A STUDY OF OLDER ADULT STUDENTS’ SATISFACTION WITH WEB-BASED DISTANCE LEARNING AT THE NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF TAIWAN

Open Access
Author:
Chen , Ho-Yuan
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 28, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Michael Grahame Moore, Dissertation Advisor
  • Michael Grahame Moore, Committee Chair
  • Melody M Thompson, Committee Chair
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Wei Fan Chen, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • students’ satisfaction
  • older adult
  • distance education
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between older learners' demographic characteristics and their satisfaction with distance learning in the Web-based environment at National Open University in Taiwan (NOUT). Increases in the older adult population have had many impacts throughout societies. The major purpose of older adult education, therefore, is to help this population to prepare for life in a successful aging society. Distance education provides flexible ways to deliver learning materials, meet learners’ needs, and motivate the older population to continue to pursue educational opportunities across many barriers. In the context of rapidly developing educational technologies in many different countries, including the Taiwan, the Internet provides distance learners with a powerful Web-based learning environment. A two-part survey was used to collect data in this study: a research-based background survey and a modified version of Distance Education Learning Environment Survey. Six hundred forty-four participants completed the survey. ANOVA analysis method was employed to examine the relationship between older learners' demographic characteristics and their satisfaction with distance learning in a Web-based environment. The findings indicted that gender differences and marital status affect students’ learning satisfaction with Web-based distance learning. However, data did not indicate an effect on satisfaction for age and educational background. Implications included the need for future research on different types of interaction and additional factors related to learners, also suggested are specific way institutions, course designers, and instructors can better support older adults in online courses.