Title: Meeting the needs of adult learners and non-traditional students: the effective application of adult learner principles and techniques to an undergraduate business programme

Authors: Jeffrey Hsu, Karin Hamilton

Addresses: Information Systems, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940-1099, USA. ' Graduate and Global Programs, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940-1099, USA

Abstract: The educational needs of adult learners are different from those of traditional undergraduate students, and programmes need to be designed to accommodate these differences. Using a combination of intensive weekend classroom sessions, online distance learning and specialised teaching methods, the Fairleigh Dickinson University Global Business Management programme is designed to address the unique needs and career goals of adult learners who bring substantial business experience and knowledge to the classroom. A case study of how the programme meets the specific educational preferences of adult learners in terms of objectives, expectations and orientation is provided, based on previous research and educational theories. More in-depth, discussion and analysis are given to the following areas: pedagogical features, innovative course scheduling and the role of distance learning in supplementing classroom sessions. Relevant theories and frameworks from education and psychology are used to support the techniques and methods discussed.

Keywords: adult learners; asynchronous learning; block scheduling; distance learning; innovation; adult learning; non-traditional students; pedagogy; time intensive courses; online learning; e-learning; business management education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2008.017560

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2008 Vol.5 No.4, pp.394 - 412

Published online: 17 Mar 2008 *

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