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Adult Ed. Tipsheet

Adult Education in Practice
Adults Learning Online

'The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.'
Alvin Toffler

The information that can be included in this section changes hourly. What was once a trickle has become a roar. However, it should be noted that not all the roar has been subjected to rigorous research standards.

My intent is that this page will contain bits and pieces from the research articles I have managed to find time to read. It will be followed by a complete bibliography that includes articles found online that I intend to read soon. The intent of the overall page is to serve as an introduction and a portal for additional research. I welcome any contributions to the page and the bibliography.

A great deal of the information currently available here comes courtesy of notes from " Considerations for Developing and Evaluating On-Line Courses," a presentation by Sue D. Achtemeier, Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia, and presented at Lilly Conference - South, Athens, GA, February 8, 2002. Anything good comes from her. The mistakes are all mine.

Bibliography for this page.
Bibliography for the site.
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Course Design


Online Learning/Teaching Style


Student Support

Structured learning situations are often associated with previous, unsuccessful methods of education. Thus, it is best to try to make a learning experience involving adult learners as different as possible from elementary and secondary experiences. (P12, Draves) Some of the symbols perceived as childish to particular adults might be school buildings in general (in which case meeting outside the institution might be appropriate), podiums, rows of chairs, or chalkboards. (P47, Knowles) The following list of tips is geared toward improving the social climate.


Structure and Organizational Content

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Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment of the First Year Experience, Cuseo, 2000 · Guiding Questions -Why is assessment undertaken? Student or faculty experience? The design of the course? Delivery? What will change? -What outcomes are being assessed? At what level? -When should the assessment take place? -Who should be involved? -Where and how should the assessment take place?

Lessons Learned:
There is not one fixed theory about how to assess online courses. Instruments tend to ask what someone wants to know. Understanding the people involved may be the most important part of a successful project.

Free software for creating an online survey is available at

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Astin, A. (1993). Assessment for Excellence: the Philosophy and Practice of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Phoenix, AZ: The Oryx Press.

Berge, Z. L. (1996) The Role of the Online Instructor/Facilitator. Available at:
This article offers recommendations on the pedagogical, social, managerial, and technical roles of the instructor.

Board of Regents. Educational Technology and the Age of Learning: Transforming the Enterprise. Sixteen principles from the University System of Georgia.

Brown, A. (1997). Designing for Learning: What are the essential features of an effective online course? Australian Journal of Educational Technology,13(2), 115-126.

Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (9/21/2000). Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever. Available:

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (02/11/2002). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, 1983.

Cuseo, J. B. (2000). Assessment of the First Year Experience. First-Year Assessment Listserv. Available:"draves">Draves, W. A. (1999). Teaching Online. Kansas: The Learning Resources Network.
I haven't read it yet but look forward to this a work by this author.

Evergreen Menu. Assessment and Evaluation

Feldman, K.A.(1976). The Superior College Teacher from the Students' View. Research in Higher Eduation,5, 243-288.

Flashlight Program. (2000, April). Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Programs that Assure Widespread Computer Usage: A Strategy. Available:

Graham,C., Cagiltay, K., Craner, J., Lim, B., & Duffy, T. M. (2000). Teaching in a Web Based Distance Learning Environment: An Evaluation Based on Four Courses. (CRLT Technical Report No. 13-00). Bloomington: Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology.

Graham,C., Duffy, T. M., Craner, J., Lim, B., & Cagiltay, K. (2000, August 18). Applying the Seven Principles to the Evaluation of Web Based Distance Education. F-LIGHT E-Newsletter for the Flashlight Program.

King, J.W. (2000, September 21). Seven Principles of Good Teaching Practice. Available:

Knowles, M. (1980). The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. New Jersey: Cambridge/Prentice Hall Regents.
The Draves book (above) draws heavily from this classic work.

Marsh, H. W. (1984). Students' Evaluations of University Teaching: Dimensionality, Reliability, Validity, Potential Biases, and Utility. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76,(5), 707-754.

Palomba, C.A., & Banta, T. W. (1999). Assessment Essentials. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Phipps, R.,& Merisotis, J. (1999). What's the Difference? A Review of Contemporary Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Learning in Higher Education. Washington,D.C.: The Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Quality Assurance in University System Academic Programs. Concept Paper Draft 3-37-00.

Ragan, L. C. (1999). Good Teaching is Good Teaching: An Emerging Set of Guiding Principles for the Design and Development of Distance Education. CAUSE/EFFECT Journal,22(1). Available:

Reeves, T., & Reeves,P. M. (1996). Effective Dimensions of Interactive Learning on the World Wide Web. Web-Based Instruction, 59-66.

Reeves,T., & Laffey, J.M. (1999). Design, Assessment, and Evaluation of a Problem-based Learning Environment in Undergraduate Engineering. Higher Education Research & Development,18(2), 219-232.

Reeves, T. (2000,April 27). Enhancing the Worth of Instructional Technology Research through "Design Experiments" and Other Development Research Strategies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Reeves, T. (2000, July 21). Evaluating What Really Matters in Computer-Based Education. Available:

Reisberg, L. (2000, November 17). Are Students Actually Learning? The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Richardson, J.A., & Turner, A. (2001). Collaborative Learning in a Virtual Classroom: Lessons Learned and a New Set of Tutor Guidelines. National Teaching and Learning Forum, 10(2), Available:

Shank, P., MA Ed.(1999, July) Online Instructor Competencies. Available at:
Recommendations for the actions of a good distance educator are offered.

Spool, J. M., Scanlon, T., Schroeder, W., Snyder, C., DeAngelo, T.. (1997). Web Site Usability. North Andover, MA: User Interface Engineering.
If you are designing web pages and are concerned about readability, this book is a must-have.

Terenzini, P.T. (1989). Assessment with Open Eyes: Pitfalls in Studying Student Outcomes. Journal of Higher Education, 60(6), 644-664.

University System of Georgia Model for Program Review. Draft – March 2000.

Weiss, R.E., Knowlton, D.S., & Speck, B. W. (Eds.) (2000). Principles of Effective Teaching in the Online Classroom. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 84.

White, E. M. (2000, November 10). Bursting the Bubble Sheet: How to Improve Evaluations of Teaching. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

...(1999). Report of the University of Illinois: Teaching at an Internet Distance Seminar.
Please excuse my abysmal reference style. In mathematics, I had little experience with either APA or MLA. I "clepped" English. I'm paying for it now.;-)

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Last edited: Feb. 2002.
Send comments and suggestions to Roberta S. Lacefield
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