EBSN Professional Development Series for Basic Skills Teachers

Developed by: NALA & SETU


Empowering Adult Learners of Basic Skills

General Information

Target audience:

Basic Skills Teachers / Tutors / Adult Literacy Instructors /
Adult Educators from Europe

Course date:

13 February 2023 – 7 April 2023

Course status:


Certificate of Completion:

Participants completing the course will be awarded in the following ways:

1) Digital Certificate on Completing the Course: Empowering Adult Learners of Basic Skills

Criterion 1: accessed each of the content pages in the MOOC.

Those who meet this criterion will receive a digital certificate automatically at the end of the course. The certificate will certify that the participant has completed the course and engaged with all elements of the course themes/ content.

2) EBSN Badge on Professional Development Series: Empowering Adult Learners of Basic Skills

(Only for those who completed criterion 1 and received a Certificate of Completion)

Criterion 2:  completed knowledge checks (quizzes) and submitted at least 1 meaningful and relevant post in the forum discussions every unit (corresponding to the thematic questions of the unit, altogether minimum 4 entries within the course).

This will prove that the participant reflected on the course content from the perspective of their practice and was able to apply newly gained knowledge and insights in their context.

The Professional Development Series is an initiative of the European Basic Skills Network to support adult educators and teachers as well as other personnel in basic skills education and training to develop their skills and methods to effectively help people progress on their upskilling pathways. Within the project supported by the ERASMUS+ Program, a series of OERs and MOOCs are being developed. It is also an ambition of the partnership to establish Micro-credentials which are awarded to those completing MOOCs and will also be recognized by different educational institutions as well as national or regional authorities taking an active role in further education and professionalization of adult basic skills teachers.

“Empowering Adult Learners of Basic Skills” is one of the courses which is being implemented and tested with adult education professionals as participants from different European countries, in a period of 8 weeks by the European Basic Skills Network.

Course objectives

This course has specifically been designed to assist you in empowering and motivating adult learners to enhance your teaching practices when working with adults with basic skills. It will introduce you to concepts on adult basic skills education and equip you with tools to use in your teaching context. The course aims to support the professional development of teachers/tutors in empowering and motivating the students of basic skills in all phases of their learning i.e. inclusion/recruitment, participating, and completing learning programs. The objective of this course is to facilitate basic skills tutors with awareness of how basic skills adults learn, what challenges they face, and how those can be overcome along the way by adapting strategic thinking from awareness raising through outreach initiatives and activities that guide and support adults along their learning pathways.

The course has been developed as part of the EBSN project in tandem with the National Adult Literacy Agency and South East Technological University.

Course results

When you complete this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the learning environment
  • Identify the previous knowledge, skills, and experience of adult learners
  • Identify guidelines for good adult learning
  • Implement tools and measures that help learners succeed

Course format

The MOOC will be implemented as an 8-week long 4-unit online course (2 weeks for each unit, with a workload of app. 6-7 hours/unit; a total of 25 hours equivalent to around 1 ECTS), self-instructed study with self-checks as well as moderated thematic forum discussions and 3 live webinars via Zoom with a tutor. The webinars will take place at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the course.

The MOOC on Empowering Adult Learners of Basic Skills will include an ample variety of learning resources brought together from an international setting, presenting the best teaching strategies and practices. The presentations, videos, and other resources are becoming available every two weeks.


Key themes of the course

Unit 1: The Learning Environment

Unit 2: The Learners’ Previous Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

Unit 3: Empowerment: The Learner Voice

Unit 4: Tools and Measures that Help Learners Succeed

Assignments & Assessment

During this course, you will come across several Knowledge Checks which are short quiz questions to check your understanding of various topics. Please try your best to answer these and revise the relevant section if you come into difficulties. In addition to this, you will be asked to reflect on your teaching practices using the newly gained knowledge.

Each unit will have a workload of between 6-7 hours.

Detailed course objectives


Unit 1: The Learning Environment

Unit’s objectives:

  1. Get to know your learner or group
  2. Understand how best to work with your learner 
  3. Assess your learners’ strengths and set goals with your learners
  4. Understand the learner’s context
Unit 2: The Learners’ Previous Skills, Knowledge, and Experience

Unit’s objectives:

  1. Understand how to draw on the learners’ prior knowledge, experience, and skillset
  2. Understand the importance of ‘Recognition of Prior Learning
  3. Understand the importance of preparing learning materials that take previous knowledge, skills, and experience into account
Unit 3: Empowerment: The Learner Voice

Unit’s objectives:

  1. Understand the principles of learner empowerment
  2. Implement guidelines for good adult learning
  3. Know how to help students identify their needs and goals
  4. Design activities that provide learners with opportunities to express themselves
Unit 4: Tools and Measures that Help Learners Succeed

Unit’s objectives:

  1. Understand the importance of learner motivation
  2. Assist student-centred and student-directed learning
  3. Be able to incorporate teaching strategies that assist empowerment 



Ms. Györgyi Csendes