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Personalisation and Tutoring in e-Learning – The Key for Success in Learning in Later Life

Sónia Hetzner, Eline A. E. Leen, Innovation in Learning Institute, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany


The number of older adults willing to engage in learning activities after retirement is increasing substantially; along with this development the need for innovative learning concepts responding to the specific requirements of older adults is obvious. Aspects such as socio-economic variances, diverge learning tradition and capability as well as mobility constrains characterize older learners. E-learning is very suitable to cope with the high heterogeneity of older learners. Learners can learn according to the own learning pace and interests. E-learning is effective and motivating for learning in later life, if key-principles of guidance and support are fulfilled. In this article, the evaluation results of an e-learning course for older adults (‘eLSe’ courses) are presented. The main focus of the research was to investigate if a high level of personalization possibilities in a course can help to balance heterogeneous characteristics such as age, gender and pre-knowledge within a learner group. The key factor is the satisfaction with the course in different settings. In total, questionnaire data of 17 courses with 157 course participants was evaluated. Findings suggest that satisfaction with the courses was equally high for all age groups and for men and women.

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, interaction, learning management system, LMS,

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