Self-Directed Learning Courses

Self-Directed Learning Courses

The self-directed learning courses listed below are available to Adult Education Master's students only and provide an opportunity to focus on an applied project related to your workplace or a community-based organization, or to do in-depth research on a specific adult education topic.

Course Requirements

Online learning experiences, like those in adult education, require motivation and self-directed learning strategies on the part of the learner. D550 (Practicum), D590 (Independent Study), D650 (Internship), and D660 (Readings), like your other courses, are learner-centered and based on interactive learning activities.

You are expected to complete a learning contract for each of these courses to help you focus on being an active participant in this learning experience. What do you want to learn? How do you want to individualize the course to your particular professional development needs?

The learning contract form is designed to stimulate your thinking about how your learning outcomes fit into the expectations and activities for a self-directed course. It also gives you an opportunity to discuss your learning goals with your faculty advisor or course instructor to further clarify and focus them. You must provide a draft learning contract to the faculty member with whom you will be working beforeregistering for the course.

Based on your outline of your project and goals, the faculty member will advise you which course to take and how many credit hours to register for. The faculty member will then authorize you to register. You will not be able to register for these courses without authorization.

Due Date for the Learning Contract

The due date for the finalized learning contract will be negotiated with the faculty supervisor. For planning purposes, you should assume that the first draft will need to be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester and that the final draft will be negotiated by the end of the third week of the fall and spring semesters, and by the end of the first week of a summer session.

Important: Please keep either an electronic or paper backup copy of your learning contracts and all other work you submit electronically.

Due Date for Course Projects

The due date for final projects is generally the last day of classes for the semester in which the you registered, unless other arrangements have been made with the faculty supervisor. It is your responsibility to request an extension of the due date by way of an Incomplete.

An extended final project due date for D550, D590, D650, or D660 projects may be arranged, but the length of the extension may be no later than one academic year from the start of the semester of original registration. (Example: A contract for a course taken in the spring semester must be completed by the end of the fall semester. A contract for a course taken in the summer session must be completed by the end of the following spring semester. A contract for a course taken in the fall semester must be completed by the end of the following summer session). If a project is not completed by that time, it will be assigned a grade of F.

Variable Credit Options

These courses may be taken for variable numbers of credit, typically from 1 to 3 credits. You will negotiate your final project with your faculty supervisor as part of your learning contract. You may propose various kinds of projects to document your learning, such as research papers, annotated bibliographies, interviews with documentation (may include audio or video recordings, or interview transcripts), videos, multimedia, Web pages, and other kinds of visual or performing arts projects. All projects will include a final document in which you describe the work process and reflect on the ways you applied theory to both process and project.


The self-directed learning courses are offered all semesters:

  • D550 Practicum in Adult Education (1-3 cr.)
  • D590 Independent Study in Adult Education (1-3 cr.)
  • D650 Internship in Adult Education (1-6 cr.)
  • D660 Readings in Adult Education (1-6 cr.)