Classroom Course Model: A Different Model Needed for Adult Online Students?

By Gary Zucca.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 21, 2014 $US5.00

While both classroom and online courses have their advantages and disadvantages, this author argues that the classroom model has been predominant in guiding online courses. Indeed, in many online courses, synchronous interaction between students and the professor is the major component of the course. Online courses where the students and professor only interact asynchronously have been disparagingly referred to as “high-tech correspondence courses.”

This paper analyzes a representative sample of online courses conducted at a West Coast university business school and concludes using the classroom model to guide online instruction is not appropriate for what the author calls, Worldwide Working Adult learners. The term Worldwide Working Adult learners is defined as working adults who are geographically distributed worldwide; who often have changing work and travel schedules; and who have different life changes such as illness, military deployment, job transfer, or other life change that will affect their ability to make a specific time commitment to an academic course.

The author concludes that a new model to guide online courses for Worldwide Working Adult learners should be asynchronous, open-ended, experiential, project-based, and highly interactive. The author analyzes various cognitive learning theories to guide online instruction and provides examples of activities for online courses for adult learners.

Keywords: Online, Course Design, Asynchronous, Adult Online Education

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.99-107. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 354.242KB)).

Dr. Gary Zucca

Associate Professor, School of Business and Management, National University, La Jolla, California, USA

I received my B.S. degree from University of Southern California. After graduating I joined the navy and spent the next 20 years as a naval officer on various ships and shore stations. While in the navy I got my M.A. in human relations from University of Oklahoma. After retiring, I earned my Ph.D. in sociology from University of Florida. I now teach management, marketing, organization behavior, and entrepreneurship with National University in their School of Business and Management. As our business students have migrated to our online classes, all of my teaching for the past 10 years has been online.


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