ERIC Number: ED463429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Community Voice: Focus Group Research with Adult Learners in Worcestershire.
Thirteen focus groups including approximately 70 people were conducted at University College Worcester and the Worcestershire Lifelong Learning Partnership in England to determine the participants' attitudes toward the educational programs provided and the best ways to reach them and encourage them to engage in learning. The majority of those in the focus groups were engaged in initial-level courses. Most of the participants had learned about the courses through friends or other trusted people, while a few had read about them in newspapers or other printed materials. Many people had joined courses because they were at a point in their lives when they wanted to make changes or wanted more skills in order to gain employment. They were most likely to attend local courses in familiar surroundings. Although most initially wanted 10-week courses, once they had taken them, they wanted longer courses, since they were just beginning to feel comfortable. Day and evening courses were about evenly preferred, as long as childcare was provided; weekend courses were not popular. The participants overwhelmingly wanted to learn computer skills; other desired learning subjects included childcare, physical fitness, and basic skills. A good tutor, low cost, and interaction with other students were attributes of good courses, participants said. The study concluded that there is a need for accurate information about available courses and support for learning so that potential participants feel comfortable returning to education. Recommendations for follow-up studies are also included. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Students, Classroom Techniques, Computer Literacy, Course Content, Developed Nations, Educational Attitudes, Focus Groups, Foreign Countries, High School Equivalency Programs, Literacy Education, Participant Characteristics, Postsecondary Education, Publicity, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Student Educational Objectives, Student Motivation, Student Recruitment, Tutoring, Tutors, Use Studies
Widening Participation,, University College Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, United Kingdom WR2 6AJ, England. Tel: 01905-855554; Web site: http://www.worc.ac.uk/wp.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Part of the Collaborative Widening Participation project among Coventry and Warwick Universities and University College Worcester. Funded by Worcestershire Lifelong Learning Partnership. For the second "Community Voice" publication, see CE 083 048.