ED 610 Syllabus (Fall 2020)

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


Fall 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

I have designed this class so that we have a series of written responses as well as a final project. In an attempt to follow good andragogical practices we will work together in determining the response questions and the final project.

Written Reflective Responses

During the term I ask that you work on a series of written reflective responses. These are responses to the content and questions we are considering in class. Not only do these reflective responses consider the content at hand, but they help us consider how our responses to, and understanding of, the content might impact the way we think about, and teach, adult learners.

Each week I ask that you respond to the content at hand. Your consideration of the ideas we encounter will show evidence of an understanding of the foundations of andragogy, the unique traits of adult learners, and instructional design.

How Many Responses and When?

I will ask that you submit your responses to questions on three different occasions. A couple of times during the term and once at the end of the course.

The dates I ask that you submit your responses are staggered with submissions from my other classes. So it is easier for me if you are able to send me your responses on the dates listed. If I receive responses late it is difficult for me to respond as thoroughly to your work as I would like. But I am well aware that life happens and sometimes we all need a little extra time. I do, however, have a final date and time that I have to submit my grades to the registrar though–even if we all need a little more time 🙂

Each response = 25%


Final Project

I will ask that you develop and submit a “work in progress” of an individual study appropriate for adult learning and teaching.This will be our final project. I say a work in progress because I am more interested that you get a chance to explore and try out ideas rather than being pressured to complete a project in such a short amount of time.

The final project will be valued at 25% 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  — (Very Tentative at this point)

Week One  (Tuesday, September 29) (click on this link to access the first lecture notes)


Initial Questions

Androgogy vs. Pedagogy

Week Two  (Tuesday, October 6)

Delving into Themes

Week Three  (Tuesday, October 13)

Pedagogy and Andragogy Compared

Thinking about Incorporating Photography

Week Four  (Tuesday, October 20)

The Andragogical Process Model

Experiential Learning

**** First set of Weekly Responses due this week (Weeks 1, 2 and 3)****
**** First “Work In Progress” reflection due this week ****


Week Five  (Tuesday, October 27)

From Teacher to Facilitatory

Making Things Happen

New Themes


Week Six  (Tuesday, November 3)


Frictionless Environments / Habits

Virtual Learning


Week Seven  (Tuesday, November 10)

Personal Adult Learning

Training Delivery

Working with the Elderly

**** Second set of Weekly Responses due this week (Weeks 4, 5, 6) ****

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


Week Eight  (Tuesday, November 17)

Embodied Learning

Grasping Neurons


Week Nine  (Tuesday, November 24)

Embodied Cognition

Week Ten  (Tuesday, November 30)

Final summary

Week Eleven (Tuesday, December 8)

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

**** Third set of Weekly Summaries 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.