I remember the ongoing debates of whether one should enroll in an online university or university that offers courses online or enroll in a traditional college setting. The timeframe was around 2005. I had just completed my MBA and enrolled in my first course online at the University of Phoenix Online University DBA program. I took one course and enjoyed the technology involved and the setup. However, the challenges in my life at that time led me to an alternative certification in teaching math, and after an opportunity for teaching many grades from elementary to high school and some college, I finally concluded my career as a public-school educator and went on to complete my doctorates in business.
Educators use technology has allowed the gap between online courses and traditional and blended courses get smaller because of faculty and student’s ability to work together in real time (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016). Walden University offered a wonderful doctoral program in business, and through experience, I knew that it was going to take my full time and attention to complete the program as planned. My online learning experience in the Walden DBA program required discipline, self-motivation, commitment, and sacrifice. Walden university outlined the DBA program in a flowing and comprehensible manner with estimated dates of completion of the program. The university offered a tremendous amount of support and resources, and the residencies were a great place to network and gain a greater familiarity with the program and receive live assistance. It was at the Walden DBA residencies where I met the many members of my corporate board today for IASC-International Alliance for Strategic Change. The hardest part of the program was that it led no room for a lucrative life outside the program. It was intense, and I lost many old friends because of my inability to remain in contact with them.
As a lifetime, adult learner, the principles of andragogy most applied to my experiences in the Walden DBA program. Malcolm Knowles (1968) proposed a new way of adult learning to distinguish from pre-adult schooling. The educators of the DBA program were focused on adult learning and adult learners of all ages. Andragogy, self-directed learning, transformational learning, experimental learning, situation cognition, and reflective practice are aspects of constructivists learning (Merriam, Caffarella, Baumgartner, 2007). I experienced various aspects of constructivists learning in the program and remained a lifelong learner.
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Knowles, M. S. (1968). Andragogy, not pedagogy. Adult Leadership, 16(10), 350–352, 386. Retrieved from http://alx.sagepub.com/
Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.First blog post