ERIC Number: ED467889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
The Adult Learner in the Computer Mediated Environment.
Whiteman, Jo Ann M.
Computer-mediated instruction is particularly well-suited to typical community college students because it offers an alternative to the time and place constraints of traditional classrooms. Key characteristics of computer-mediated learning are as follows: instructors and students are separated by distance; instruction is delivered via computer technologies; communication is interactive; and learning is done asynchronously. Computer-mediated distance learning allows students to practice and acquire the skills needed to compete in a technology-dependent knowledge society. Virtual classrooms allow higher levels of learner participation by allowing students to take the time required to give well-considered responses and by leaving permanent records of discussions to which students can refer. The following are some guidelines for practitioners designing computer-mediated learning environments for adult learners: (1) provide opportunities for learners to create scaffolds within which they can make sense of new information; (2) create a learning community that is based on a high degree of interaction and sense of cooperation; (3) ensure that any synchronous communication tools (for example, chat rooms) included within the computer-mediated learning system coincide with the content contained in particular assignments; (4) build feedback mechanisms into the course; (5) view the online instructor's role as that of a facilitator; and (6) provide adequate, accessible technical support. (Contains 12 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, College Students, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Competence, Computer Uses in Education, Conventional Instruction, Definitions, Delivery Systems, Distance Education, Educational Environment, Educational Principles, Guidelines, Instructional Design, Learning Processes, Lifelong Learning, Online Courses, Participation, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Student Characteristics, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Two Year Colleges, Virtual Classrooms, Web Based Instruction
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A