Reflections of Adult Learners in Asynchronous Online Degree Programs


  • Jonathan Baker Miami University
  • Sophya Tukhvatulina Independent Researcher



adult education, online degree program, asynchronous learning


The growing prevalence of online higher education courses has attracted millions of students, many of whom fall outside the traditional student demographic. This investigative study aims to close the existing knowledge gap about the experiences and preferences of adult asynchronous learners. The study was conducted as a series of semi-structured interviews with adult students enrolled in free-tuition online asynchronous programs (N = 26). The interviews were then coded using the content analysis technique. The findings suggest that the lack of consistent communication with faculty and university staff is the biggest issue faced by adult students online. Respondents also reported missing the sense of community. Despite that, it is the ability to do work on one’s own schedule and flexibility in choosing the format for learning materials and assignments that are valued the most by adult students. Other findings and their implications are discussed further in the article.