Adult learners in digital learning environments

Ecorys working in partnership with Bertelsmann Stiftung have been commissioned by the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture to carry out a study on ‘Adult Learners in Digital Learning Environments’. The overall aim of the study is to contribute to the work of the Commission and Member States in achieving the objectives set out in ET 2020 in relation to ICT-enhanced learning including OER in adult education, in particular through:
• Providing the Commission with a detailed description and analysis of the current state-of-play of the use of ICT-enhanced learning, including OER, in adult education in Europe, sampling across EU28 Member States, EFTA States and Candidate States;
• Providing policy-relevant analysis and advice;
• Developing policy conclusions and recommendations, for relevant policy makers in Member States, and for adult learning providers; and
• Developing an approach for a (self) assessment-toolkit for adult learning institutions as well as policy makers for analysing their state of play when it comes to ICT/OER use in adult learning.

The terms of reference outlines a number of specific outputs for the study including:
• A review and analysis of EU and national level policies and research of key academic literature as well as surveys on ICT enhanced learning, including OER, in AL;
• A summary of the current use and take-up of ICT enhanced learning, including OER, in different types of adult learning and where the potential is still unexploited;
• A detailed description of the types of providers of adult learning that are engaged in ICT enhanced learning, including OER;
• A detailed description and analysis of the factors that contribute to improving the efficacy of ICT enhanced learning, including OER within the adult learning provision;
• A detailed description and analysis of types of adult learners and their take-up of OER, including a description of their socioeconomic background;
• A detailed description of the types of OER (e.g. OER on higher education, basic skills, language learning..) different groups of adult learners are engaged in;
• An inventory of existing learner support measures required by non-users to take-up OER. This should include a representative number of good practice examples for each of the target groups identified and an analysis of the success factors of the examples and conclusions on how these examples could be mainstreamed;
• Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations for actions to be taken by policy makers, other stakeholders in Member States and at the EU-level to make ICT enhanced learning, including OER, a part of mainstream adult learning; and
• A proposal for a toolkit for assessment on the level and quality of ICT enhanced learning in adult learning (e-Maturity) to be used by either providers or policy makers.

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    1. I apologise for getting back to you just now. I have been very busy with teaching four courses.
      The main challenge was engaging with students in a remote connection. It is vastly different than in class, and we need to embrace technology that can help us with that.
      Distance learning is great but has a few disadvantages to face-to-face teaching.

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