T7-ALT1-2 - Application of Adult Learning Theory to STEM Education in Online Learning Environment

2. Research-to-Practice Full Paper
Stefan Kleinke1 , Yuetong Lin1
1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide

In this work-in-progress paper, we will discuss the implications of adult learning theory (ALT) for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in fully online, distributed learning environment. Current approaches in online STEM education are grounded in a constructivist view of learning and based on the concept that students are active participants in their knowledge creation. We will re-examine these premises in the context of new findings and current developments in higher education landscape. More specifically, the increase in nontraditional and adult students using online platform to continue their education has presented a new challenge for learning activity design, development and delivery. ALT can be extended to the existing practices to help build greater process- and progressoriented as well as individualized learning approaches. In this paper we will focus on reviewing the general ALT ideas and their potential for revamping online STEM education. The detail recommendations will be proposed in the next phase of the study.