B. Barrett

American Public University (UNITED STATES)
As more students and instructors transition from the traditional live Face-to-Face (F2F) physical classroom to virtual learning environment, there are many changes that are taking place. First, technology used by all stakeholders has changed and continues to be changing on an ongoing-basis. Thus, both students and educators must keep up to date with new technology to use the various Learning Management Systems (LMS), but they must also keep up with commercial software to prepare documents, spreadsheets, graphic presentations, and more. Second, a new set of rules, or protocols, are usually developed to help guide everyone towards the same level playing field to help encourage fuller discussions, interactions, and a variety of learning activities. However, with any type of change, there are the challenges and struggles that must be addressed and resolved on an on-going basis, but yet with the potential for similar problems, circumstances, and events for future online courses. One particular problem that many online instructors have to deal with depends on the quality and caliber of online student, their logical reasoning skills, and time management skills. This paper will address each of these items to help the reader to develop their own approach towards understanding the adult learner psyche, as well as to prepare their own plan of diagnosing various student reasoning skills and approaches used in virtual learning courses. Finally, the paper will help the online instructors to perhaps set up their own methodology for diagnosis and prognosis of certain adult learners who display certain reasoning patterns that could be problematic and affect their learning development and progress in the virtual course. While some students may excel in their virtual studies due to good time management skills, others may not have such skills or may not be well trained in this area. Also, the issue of social promotion could be a reason for the lack of such skills, whereas, some educators may process a student than focus on what they really need in terms of skills sets, time management skills, as well as reasonable logical forming skills so that they can see why they need to develop others skills and habits in lieu of asking for additional time, providing excuses for missed deadlines or perhaps not completing courses and pleading for last-minute help. The key impact of this paper will be to help educator to identify adult learners with certain characteristics and behaviors that need additional attention help them succeed in their educational pursuits.