Digital skills acquisition: Future trends among older adults DISSERTATION
Brian K. Gilliam, University of La Verne, United States
University of La Verne . Awarded
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify future trends and barriers that will either facilitate or impede the narrowing of the digital skills divide among older adults during the next 10 years.
Methodology: To address the research questions, this study used a modified version of the Delphi process using a panel of experts who responded to three rounds of electronic surveys relating to the research questions. Because this descriptive study relied on a panel of experts to obtain data, the collection method is termed a panel survey.
Findings: The expert panelists identified trends and barriers related to 6 major areas: economic climate, consumer behavior, government, education, manufacturing, and employment. Panelists’ responses indicated that economic trends over the next decade will dramatically impact the ability of the other 5 areas to narrow the skills divide. If the economy continues in a downward trend, publically funded organizations will likely experience budget cuts, reduced services, and higher unemployment rates. The private sector will likely be affected by reduced sales, increased costs, and budget cuts. However, if the economy experiences positive growth, the panelists identified trends in the private sector, including collaborations with the public sector, that could narrow the skills divide over the next decade.
Conclusions: To narrow the digital skills divide among older adults during the next decade, government, education, and employers will need to make specific revisions to current policies and practices. While government will need to make digital skills a priority, educators and employers will also need to participate in order to effect any kind of substantial or lasting change. Community colleges will need to revise all course learning outcomes to include digital literacy, and employers will need to offer free educational opportunities for training.
Recommendations: Implement some of the recommendations for employers within a large organization and then study the outcomes within 2 to 3 years after implementation. Implement some of the recommendations within a community college and study the outcomes within 2 to 3 years after implementation.
Gilliam, B.K. Digital skills acquisition: Future trends among older adults. Ph.D. thesis, University of La Verne. Retrieved March 21, 2018 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/125537/.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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