You’re excelling in online learning, and there’s no stopping you. But conflict can develop between adult learners.
How To Resolve Conflict Between Adult Learners In Online Learning
Once considered to be the final learning tier before the marketplace, online learning has now crossed the divide from the standalone realm to taking a larger share of the higher education market. While it’s often a growth prospect, it also brings plenty of headaches. The more vocational students you have taking online courses, the more they’re dealing with the baggage of job experience (at the very least from an employer’s perspective) and perhaps a sense of disconnect.
Employers are wary of students who may struggle with marketable skills or have not fully mastered prior jobs. This can often lead to salary negotiations and/or interview schedules skewed in the direction of an applicant lacking a realistic set of skills and education to support a job offer.
The best, perhaps most effective way to resolve these conflicts between students and employers is to address both sides as the market evolves. This isn’t something for these non-cognitive (executive education or technology-enabled learning) majors to worry about, though!
Advancing Professional Competition
As traditional technical, professional, or procedural jobs such as healthcare and maintenance jobs continue to retire, online learning is increasingly becoming more valuable to a student body that desires an alternative to the post-secondary experience. This sets up online learning to become an important arena of competition.
For the online learning student body, competition within the marketplace can get even more heated as newer and more disruptive technologies emerge and companies develop new technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, etc.) to interact with the way we work and learn.
Traditional barriers to entry for new technologies are becoming less of a barrier to entry by eliminating the need for research and permitting un-supervised employee-to-employee collaboration, e.g., product reviews on forums like Quora. These advancements now give companies a stable, pool of engineers to work on the new technologies.
Competition Driving Industry New-Product Development
Traditional industries must continually reinvent and refine their own business models, and this is happening in multiple ways. A growth-oriented mindset encourages the adoption of advanced technologies, and that takes us back to our identity as students. As students, all of us want to keep our education relevant and allow educators to evolve with the work ahead of them. In theory, this can spur industry growth.
Such growth is becoming a more powerful force in the marketplace as electronic learning environments get a higher profile. Senior leaders can take advantage of this shift and model ways to teach skills at multiple levels of skill sets in addition to an upper level focus. They’re preparing their workforce to become more competitive not only at the workplace, but in the marketplace.
The unionization of the college employee community in states such as California has the potential to further drive industry change. In doing so, they are essentially driving an employer-employee model which has been largely absent from the online learning experience. As the demand for skilled workers goes up, the attractiveness of a “hybrid” model (e.g., using the online learning community for high-skilled but individualized student instruction) should be attractive to companies wanting to bring new technology to the workplace.
Assessing Peer Input and Consideration
The Ecosystem of Adult Learners (AWOL) has developed a user-centric and broadly based assessment format with five key dimensions used to identify whether a student is ready for the degree or certificate. To address the student’s needs, we are beginning to partner with higher ed institutions to provide a workable assessment.
We are currently refining our product and goal-setting to deal with the unique needs of the student body. As our methodology evolves, we’ll be able to provide better support and resources for adult learners to enhance their success. We hope you’ll join us in helping us reach that goal.