#EDEN14 Acceptance of digital learning tools in the context of non traditional students

Joachim Stoter, Univ of Oldenburg

A move toward adult working students and other less traditional student groups – looking at the tools that different types of learners need and want. Open distance learning demands more motivated students but the tools provided will only be viewed as important if the students see a clear benefit. Literature review suggests that little is known about whether adult learners understand the benefits of new media for their online flexible studying. An Australian study of younger students suggests that most important factor in adopting tools is enjoyment and usefulness rather than flexibility. Stoter feels flexibility more important for adults. Discusses Kupper’s model of acceptance for e-learning, 2005. Focusing on innovation rated characteristics. Conducted a study of approx 4000 students from 3 universities, mixed traditional and non traditional. Questionnaire re their work experience, professional status, family commitments, their expectations of their study programme, study motivation and orientation patterns (work etc), actual usage of provided tools and an assessment of how important they were seen as.

two hypotheses: students with family obligations see digital learning formats as more important – not confirmed

students who are open minded and with higher demand for flexibility….value digital formats as more important. Further studies needed to see what sits behind this, eg personal preference or study structure.



About sharonslade

Dr Sharon Slade is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Open University in the UK working to support both tutors and students on Open University distance learning modules and programmes. Her research interests encompass ethical issues in learning analytics and online learning and tuition. Project work includes the development of a student support framework to improve retention and progression and the development of a university wide tool for tracking students and triggering relevant and targeted interventions. She led the development of new policy around the ethical use of learning analytics within the Open University, UK.
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