Adult Learning: Getting a Bachelor Degree Online


Going back to school as an adult is hard and part of the problem is that you have an adult life and adult responsibilities. Most adults are busy with work, family and community activities we have financial responsibilities, which makes it harder to afford to go back to school. Not only that, but we also learn differently than young people do, and traditional college education is based on a pedagogical (child centered) learning model.

Getting a bachelor degree online is more realistic for many adults than going to a traditional “brick and mortar” school. Online schools usually offer “asynchronous” learning, which means you don’t have to show up at a specific place at a specific time. You go to class when your schedule allows for it. Most programs that offer a bachelor degree online have accelerated programs, which can usually be completed in two years. This drastically decreases the cost of education, and minimizes the time school will disrupt the rest of you life.

Students Are Getting Older Thanks to the Internet

Perhaps the most important advantage of getting a bachelor degree online is that most online programs are designed around adult learning principles. They recognize that adults who go back to school are motivated and disciplined. Adults are there because they want to be, they have specific goals they want to meet, and they don’t want to waste their time or money.

Adult students bring life experience and areas of expertise with them. They regard instructors as peers who have expertise in a particular area and are not likely to be intimidated by instructors and are very likely to want a collaborative learning environment.

Adults know how to learn independently. They are skilled in finding and assimilating what they want and need to know and are not, however, very patient with learning for learning’s sake. They prefer practical, applicable learning experiences.

Adults learn well in groups or teams. This is the biggest challenge for online education, but most programs are designed to include group learning opportunities. The programs are creative with technology, and use forums, chats and teleconferences to simulate face-to-face groups. Some programs will have groups of students get together face-to-face occasionally to reinforce group learning.

For many adults, getting a bachelor degree online is a better option than getting the same degree at a brick and mortar school. By applying principles of adult learning, online educational programs have created a user-friendly way for many adults to complete a college education.


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