ERIC Number: ED210498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Adapting "Distance Learning" Instruction to Older Adult Differences.
Richardson, Penelope Louise
As distance learning plays an increasing role in adult education, instruction to older adults must be adapted for individual learner differences. Two stereotypic adult education client groups have been described: the SAVY adult (Schooled, Active, Verbal, Younger) and the ONUS adult (Older, Non-Verbal, Unschooled, Sedentary). Instructional methods that work for one type of learner fail with the other. The SAVY learner is benefited by higher load methods that tend to be more discovery-oriented, non-directive, unstructured, open ended, unguided approaches. Most effective for ONUS students are those lower load methods which are highly organized, with shorter sequences in instruction, rapid and accurate feedback about performance, and many directive instructions. Of importance for the design of instruction for adults is a curious antagonism that has been found between learning and the enjoyment of instruction. Adult learners tend to report enjoying that instructional method from which they learned the least. Suggestions for designing instructional programs for adult distance learning are that those instructional methods lower in information processing load are probably most effective and formative evaluation is needed in developing instructional programs; and ONUS adults should be provided with learning stategies, while SAVY adults should be urged to use strategies already acquired. (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Distance Education; Distance Teaching
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 1981).