Adult learning is a process in which the learner seeks out to acquire knowledge related to his objectives or needs and makes use of what was learned in achieving these outcomes. It is a continuous process of reflection, analysis and experimentation. The education will be driven by the motivation gained by the learner through the need to achieve their objectives in order to be successful in life.
The process of adult learning has seen its development as a different entity in the educational context of modern world. It distinguish it self from the rest of the learning scenarios and had introduced multitude of teaching learning methodologies as well as techniques. In recent times the technology seems to have grasped the focus of attention as the new era in adult education. Out of which, online learning has lot to offer in the future.
Online learning being a technology that is accessible by most of the individuals in the modern era has replaced the other distance learning modalities and had come a long way since its initiations. The student centered nature of the learning style as well as various interesting modes of interaction had paved the way for the adult learner to explore and enter into domain which was not possible in the pre technology era. Incorporation of digital instructional material not only made it possible to deliver knowledge through networks but also made it possible to attract the adult learners with of all learning styles. Presentations, PDFs, streaming videos, audio files, and simulations are few to be named in the emerging technology savvy educational environments.
The success in adult learning through online medium was mainly due to its flexible learning styles which is possible to be adopted by individual learners. It also gave rise to virtual class rooms and already is in the preliminary stages of virtual universities.
The online learning further evolves to become m-learning or mobile learning which takes the learning process to the work place or to remote destinations which are unreachable and adults are less enthusiastic in proceeding with further education. The cost effectiveness has played a vital part in its implementation and further expansion.
The new concepts in modern day adult learning such as ‘just in time learning’ is facilitated by these learning technologies and in the future more learning would be possible in the virtual environment that not even possible to imagine at this point of time.
Apart from online learning self learning study packs are available in most professional exams and the design and interaction process of such systems have encouraged more adult learners to seek knowledge and increase their effectiveness as well as versatility.