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Three Corners’ Trust: The adult learners’ journey

Girl using laptop
Published: January 2012


Focusing on the experiences of adult learners at the 3 Corners Trust Adult Learning Centre, the research aimed to identify barriers learners encountered throughout their journey at the centre and to highlight factors that facilitated their successful journey through a course.


A pro-active engagement by the centre’s staff with learners on an individual basis helped facilitate their enrolment and initial engagement with the centre. However the research also found that issues around childcare, health issues and money presented barriers to learners' initial and continuing participation on courses.

The research also showed how during their journey at the centre, continued engagement by staff with individual learners was a key facilitator to progression. Other key faciliatators to progression were:

  • use of achievable targets for individual learners
  • additional tutoring for individuals
  • a focus on individual needs

Learners also highlighted the communal aspect of the centre, in particular how other learners helped motivate and encourage them to attend complete courses.

Employment and education were identified in the research as the key reasons for enrolling and completing a course at the centre. Drop-in employment sessions on gaining employment helped learners prepare for interviews and job applications, and a greater emphasis on providing more information at the centre was highlighted as a key way of facilitating learners on to further education or employment.  


  • Qualitative in-depth interviews with local stakeholders, staff and learners.
  • Review of the ALC feedback form, used to collate quantitative data about learners’ experiences.
  • Photo-voice elicitation with learners. 

The latter involved asking participants to take photos and then recording them talking about their experiences at the 3 Corners' Trust. From this, we created two digital storyboards to fully illustrate the adult learning journey. These can be watched by clicking the links below.

Digital storyboard

Read the report