Tackling social exclusion through online learning? A preliminary investigation.
Journal of Access Policy and Practice, 4(1) pp. 20–38.
This paper reports adults' experiences of higher education (HE) using information and communication technologies (ICT), or online learning (OLL). The study aimed: (i) to investigate the potential of online learning for overcoming barriers to participating in education by the socially disadvantaged; (ii) to identify perceived benefits and drawbacks of this mode of studying; and (iii) to establish how 'online' students might be better supported in their learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained through telephone and in-depth face-to-face interviews with adults studying various higher education online distance learning courses with the UK's Open University (OU). Results indicate that online courses may provide adults with a convenient and flexible opportunity for re-engaging with education. There were several factors that encouraged participation in OLL courses and led to their successful completion, including the variety of multi-media components and the opportunity for electronic interaction and collaborative learning with peers. It is suggested that technological perspectives can provide one route to overcoming barriers to participation in education - and in the community - by the previously disaffected members of our society.
||adult learners; online learning; social exclusion
||15 Mar 2012 14:39
||22 Oct 2012 09:51
Actions (login may be required)