Antecedents to Internet learning: Illuminating the characteristics of older online learners.
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Very little is known about older people who engage in systematic on-line learning. A number of important questions about the older learner and the Internet need to be answered to ensure that programs are developed that are best suited to the special needs and interests of the growing population of older on-line learners. This paper reports on the methodology of a modified grounded theory approach involving email interviews with a group of ten older people from three countries. The study attempts to discover some of the underlying issues related to older people and on-line learning. Participants were asked to discuss a number of open questions/statements that were presented to them approximately every two weeks. Each participant was asked to respond in a "stream of consciousness" fashion in which they talked about anything related that came to mind. Once each of the participants had responded they were sent the composite anonymous responses and asked whether they would like to add anything to their original statement. Content analysis was used to define and compare the relative frequency of four major ways of talking about the Internet, based on participant responses to the six questions.
10th Annual International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training.
© 2002 Australian Academic Press. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link to access the publisher's website.