The New, Modern Practice of Adult Education: Online Instruction in a Continuing Professional Education Setting

Donavant, Brian W.
May 2009
Adult Education Quarterly;May2009, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p227
Academic Journal
Within the field of adult education a paradigm shift, or at least a paradigm creep, is taking place as a result of advances in technology. This comprehensive, quasiexperimental study examining the efficacy of online education (OE) for professional development, conducted among American police officers, compares OE to traditional delivery methods, using quantitative methods and open ended questioning to determine whether the potential performance of adult learners in OE is related to various demographic factors, and evaluates the adult learners' perceptions of OE. Data analyses indicate no significant difference between the effectiveness of the delivery methods but they do reveal a statistically significant relationship between potential online learning success and a formal educational level. Although most participants in the study say they prefer traditional instruction, the majority feel that OE is an appropriate delivery method for professional development and that the use of OE for delivery of professional development provides increased training opportunities.


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