By: M. Bradley
Submitted: January 26, 2013
In the context of Alverno students, what technology support resources were offered, used and impacted the learning of self-identified, technology-challenged individuals. The goal of this research is to identify recommendations on resources to support learning for incorporation into Alverno hybrid courses.
Introduction and Context
Adult learners with limited prior or current experience with access to technology may need additional support and resources to make them successful in learning environments that require technology use. In addition to their lack of experience with technology, students may fear it, be intimidated by its complexity or fragility; have concerns around their ability to learn it and worry that they could either damage the equipment or lose their hard work through technology that is misunderstood.
Alverno College, a women’s college in Milwaukee, WI in addition to traditional students has a significant population of non-traditional students who have been away from the classroom from years to decades. Many with very limited technology experience.
In addition, it is hoped these research results could translate beyond the classroom to adult work environments where traditional processes are now continually evolving and including technology. That combined with an economic shift in Wisconsin, from a manufacturing hub to that of a state with a workforce skilled in technology and services may make this valuable to Wisconsin employers and job centers.
Methodologies and Population
Through a literature review of educational approaches and ancillary support services that have been successful with similar populations of adult learners and through research to include class surveys, data reviews of completed work and interviews of the participants in Alverno’s 19th Century British Literature, or another class, it is hoped these research results will provide a clearer path to successful transition from traditional classroom to hybrid settings for Alverno College.
For the literature review, ERIC’s database yielded much research under adult education and technology education. See a partial bibliography attached.
This research will be reviewed and later applied through a framework of Constructivism and supporting resources incorporating Social Learning theory.
During the literature review many learning and human development theories were reviewed including:
Theory of Personal Constructs
Adult Learning Theory
Performative self-constitution and actor-network theory
Human development theory
Social constructionist theory
Transformative Learning Theory
Proximal Development Theory
Alverno College Moodle 101, (2012)
Baran, E., Correia, A.-P., & Thompson, A. (2011). Transforming Online Teaching Practice: Critical Analysis of the Literature on the Roles and Competencies of Online Teachers. Distance Education, 32(3), 421–439.
Clinton, G., & Rieber, L. P. (2010). The Studio Experience at the University of Georgia: An Example of Constructionist Learning for Adults. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(6), 755–780.
Demirbilek, M. (2010). Investigating Attitudes of Adult Educators towards Educational Mobile Media and Games in Eight European Countries. Journal of Information Technology Education, 9, 235–247.
Donkor, F. (2011). Assessment of Learner Acceptance and Satisfaction with Video-Based Instructional Materials for Teaching Practical Skills at a Distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(5), 74–92.
Donkor, F. (2010). The Comparative Instructional Effectiveness of Print-Based and Video-Based Instructional Materials for Teaching Practical Skills at a Distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(1), 96–116.
Dzubinski, L., Hentz, B., Davis, K. L., &