Online Learning: A Transforming Educational Environment for Adults in Higher Education

Online Learning: A Transforming Educational Environment for Adults in Higher Education

Patsy D. Moskal (University of Central Florida, USA), Charles Dziuban (University of Central Florida, USA) and Joel Hartman (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-963-7.ch059
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Abstract

The authors describe the distributed learning program (Online@UCF) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) that serves a number of adult learners. They present outcomes from several years of research collected by the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness on adults enrolled inonline courses. Paradoxically, most educators in onlinelearning focus on millennial generation students, their learning styles, and preference for Web 2.0 technologies. However, research at UCF confirms that online educationresonates with adult students because it responds to their lifestyle needs, provides more active learningenvironments, and empowers their learning beyond classroom boundaries. This chapter examines the strategic elements required for successful adult online programs and explores components of online student satisfaction. The authors conclude by considering the opportunities and challenges for adults in online distance education.

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