Adult learners' challenges in distance learning: A case study in Universiti Sains Malaysia
Guat Im Bok
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
This study investigated the challenges experienced by adult learners studying in Universiti Sains Malaysia in Malaysia while remaining active in multiple roles. The research employed a qualitative approach to explore the challenges faced by adult learners studying in distance education. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with twelve adult learners. Data were analysed using Nvivo version 12. The findings revealed work commitments to be one of the main challenges experienced by these learners, with work transition emerging as an additional challenge. Other observable challenges included family commitments, adaptation to studying, and the cost of the education. These challenges were found to affect adult learners who had multiple roles, and the challenges subsequently became barriers to learning. The research outcomes offer a realistic insight into the lived experiences of adult learners. Based on the research outcomes, educators and policymakers in distance education should strategise to improve the conduct of distance learning by knowing and fully considering the challenges experienced by their adult students.
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|Author: Dr Guat Im Bok is a senior lecturer of anthropology and sociology at the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her research interests are in social relation, alienation, adult learners and distance education.|
Please cite as: Bok, G. I. (2021). Adult learners' challenges in distance learning: A case study in Universiti Sains Malaysia. Issues in Educational Research, 31(1), 19-36. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/bok.pdf