Online learning is becoming more and more popular nowadays. This option is convenient for people who are busy and have no time for full-time education. It is possible to conduct the online education of adults with the help of various methods and practices; however, one of the most important things is self-direction and constant active engagement in the process of studying.
As an online student of adult learning, I realized that it is not as easy as it seems to be. Online learning has a range of advantages such as schedule flexibility and convenience. These benefits may become disadvantages in some situations. When students know that they have a flexible schedule, the tendency to procrastinate may appear (Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning, 2012). Self-direction is of great significance for successful online learning.
The primary task of every educator should be the engagement of students in active learning every week. If I were a teacher, I would use several methods to ensure that all students receive and comprehend knowledge constantly. First of all, it is necessary to provide learners with various types of information and employ not only texts and several boring pictures. Secondly, it is extremely useful to set particular goals that learners should accomplish weekly. That is the most efficient way to assess students’ progress and regulate it (Cull, 2010).
Andragogy is a theory that investigates the way adults comprehend and master their knowledge. The process of learning is the core element of andragogy. According to the theory, teacher and learner are equal. They should collaborate in the process of studying. Students can learn with the help of the problem-based approach (Adult Learning Theory and Principles n.d.). This approach can be implemented in online studying as well. For instance, while studying management online, a teacher provides students with a particular case study. Adult learners should check the described problem and find all possible theoretical explanations.
Being a good educator is a difficult task. However, being a good online educator is even harder. One should be a real master to be able to direct adult learners properly and always keep them motivated. According to Dixson (2010), there are three constituents of a successful online course: effective online instructions, cooperative learning, and active involvement of the tutor. The integral part of the success is the participation of the teacher. Thus, the teacher should respect learners, create a feeling of community, and have an eminent command of the subject (Orlando, 2013). Taking into account the fact that learners are adults, the following suggestions may facilitate studying. It is important to show how the online course will assist in accomplishing particular goals. An educator should devote most of the time to practical work and connect teaching with adult learners’ personal experiences (Strang, 2014). An instructor may face some emerging issues regarding the teaching of adults. The most problematic one is a lack of respect. Every person has its already formed beliefs and points of view. That is why a successful lecturer is one who can motivate and direct even a fully-developed personality.
Online education is a step forward into the future. Nevertheless, it is still developing and improving. Adult learners should be self-directed and engaged in the active learning permanently, and that will lead to the efficient and positive results.
Adult Learning Theory and Principles. (n.d.). Web.
Cull, S. (2010). Student Motivation and Engagement in Online Courses. Web.
Dixson, M. (2010). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 1-13.
Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning. (2012). Web.
Orlando, M. (2013). Nine Characteristics of a Great Teacher. Web.
Strang, T. (2014). Teaching Techniques that Motivate Adult Learners. Web.