Supporting Adult Learners’ Online Engagement Through Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE)

Presented at Valdosta State University’s 28th Undergraduate Research Symposium, Spring 2022
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Bond

Supporting Adult Learners’ Online Engagement Through Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE)

Project Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the factors, methodology, and technology to appropriately support online student engagement.  Previous research has identified that, while virtual courses can have equal or greater efficacy, their learners frequently have lower rates of engagement than their in-classroom peers. This study examines the link between engagement and principles of andragogy to establish the importance of the former to improved learning outcomes. Interactions between learners, learners and the instructor, and learners and the content are factors of engagement. Additional technological tools can be used to create a variety of opportunities for interaction. However, learning management systems and current course design methodology present a number of challenges to interaction and engagement. The outcome of this research is that next-generation digital learning environments (NGDLE) better support learning outcomes on both a technical and methodological level. The modular nature of NGDLE components allows for more interactive learning activities and opportunities for engagement while building off the current architecture.