A mature e-Learning model: Accommodating the needs of mature students

Year: 2001

Author: Heaperman, Simone, Sudweeks, Fay

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Virtual learning environments (VLEs) provide a seamless interface for organising online learning, and are proving indispensable in distance learning. The technological environments, though, are often adopted with little thought about pedagogical strategies, especially for students who may be adversely affected by the additional challenges of new technology. The mature age student, in particular, faces a barrage of factors, which may adversely affect their learning abilities. This paper explores factors that influence achievement of learning objectives by mature students. We propose a self-efficacy model which enables learners to attain self-efficacy in virtual learning environments. The model takes into account factors that impact specifically on mature students. We propose changes in learning as well as pedagogical strategies to accommodate the specific needs of mature students.

Keywords: Virtual learning environments, self-efficacy, mature age students, pedagogical strategies.