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This course is part of the Adult Education Essentials ExpertTrack

Adult Education Essentials: Student-Centred Course Design

Create and deliver inclusive, collaborative, student-centred learning that enhances adult learner engagement.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Empower adult learners through interactive learning

The benefits of using student-centred learning approaches are now widely recognised within adult education.

On this four-week course, you’ll learn how to engage adult learners and encourage them to take ownership of their own learning. You’ll delve into models of student-centred design, integrating them into your own learning context.

Create an authentic, active learning experience for every learner

Active learning environments focus on constructing knowledge through guided interaction, structured activities, and hands-on assignments.

You’ll explore ways to embed active learning into your teaching frameworks, allowing for learning that is both meaningful and relevant to your learner’s life and experiences.

Investigate course design principles including the ADDIE model of teaching and learning

Student-centred teaching principles focus on learners’ needs and how they can apply their knowledge in different contexts.

You’ll discuss the advantages of a learner-centred classroom and explore theoretical models of course design, learning how to put these theories into practice.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to explain your course design, built on a foundation of student-centred learning principles.

Improve learning outcomes using constructive alignment techniques

Constructive alignment ensures that learning activities and intended learning outcomes remain linked throughout planning and delivery.

By using this model in your course design, you’ll be able to communicate to learners what their expected outcomes are and how they will achieve them, building trust and rapport.

By the end of this course, you’ll have explored theories of student-centred course design, gaining practical tips and techniques to develop authentic content that encourages reflective learning.


  • Week 1

    Introductions and Models of Practice

    • Introductions and overview

      We are looking forward to working with you over the next four weeks and encourage you to be curious, ask questions and be open to different ways of working with your learners.

    • Assumptions about adult learners

      Let's take a closer look at what makes adult learners different to younger, school-aged learners.

    • Models of practice

      The following steps explore a range of models of practice, which apply to adult learning. While you might be familiar with some, we hope that other models will be new.

    • Reflecting on Week 1

      This week we have spent time getting to know each other, have looked at some assumptions related to adult learners, and have explored several models of practice. Now it's time to reflect on our journey so far.

  • Week 2

    Student-centred course and programme design

    • Understanding student-centred teaching and learning

      Before planning your courses, it's important to fully understand what student-centred teaching and learning is.

    • Models of course design

      As we start designing a programme of learning, there are many things we need to consider. We need to make sure that our planning is deliberate and well constructed.

    • Reflecting on Week 2

      This week we have explored three student-centred models of course design. What model would work best for your context? What is you your key 'take home' message from this week?

  • Week 3

    Planning student-centred learning

    • Active and authentic learning

      Let's take a closer look at active and authentic learning is. What activities encourage active learning? How do you provide authentic learning experiences?

    • Constructive alignment

      This section focuses on constructive alignment. We will look at what it means and how we can go about ensuring our planning demonstrates constructive alignment.

    • Developing Learning Outcomes

      Central to any progamme of learning is the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs). Ensuring we get these right at the planning stage is paramount to a well planned, student-centred programme of learning.

    • Reflecting on Week 3

      This week we explored making learning meaningful, active and authentic. We also looked constructive alignment for learning design and delivery; and the key to writing SMART learning outcomes.

  • Week 4

    Teaching as inquiry

    • Inquiry-based Learning

      While Inquiry-based learning (IBL) involves a questioning process, it more than simply asking learners' questions. It also involves triggering their curiosity and encouraging them to explore new ideas. Let's explore IBL further.

    • Problem-based learning

      Problem-based learning (PBL) is similar to IBL, where learners work in groups to solve an open-ended problem. It is the problem that drives the motivation, exploration and subsequent learning.

    • Reflecting on Student-centred course design

      Congratulations on completing this ExpertTrack course. We have explored some strategies for and benefits of planning student-centred learning. We hope you have enjoyed this course and continue to work with us on Course 2.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore student-centred, adult training programmes, that are authentic and contextualised and based on principles of constructive alignment
  • Develop student-centred, adult training programmes, that are authentic and contextualised and based on principles of constructive alignment

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for facilitators and educators who work with adults and have little or no formal training or qualifications in adult teaching. It is suitable for those who are considering working with adult learners and require further teaching and learning development.

Who will you learn with?

M Ed (Tertiary) Dist. PG Dip Ed (Adult Ed) Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Adult Ed) Grad Dip TESOL.

Team Manager and Academic Leader -Wintec

Linkedin: Linkedin.com/in/adie-haultain-b6397b2b

I have been working in adult education for the past 20 years.

Who developed the course?


The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) is a leading tertiary education provider and one of New Zealand’s largest Institutes of Technology. Established in 1924, Wintec delivers technical, vocational, and professional education across a broad range of qualifications, domestically and internationally.

About this ExpertTrack

Gain the insights, skills, and strategies to plan, facilitate, and assess the delivery of student-centred adult learning programs.

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