Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

First Advisor

Carol Ann Sharicz


Since the pandemic of 2020, there has been a vast increase of adults learning online. Today, online learning is the most popular learning approach among adult learners. However, many adults have faced obstacles and challenges when learning online, resulting in a poor learning experience. Online learning is a modality that has become the forefront of learning in our society and continues to grow more and more popular, which makes it a critically important research area. This paper discusses adult learners and their most common challenges and obstacles when learning online and suggestions on how to avoid them. A positionality statement of my own experience as an instructional designer is included as well as peer-reviewed literature on relevant methodologies and learning theories. Interviews were conducted using open-ended questioning with adult learners from different backgrounds and levels of computer skills to learn about their positive and negative online learning experiences. Instructional designers were surveyed to capture insight on their experiences on implementing online learning modalities. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations and best practices that instructional designers can utilize to assist them in producing effective online learning experiences for adult learners.