Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Constructivism (Education); Distance education; Adult education--Computer-assisted instruction; Continuing education;Telecommunication in education;


This review addresses literature regarding how the implementation of constructivist principles in designing online learning environments can meet adults' needs. This literature review identifies the specific characteristics and concerns associated with distance learning environments. It also explores the usefulness of using constructivism as a means to meet the unique needs of adult learners in distance learning courses. Resources consist primarily of books and articles published from 1995 to the present, dealing with issues of constructivism, andragogy, and distance education.

The topics covered include constructivism, adult learners, and constructivist-based strategies integration with particular attention being paid to the problem-based learning model, scaffolded discussions, dynamic learning communities, and WebQuests. The collaborative nature of problem-based learning, scaffolded online discussion boards, and dynamic learning communities, address many of the needs of adults. The flexibility, authenticity and autonomous nature of the WebQuest address the needs of adults as well. Changes in available technologies and responsibilities of 21st century adults give educators and researchers cause to revisit the founding precepts of andragogy and distance learning. Educators and scholars continue to develop effective and innovative methods of meeting the needs of adult learners.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Leigh E. Zeitz


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Date Original


Object Description

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