Online Learning and the Adult Learner

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Today is a time, where knowledge and information moves faster than ever before. What is known just yesterday is old news when compared to today’s developments. For many people born in the 1980’s or earlier, it is astounding to see what children and young adults are capable of today. The gadgets and gizmos available now would only be dreams then. Technology, and the ever growing availability of mobile technology, has moved us light years ahead from the days of learning solely by experience, hardbound books and in brick-and-mortar learning establishments. However, there seems to be a growing gap between the knowledge necessary to succeed in life, and the things learned and available yesteryear. Today more than ever, adult learners require solutions to meet the demands of their crazy schedules, as well as their need for further knowledge. According to the American Council on Education, adult learners are defined as learners over the age of 25, and for the last two decades encompass approximately 40 percent of college attending students. These people come from a lot of different backgrounds ranging from war veterans, to people graduating with GEDs, to professionals and skilled employees experiencing career transitions (“Adult Learners”, 2014). So what does an adult learner do to keep up with the youth of today? Online learning is an avenue where many adults are turning for solutions to their need to know more. In this paper we will discuss the varying online learning formats available, the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, and guidelines for becoming a successful adult learner online or otherwise.

Once an adult considers online learning as part of the solution for their educational needs, it is time for the...

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