On-line learning environment involves electronic supported learning that takes place in a modern learning situation. Learning is made successful by the use of the electronic gadgets that are mostly aided by the internet and other modern technology equipment. It is an emerging fact that the demand for adult learning is on the rise mostly in countries as the USA, among others. With online learning, learners are able to actively learn by interacting with various learning materials through the internet, or may even occur when students interact with their lecturer and other students using online communication facilities. This type of learning has been proven to be of great importance to a number of students who are well conversant with the modern modes of communication that make up e-learning. To other learners as the adult learners, the assumption has not been made true as a number of the adult learners are not well articulated with the e learning techniques being used. Moreover, e-learning environments have been an opportunity for some of the adult learners who find it easy and enjoyable to them.
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Most adult learners are occupied with other chores that make them busy and will most likely not have enough time to attend normal classroom learning and thus will find it easy and efficient to be involved in online learning. It is an education system that has enabled many adult learners to pursue their academic careers while at the same time attending to other activities as being in an office work. E-learning has therefore made it possible for adult learners to manage their time well in order to meet their needs of learning. It is a true fact that adult learners require a self directed learning that is well facilitated in their own learning. E-learning has however provided a solution to this as it is well facilitated and thus enables adult learners to save time during their learning in order to meet interruptions of other demands. E-learning, being considered as a mode of distance learning has enabled adults who are in most cases busy to manage time in order to meet their time for learning at the same time performs other activities.
In most cases adults are well motivated in their participation in online learning, though in some situations, they are affected by the fact that they are not as informed as their younger learners who are presumed to be raised up amidst modern modes of learning and communication. Adults are wealthy in experience and they get into the learning environment with clear ideas on their fields of specialization. They are always very expectant on an education that will meet their goals and stress on the application of knowledge rather than mare theory. E-learning has proved to meet these needs as it is against theoretical and rational learning, but stresses practical learning (Salmon, 2002).
E-learning is considered a form of distance learning; this has facilitated many adults to be part of the present and dynamic technology. Adult learners are able to get access to self directional and lifelong type of education that is open to everybody and thus has resulted to varying degrees of learning in online environments. Moreover, the adult student is potentially moved away from isolation due to individualized study, and has brought them to an increase in communication and a feeling of being in a classroom. Besides this, the learner’s motivation to communicate and aim at getting higher grades has translated to the successes of learning at a distance.
There is however a number of challenges that faces adults who find themselves in an online learning environment. In the first case adults are faced with the burden of other responsibilities that have to be met alongside learning. The student will thus not have an appropriate and enough time to be well conversant with the learning techniques that make up online learning. In most cases the adult learners never got the chance to interact with the modern modes of communication and thus will have to spend more time to contextualize the apparatus that is being used before getting on with others at the process of learning. Compared with other learners who are at their prime time of learning using the present and timely technology, the adults who find themselves in an online learning environment will have to spend more time in the mastery of the concepts and ideas of the most likely “younger” generation.
In the modern society, technological evolutions are thought to be progressing with time and that a particular age difference presumes a variance in the possession of technological ideas. It is therefore evident that adult learners who find themselves in online learning environments will find it hard to choose friends who will compatibly collaborate with. The younger learners will find it easy to grasp every bit of the new technological idea and will thus bond with other learners who are of the same caliber, leaving alone the adult learners who will succumb to loneliness. It will thus be difficult for an adult learner to acquire online peers. Learners of a particular age group will likely form a group as their interests, ideologies and aspirations are the same and not compared to the adult learners who will find it hard as their adult counterparts are busy with other activities to be fulfilled.
Many young people are comfortable with the technology. They find it interesting and entertaining as it mostly comes to them at their prime time of growth and development in life. However to an adult who finds himself in an online learning environment, it is normally uncomfortable as it is to the younger people. Most of the activities that adults participate in make use of the old modes of communication as compared to the present ones which are liked and used by the young in the society (Shank 2007).
With the changing and the dynamic nature of the technology in the present world we live in, there is a critical need for minds and intellects that will be readily receptive to the various aspects that the world is yielding into the people. The young as well as the old ought to be prepared and be ready to face the new technology and advancements that are inevitable for a continuum in the growth and development of the entire human population. To be able to effectively and efficiently participate in an online learning environment, an individual has to be well conversant with the various technological advancements that have taken place in the world.
In conclusion, an adult in an online learning environment will benefit from the technological advancements for instance in the saving of time and a direct pursuit of the careers at hand. Moreover, the environment will not favor them as will do the young who are in the same class.
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