Online learners require vision:


Benjamin Franklin was considered a genius, he was a scientist, an inventor, a politician, a diplomat and a social activist.  In 1760, Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal glasses, enabling people to see clearly both near and far.  At that time he could not have envisaged the vision  and skill set required to effectively study, form communities of learners and communicate in todays online environment.

Welcome to this seminar. Oct 2nd till Oct 17th

Sue Naughton - contact me through the course forum space or directly via my email address.

Please join with me as we explore issues related to the learning requirements of beginning adult online learners. By the conclusion of the seminar I hope we can describe specific issues and ultimately identify course design and facilitation features that will make studying online by distance achievable for 'new to e-learning' adult students.

You can access seminar related readings from the seminar resource page of this website and we will use the discussion boards in the course forum for ongoing discussion. Please remember the rules for online discussion, be positive, respectful of others opinions and participate as much as possible.

Role: Seminar participant, Experienced Practitioner, Experienced E-learning Adult Student


Do adult learners face specific challenges when using e-learning for distance learning??

The implementation of the staffing requirements of the 2002 strategic plan deems that early childhood centres need to be fully staffed by trained (to at least Diploma of Teaching level) and registered teachers by 2012. This has resulted in increased demand for training places.  Many centres have staff who have working in centres for a long time, or staff who have recently returned to the work force after raining families, but who need to complete formal qualifications to meet the 2012 staffing criteria.  More and more, the distance student body is being made up of these people, adult learners with a variety of life experiences, returning to formal education, and in many cases completing tertiary level education for the first time.

We will examine;
 If there is indeed a difference between adult students and 'straight from school' students?
Are there learning needs specific to adult students?
Can we realistically expect mature students to have high levels of computer literacy?
What training tools are available to enable computer up-skilling of mature students?
What are the best teaching strategies and facilitation techniques to best provide this training?

Adult Learning Theory

Kolb's (1984) Experiential Learning Theory describes the relevance of adult life experiences and work context to academic study. Students are able to relate their studies directly to their work context as well as making informed links between their previous learning and their academic work. Adults belong to a range of 'communities of learners', experiences relevant in one context are able to be validated in another context. In the context of adult learners encountering e-learning for the first there an added dimension of learning involved??

During this seminar I will be encouraging you to share your earliest memories of ICT technologies, discussing the difficulties and the achievements. We will look in particular at what aided our understanding and growing competence. We will attempt to identify a 'best practice' technique or range of strategies to assit adult students engaging with e-learning for the first time.