Understanding Online Learning Based on Different Age Categories

Danielle Morin, Hamed Safaee Fard, Raafat George Saadé
Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology  •  Volume 16  •  2019  •  pp. 307-317
Aim/Purpose: To understand readiness of students for learning in online environments across different age groups.

Background: Online learners today are diverse in age due to increasing adult/mature students who continue their higher education while they are working. Understanding the influence of the learners’ age on their online learning experience is limited.

Methodology: A survey methodology approach was followed. A sample of one thousand nine hundred and twenty surveys were used. Correlation analysis was performed.

Contribution: The study contributes by adding to the limited body of knowledge in this area and adds to the dimensions of the Online Learning Readiness Survey additional dimensions such as usefulness, tendency, anxiety, and attitudes.

Findings: Older students have more confidence than younger ones in computer proficiency and learning skills. They are more motivated, show better attitudes and are less anxious.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Practitioners should consider preferences that allow students to configure the learning approach to their age. These preferences should be tied to the dimensions of the online learning readiness survey (OLRS).

Recommendations for Researchers: More empirical research is required using OLRS for online learning environments. OLRS factors are strong and can predict student readiness and performance. These are opportunities for artificial intelligence in the support of technology-mediated tools for learning.
online learning, readiness, age, motivation, self-efficacy, anxiety
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