Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Voices on The Web: Experiences of Online Learners

Dr Mary Katherine Cooper.

With the push to provide online learning experiences, educators and learners alike are finding that while this form of distance education may not be optimal, it is an ever-increasing part of adult education. Many universities, colleges, and other organizations do not wish to be out of the technology loop, and so much in the way of resources is going to online initiatives. As a consequence, educators, and students are faced with new options and new challenges.
Much research has been done lately on this technology explosion. The numbers of programs has been studied (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1999, 2001), teaching strategies have been examined (Baker-Clark, 2002), and satisfaction has been evaluated statistically (University of Missouri, 20032). What has come out of much of the research is that there is still a perception that face-to-face classroom experiences are considered more scholarly and preferred by learners, the online experience is not interactive enough, and faculty is overwhelmed with the amount of work that it takes to provide a good online experience (Cooper & Bielema, 2002). If this is the case, why then do the numbers continue to grow regarding participation in online learning? Is it all about the convenience of studying anyplace anytime that appeals to the adult learner?
In this Phenomenological study, Themes of schedule, geography, and family responsibility, as well as interaction, communication, and time are explored.


Dr Mary Katherine Cooper  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies College of Education
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Mary K. Cooper received her Ph.D., from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota in Work Community and Family Education in 1999, where she specialized in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. Her research in environments conducive to lifelong learning, adult development, and spirituality, both in the face-to-face classroom and via distance education and has a broad range of interests relating to the diversity of adult learners and their unique learning requirements

  • Online Learning
  • Adult Learners
  • Phenomenology

(Virtual Presentation, English)