ERIC Number: ED449861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Benefits and Limitations of Computer Classes in an Older Adult Learning Program.
This paper discusses computer classes for older people in Adult Education (AE) programs. To understand both the attraction and shortcomings of the AE computer classes that the author observed, she identifies what she perceives as the program's minimum benefits. She also discusses how the program's conceptualization as "retirement learning" may have resulted in conditions that dissatisfied some students. Over the course of ten weeks, she observed five computer classes at a highly regarded adult education program that was part of a community college and had students complete a questionnaire. The classes seem to provide entry-level education that would be adequate for most personal-use students, while serving as a first step for those who needed better training to enter more advanced, mixed-age computer classes in public or private venues. One-half to a majority of enrolled students attended class regularly. In spite of program limitations, students perceived that the classes offered benefits, such as peer environment, student-centered instruction, and basic orientation to cyberculture. In spite of a generally positive educational environment, there were issues that some students defined as problems, and administrators did not. These issues were significant in that they raised questions about program goals (i.e. rigor versus personal use) and standards of quality. Appended is the student questionnaire. Contains 14 references. (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A