Internet-Generation and Adult Learners: Higher Education Institutions in the 21st Century


The on-campus technology-assisted and technology-based education must be a major part of the strategic direction of higher education institutions. In addition to on-campus schedules, asynchronous educational programs should be a very high priority for educational institutions. The student body will continue to grow into two different groups. The first group is a student body less than 25 years old, who comes directly from high school to college for undergraduate and -- in some cases -- graduate education. The second group is learners who are 25 years old and over. They come back or start college to earn degrees, learn new skills, or upgrade current skills. These two groups coexist in the current formal education system with different needs, styles, characteristics, expectations, and experiences. Knowledge about these two groups can help higher education institutions in the development of effective educational programs. This paper discusses the two groups' characteristics and expectations from higher education institutions.

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