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Striking a Balance: How Women Adult-Student Learners Can Balance the Needs and Wants of Academic Rig

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Online education has opened new avenues for women adult-student learners to pursue their educational goals while balancing various responsibilities. However, balancing their needs and wants and the academic rigor and integrity demanded in online education can be challenging. Below we will explore some of the unique challenges women adult-student learners face and provide insights into how they can strike a balance in meeting their academic goals.

Addressing the Needs and Wants of Women Adult-Student Learners: Women adult-student learners often have specific needs and wants that must be considered when designing online educational programs. Understanding these factors is crucial for creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment.

  1. Flexibility in schedule: Women adult-student learners often have multiple responsibilities, including caregiving, work, and family commitments. Online education provides the flexibility they need to juggle these responsibilities. However, it must be recognized that flexibility should not compromise academic rigor. Institutions should strike a balance by providing structured coursework with reasonable deadlines, allowing women learners to plan their time effectively while meeting academic requirements.

  2. Supportive learning environment: Online education should foster a supportive community for women adult-student learners. Offering mentorship programs, peer-to-peer support, and networking opportunities can help women connect with others facing similar challenges. This support system can enhance their motivation, engagement, and overall success in the academic journey.

Maintaining Academic Rigor and Integrity: Maintaining academic rigor and integrity in online education is paramount to ensuring learning outcomes. Women adult-student learners must navigate various aspects to uphold these standards.

Access to resources: Ensuring equitable access to resources is crucial for women adult-student learners to meet academic expectations. Institutions should provide comprehensive digital libraries, academic databases, and other learning materials, ensuring that women learners have equal opportunities to access relevant resources regardless of their location or socioeconomic background.

  1. Balancing workload and responsibilities: Women adult-student learners often face a heavier workload due to their multiple roles and responsibilities. Academic programs should consider this factor when designing courses and assignments, ensuring that the workload is manageable and realistic. Additionally, providing clear communication about expectations and offering time management strategies can assist women learners in balancing their responsibilities effectively.

Strategies for Balancing Needs and Wants: Certain strategies can be employed to strike a balance between the needs and wants of women adult-student learners and the academic rigor and integrity required in online education.

  1. Mentorship and guidance: Offering mentorship programs specifically designed for women adult-student learners can provide guidance and support throughout their educational journey. Mentors can help them navigate challenges, set realistic goals, and develop strategies to balance their needs and want with academic rigor.

  2. Professional development opportunities: Online education should provide women learners with professional development and skill enhancement opportunities. This can include workshops, webinars, and networking events focusing on relevant topics in their field of study. By acquiring new skills and knowledge, women learners can enhance their academic performance and increase their competitiveness in the job market.

Conclusion: Striking a balance between the needs and wants of women adult-student learners, and the academic rigor and integrity required in online education is crucial for their success. By considering their unique needs, fostering a supportive learning environment, maintaining academic standards, and providing relevant support services, educational institutions can empower women learners to excel academically while addressing their personal and professional commitments. Creating a balanced approach is key to ensuring the holistic development and success of women adult-student learners in online education.

Bernine and Annmarie


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