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Case study of the challenges faced by adult students enrolled in an online blended distance learning program

by Tanner, Lori Kristine.

Abstract (Summary)
CASE STUDY OF THE CHALLENGES FACED BY ADULT STUDENTS ENROLLED IN AN ONLINE BLENDED DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM By Lori K. Tanner This research attempted to discover the theory that provides insight into analyzing and identifying critical barriers for two cohorts of adult students participating in an online alternative teacher education program. The findings of the study are in the form of grounded theory that describes and explains the experiences of the adult students, the faculty, and the staff participating in the online blended distance­education program. At the outset of this study, the first cohort of adult learners were completing their final coursework and preparing to pass the state teacher licensing Praxis examination while the second cohort was being selected. Participants included the adult students, the faculty, and the researcher who was also the curriculum and technology coordinator for the online licensing program. This study was conducted as a descriptive case study of the barriers and difficulties faced by nontraditional adult students seeking an alternative route to special education licensing in an online blended learning format. This study suggested how educational technology could be better integrated into an online format for alternative teacher education programs. Data collected in the form of interviews, email correspondences, observations, evaluative surveys, and documents from participants in both the first and second cohort groups contributed to the development of the grounded theory. Briefly stated, the data upon which the grounded theory was based suggests that these nontraditional adult students must have clear paths of communication available especially when social inclusion is limited by the online format? learning new pedagogy is secondary until a level of technology competency has been reached? the adult students will commit to learning when the goals and objectives are applicable and practical to their personal and professional needs? these nontraditional adult students have competing priorities and struggle with balancing family responsibilities, job obligations, and commitment to the program and this is only exasperated by the state, university, and program assessment demands required for full licensing.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:online learning distance education teacher special alternative route to licensing andragogy adult theory grounded case study teachers students

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