Technology impact on Adult Learning

Adult learning has increased, and this can be attributed to the improvement in technology. Technology is enabling individuals who are past the required age of schooling, to acquire the same knowledge through an online setting (Mosakhani, & Jamporazmey, 2010). Many adults may not find enough time to physically attend classes because of the responsibilities they have in their personnel and professional lives.  An assumption has been that technology is associated with young people, who are vibrant and innovative. However, adults are also catching up with the ever changing technology, where many of them have enrolled in online classes. Online instructors have to consider some factors before incorporating technology into the online learning environment to make it effective for all; regardless of the level of technology that will be used by a learner (Oliver, 1999).

To ensure that online learning is effective, the online instructor is obligated to ensure the formation of a learning fraternity; this enables the students to interact with each other, and promotes the exchanging of ideas (Tyler-Smith, 2006). Through the use of the online platform, all questions and discussions are steered well, and guidance of the instructor facilitates continuous learning. The effectiveness of the technology adopted is depends on the level of usability and accessibility. The tool chosen to administer lessons has to be easy for the learners to use without difficulties. In addition, the accessibility of the method dictates the extent in which the learning schedule is flexible by meeting the learners’ needs (Kelly, Phipps, & Swift, 2004). Accessibility and usability go hand in hand; usability cannot be present, in the absence of accessibility. Consideration of these two factors in an online learning platform ensures fostering learning.

Some online teaching technologies are more appealing than others; some prefer Wikis, blogs, or Web 2.0. Blogs are important aspect of teaching as students have an opportunity to hold discussions and view each other’s opinions openly; this makes blogs more involving. Any class work, projects, or assignments get effectively submitted through blogs. As the students come together as a community, the instructor can address and manage them easily.

References

Kelly, B., Phipps, L., & Swift, E. (2004). Developing a Holistic Approach for E-Learning Accessibility. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology. 30(3).

Mosakhani, M., & Jamporazmey, M. (2010) Introduce critical success factors (CSFs) of e-learning for evaluating e-learning implementation success. International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (ICEIT) 1, 224=228.

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.

Tyler-Smith, K. (2006). Early Attrition among First Time eLearners: A Review of Factors that contribute to Drop-out, Withdrawal and Non-completion Rates of Adult Learners undertaking eLearning Programmes. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2(2), 73-85.

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