An exploration of on-line access by non-traditional students in higher education: A case study

Dearnley, C. and Dunn, G. and Watson, S. (2006) An exploration of on-line access by non-traditional students in higher education: A case study. pp. 409-415. ISSN 02606917 (ISSN)

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The nature of Higher Education (HE) has seen many changes throughout the last decade. The agenda for widening participation in HE has led to an increase in the number of students with a broader range of educational backgrounds. At the same time there has been a surge in the development of digitalisation and the convergence of computing and telecommunications technologies available for use in education. This paper discusses the outcomes of a case study, conducted in a School of Health Studies within a northern English University, which identified the extent to which 'non-traditional' students access on-line learning facilities, such as virtual learning environments and library networks, and what factors enhanced or formed barriers to access. 'Non-traditional' students, for the purpose of this study, were defined as mature students who were returning to higher education after a considerable break. The outcomes indicated that skill deficit is a major obstacle for many 'non-traditional' students. The paper explores this issue in depth and suggests potential ways forward for the delivery of technology supported learning for 'non-traditional' students in Higher Education. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :9; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Dearnley, C.; Health Care Studies and Research Methods, School of Health Studies, Graduate School, Trinity Road, Bradford, BD5 0BB, United Kingdom; email:; References: Anderson, B., Dimensions of learning and support in an online community (2004) Open Learning., 19 (2), pp. 183-190; Blaxter, L., Hughes, C., Tight, M., (1996) How to Research, , Open University Press, Buckingham; Burns, N., Grove, S.K., (1993) The Practice of Nursing Research: Conduct, Critique, and Utilization. second ed., , W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia; Cheng, L., Miles, J., Managing the change from on-site to online: transforming ESL courses for teachers (2003) Open Learning, 18 (1), pp. 29-38; Denscombe, M., (2003) The Good Research Guide for Small-Scale Social Research Projects. second ed., , Open University Press, Maidenhead; Gibson, C.C., Gibson, T.L., Workshops at a distance (1997) New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, , Flemming J.A. (Ed), Pergamon Press, Oxford; (1995) Distance Education for Language Teachers, , Howard R., and McGrath I. (Eds), Clevedon, UK Multilingual Matters; Kirkwood, A., Understanding independent learners' use of media technologies (2003) Open Learning, 18 (2), pp. 155-175; Kvale, S., (1996) Interviews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing, , Sage, London; Peters, O., (1998) Learning and Teaching in Distance Education: Analysis and Interpretations from an International Perspective, , Kogen Page, London; Polit, D., Beck, C., Hungler, B., (2001) Essentials of Nursing Research: Methods, Appraisals and Utilisation, , Lippincott, Philadelphia;
Uncontrolled Keywords: Non-traditional students; On-line learning; Student support; Technical skills; adult; article; attitude to computers; computer interface; continuing education; female; health personnel attitude; health service; human; human computer interaction; Internet; library; male; medical personnel; methodology; nursing education; nursing methodology research; online system; organization and management; professional competence; psychological aspect; qualitative research; questionnaire; social support; teaching; United Kingdom; utilization review; Attitude of Health Personnel; Computer Literacy; Computer User Training; Computer-Assisted Instruction; Education, Professional, Retraining; England; Health Services Needs and Demand; Humans; Libraries, Digital; Nursing Education Research; Online Systems; Questionnaires; Students, Health Occupations; User-Computer Interface
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 13:36
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 13:37

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