This literature review is to examine the three issues regarding new media in online education. These are adult learning and andragogy, new media in online education, and social presence and learning with new media. This study will be focusing in the learning styles of adults. As new media in online education emerges, new questions also emerge on the purpose of the new media. Another important aspect in this review is to study the impact of online education on the social interaction of students. The interest in this research arose out of a study that concluded that over 90% of institutions already offered or were planning to offer online instruction (Neuhauser, 2002).
Adult Learning and andragogy
Malcolm Knowles introduced the term andragogy which means adult learning, and ways of learning. Since andragogy refers to an adult learning style, it has been revealed that adults have a greater life experience from which to build on a background than children have. For this reason adult tend to use life experience to understand new experiences.
Also adults tend to be more drawn in path that their learning takes place. The learner should be encouraged to feel and act responsibly in planning, doing and assessing the results of their learning activity, and in their relationships with associates (Burge, 2006).
Through the use of Instant Messaging, students have created and enriched their own learning environment. Students now have control over online learning environments. (Sparks& Mentz, 2006).
New media in online education
Currently the new online media used to communicate the students with the instructor is the blog and the podcast. The blog has become a form to communicate with other students, to comment of other students work, and to post assignments. Since blog can be used from home, many adults find it a convenient media. The data indicated a preference for the flexibility mobile learning provides. Numbers indicate that a majority of students have access to mobile phones so availability is high. Students perceived that the cost of mobile learning would be low as compared to costs associated with face to face learning. Students had misgivings about the quality of learning that could take place and about the amount of information that could be exchanged (Fozdar, 2007).
It is also used to better understand the content. By reading other students’ webblogs, the student that need another perspective to understand a subject. Instructional blogging is a knowledge-centered tool that affords students the opportunity to become involved in reseach activities and conduct discussions with those who have a greater understanding of the issues or topics. The instructor has the ability to direct students to specific content websites that will assist them in research areas. The instructor can then offer feedback on their progress, or allow others in the field to offer feedback which will enhance the understanding and learning of these specific areas of study. Blogging is particularly helpful to the students when they are given this type of feedback (Glogoff, 2005).
Another purpose of blogs is that it serves as a great tool for presenting students’ work with creative fonts, graphics and color. Blogs usually have creative tools to enhance the presentation of assignments. It offers background with different patterns. It has procedure to include graphics. These tools enhance the creativity of the student. In one study the students agreed that the multimedia project work enhanced their creativity, trained them in a number of important skills like for example computer, video filming and analytical skills. It helped them understand more the material that they were reporting on (Lam & McNaught, 2006).
Social presence and learning with new media
The trend of using online education has raised many issues on the development of social interaction among the students. The use of blogs is used as a tool for communication among students. The only way to express is with written language. This form of communication benefits students who are extremely shy. Stuart Glogoff begins his article with a discussion of how the web has given students and teachers the ability to enable community in online classes. He states that the web offers students the anonymity that they may need. This anonymity of allows students to be more open with sharing their ideas and thoughts than they might be in a classroom with direct contact. He also feels that this type of anonymity often allows others to give more direct types of feedback (Glogoff, 2005).
Fozdar, B.I., Kumar, L.S. (2007) Mobile learning and student retention. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 8,
Glogoff, S. (2005). Instructional blogging: Promoting interactivity, student-centered learning, and peer input. Innovate, 1 (5), 1-6.
Burge, L. (1988). Beyond andragogy: some explorations for distance learning design. Journal of Distance Education, 3(1), 5-23.
Sparks, P., Mentz, L. (2006). Electronic note passing: Enriching online learning with new communications tools. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2(4), 1-6
Neuhauser, C. (2002).Learning style and effectiveness of online and face to face instruction. American Journal of Distance Education. 16, N
Lam, Paul., & McNaught, Carmel. (2006) Design and evaluation of online courses containing media-enhanced learning materials. Educational Media International, 43(3), 199-218.. 2