Adult Learning Strategies

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In the twenty-first century, it is now common practice to use digital tools as an effective strategy to engage the adult learner. The adult learner, making up a large segment of the student population, includes a mix of generations with different backgrounds, preferences, values, and characteristics to learn. With the increase of technology, the number of adult learners attending higher learning institutions on-line is increasing daily. Students having the accessibility to different digital technology anytime is one effective strategy for student engagement. Jagannathan and Blair (2013) note that “student engagement is generally viewed as the degree to which a student feels involved or connected in a variety of educationally related activities”…show more content…
14). The difference between the three generations of adult learners in higher education is fundamental in understanding their preference for using technology. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, were the first to see electronics and technology start to grow. Generation-X, born between 1965 and1980, grew up with electronics and technology. Millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, saw the explosion of electronics and technology. Generational learning styles can be defined by what electronic and technologic influences they had during their developmental years (Holyoke & Larson, 2009, p.14). For each generation there are particular technology experiences that specify their preferences’ and learning styles. Baby boomers are skeptics toward computers, and show a general attitude of resistance toward technology. Generation-X understands computers and new technologies, and isn’t resistant to using them. Millennials understand computers, but in fact demand the latest technology (Rosen, 2004,…show more content…
Jelfs and Richardson (2013) claim that “students’ age and their attitudes to digital technology are distinct predictors of their approaches to studying in distance education” (p.339). Technology today is giving adults ownership over their learning, and with the world literally at their fingertips digital tools are developing new strategies of learning that is necessary to ensure success in the distance learning
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