An examination of adult online learner preferences for experiences of learning online and contributing experiential factors
Torres, Jason L
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Learning online as a means to providing post-secondary adult education has seen exponential growth over the past decade and continues to see steady increases in enrollment. Within this context of learning, institutions have overwhelmingly labeled the development of online learning as strategically significant to their goals of outreach, increasing student population, and revenues. However, institutions and online learning developers continue to follow learning theory and models of practice concerned primarily with the delivery of content, technology application, and achievement. The purpose of this study was to focus on the aspect of the experience of learning online and examine identified experiential characteristics of adult learners for their possible influence on their expression of past experience and future preference for the experience of learning online in the hopes of informing practice. Results of the study did not identify any influence with identified experiential characteristics on preferences, however did find evidence of influence on past expression. While the results fall short of identifying experiential factors that influence preferences learning online, evidence is present that suggests further inquiry is needed. Suggestions for future research and practical implications with the current findings are provided.