Instructional Planning in Online Universities in Korea: Considering Student Stressors and Demographic Variables

  • Received : 2011.01.17
  • Accepted : 2012.05.20
  • Published : 2012.03.28


The present study explores how the stress of online learners is related to Korean cultural norms and social expectation and presents the criteria online education should aim at when designing instructional approaches. A sample of 176 students from a Korean online university participated in a study investigating the patterns in the academic and personal stressors they face. This study also examines stressor types in relation to sample characteristics, analyzed with a categorization method developed by extant researchers on the stress faced by U.S. college students. Unlike the findings of previous studies on college student stress, this study's results reveal that nontraditional Korean online students were faced with (1) taking on the multiple roles at work and home prescribed by cultural and social norms, and (2) challenges in regulating study habits and the learning environment as adult learners. The relevant implications for the design of online learning are discussed.


adult learners;designing online learning programs;nontraditional learners;online university;stressor


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