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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Study: Adult Learners Aren't Digitally Ready

Many adult learners are either uncomfortable with or don’t want to use the electronic tools necessary for online learning, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The study identified five stages ofdigital readiness among adult learners, grouping 52% of the respondents in a “relatively hesitant” category when it comes to using digital tools in online learning.

“The analysis shows there are several distinct groups of Americans who fall along a spectrum of digital readiness from relatively more prepared to relatively hesitant,” wrote John B. Horrigan in DigitalReadiness Gap. “Those who tend to be hesitant about embracing technology in learning are below average on the measures of readiness, such as needing help with new electronic gadgets or having difficulty determining whether online information is trustworthy. Those whose profiles indicate a higher level of preparedness for using tech in learning are collectively above average on measures of digital readiness.”

The survey found that 33% of American adults are “reluctant learners” when it comes to using electronic devices. Another 31% are considered “cautious clickers” who are confident in their ability to use the tools, but have no plans to take advantage of learning opportunities either online or offline.

Of the relatively hesitant group, 5% are active learners who simply prefer using traditional means of study and 14% are not prepared for online learning in any form. Just 17% of the respondents consider themselves digitally ready for online learning.

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