The challenges of supporting staff and adult students in an eLearning environment


  • Ruth Caswell Smith Bethlehem Institute of Education


online learning, adult learners, teacher education


First experiences of online learning can be daunting for adult students and tutors alike. This study looks at relevant literature on this topic, and explores the responses of four new adult online learners to third-year Teacher Education papers that recently were adjusted to include online elements. It shows where the students sought help and why, describes the areas of most struggle, and suggests how these could be ameliorated. It explores the students' first metacognitive impressions of their online experiences and their self perceptions as learners. It recommends ways in which future online encounters could be enhanced, both in relation to course design and in the emotional and practical support provided for students' learning.

Author Biography

Ruth Caswell Smith, Bethlehem Institute of Education

Lecturer, Learning Centre Coordinator, and International Liaison