Andragogy in a Distance-Learning Classroom vs. a Traditional Classroom

Learning in different settings requires the scheduling of andragogy to match the environment in question. In a distance-learning classroom, learners have the responsibility to be in 100 percent control of their learning experience unlike in the traditional classroom where the instructor would take up some of the responsibility. E-learners are involved in planning their learning, as well as, evaluating how much they have gathered and if it is not satisfactory, they have the responsibility of asking for help or developing contingency plans

In a distance-learning environment, students are required to have more experience than traditional leaners. Their experience, both in learning, profession, and personality bears an important dimension to how well they will perform in their learning. Distance learners are more interested in information that is relevant to education (Simonson, Smaldino, and Zvacek, 2014). The information might be relevant in terms of their profession or personal lives. As such, they aim to deliver higher performance after interacting with the learning experience as compared to traditional set-ups where learners absorb whatever the instructor deems necessary. 

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When it comes to readiness and motivation for learning, distance learners often take it. With distance learners, interest in learning is often triggered by almost anything, such as a change in career or professional challenges. As such, distance learners want to learn and practice at the same time. On the other hand, traditional learning has a dimension of following the same traditional routine. Distance learning is motivated intrinsically by factors such as self-esteem, self-confidence, curiosity, and self-development among others, which might not be the case in the traditional set-up as expressed by Rovai, Ponton, Wighting, and Baker (2007). 


Rovai, A., Ponton, M., Wighting, M., & Baker, J. (2007). A comparative analysis of student motivation in traditional classroom and e-learning courses. International Journal on E-learning, 6(3), 413-432.Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. IAP.

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