Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What adult learners (still) want

CAUCE - Canadian Association for University Continuing Education - Research: A reserach study into the decisions that mature students make about academic progression(Joan Fleet, Donna Moore, Susan Rodger, The University of Western Ontario) concluded that:
- it is important for universities to listen to and, whenever possible, to consider and respond to the needs of adult learners.
- adult learners contribute to the educational experience of all - model dedication and positive motivation, and share viewpoints and approaches that represent their often varied life experiences.
- learners want to have more preliminary course information available when making their course selection. (make detailed course outlines available)
- learners want on-line tutoring for courses and improved e-mail communication with professors.
- frustration about course availability, especially for evening classes and for distance education.
- institutions need some mechanism in place whereby students can indicate their level of satisfaction with the availability of current courses and academic programs.(evaluation!)
- student support servcies are not designed to accomodate those students with limited or no access to campus.

This study highlights the reality that adult learners are not adequately served by the universities and that universities do not have an evaluation procedure in place that can identify satisfaction/dissatisfaction with their service offerings.

Sad to say this study is ten years old, and these shortcomings still exist.

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