What is the effect of age on the rates of participation in LMS delivered courses?

Quite frankly I’ve no idea. But the following chart show LMS activity from a population of 28,000 undergraduate, distance education students. The Y axis is the average number of hits on the LMS while the X axis is the grade groups. Interestingly, the trend appears contrary to the Gen X, Gen Y stuff I’ve read that indicates that the younger folk tend to use technology more. This chart tells a very different story.

28,000 Undergraduate distance education students. Average hits grouped by grade.

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3 thoughts on “What is the effect of age on the rates of participation in LMS delivered courses?”

  1. As someone over 60 engaged in study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology, I would be very interested in looking at the reasons for this trend for my thesis. There are so many questions that could be asked. It would be interesting to see whether this trend is purely the result of sociological factors (e.g. lower number of life commitments such as child raising, full-time employment etc? Do older students feel more at ease in the relatively “anonymous” learning environment provided by LMS? Alternatively is it a question of factors influenced by psychological development (maturity levels, life satisfaction) at each level. Do older students feel that there is something to prove in a society geared in the main to younger people? It would also be interesting to look at more specific age levels in the over 40 group; does this group contain more students in the age 40-50 group than in the 50-60 or 60+ group? Certainly, personal experience points to a slower rate of learning as the aging process sets in but the grades attained in the graph do not suggest this. Is there greater motivation to achieve as the time frame in which this can occur grows shorter and mortality becomes a reality? How does one get involved in this project?

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