Fear Factors: Hidden Challenges to Online Learning for Adults

Document Type

Book Chapter - Open Access


Terry T. Kidd

Publication Title

Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices


Information Science Reference

Publication Date


Publisher location

Hershey, PA

Abstract/ Summary

The purpose of this chapter is: (1) to examine the interrelationship between andragogy and online learning; (2) to uncover the hidden challenges to successful online learning for non-traditional students; and (3) to uncover hidden challenges in faculty adoption of online instruction. The authors believe that fear is often the biggest factor which can present itself in a variety of ways. A study was conducted to identify those hidden challenges facing students and faculty who choose not to take or teach online courses. This study identifies how institutions can support students and faculty who desire to take or teach online courses. This study also discusses how online learning is aligned with andragogy1, which traditionally leverages learners’ experience, independence, and interaction (Gibbons & Wentworth, 2001).