) 838-8250.

Military Service Statement: Veterans and active duty military personnel with special circumstances are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor.


Student Success Specialist: Students in this class may be referred to the WOU Student Success Specialist (SSS) if the instructor determines their performance in the class is placing them at academic risk. The SSS will offer to work with referred students to address issues and develop a student success strategy. Irrespective of whether a referral has or has not been made, you are ultimately responsible for tracking your own progress in this course.


WOU Writing Center: If you feel you need additional assistance with your writing, I encourage you to take advantage of the writing center. Help is available. For further information go to: www.wou.edu/writingcenter.