An Integrative Review on Distance Education and Online Learning in Adult Education Settings
Abstract: This study is an integrative and comprehensive literature review from previous studies on distance education and online learning practices in adult education settings. Unique characteristics of adult learners are identified, compared to traditional students. Contemporarily, there is in need of designing and implementing distance education and online learning for adult learners. However, due to the uniqueness of adult students, distance educators and online instructors are in face with various challenges and barriers that may prevent them from delivering effective and engaged curriculum and courses. This integrative review will inform future research and practical direction on adult distance education and adult online learning practices. An adult-learner-centered model is proposed and displayed for applications in adult education environment. Recommendations and strategies are presented for adult educators, including better understanding adult learner’s learning needs and learning goals, adjusting teaching materials for diverse adult learners, and removing technical barriers for adults, and so on.