FACILITATE ACCESS TO E-KNOWLEDGE FOR ADULT PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS
The today society especially in the western world is stamped by a lifelong learning. This matter results because of an increasing technology development primary in Information Communication Technologies (ICT). These technology developments have their reasons in creating new effective and efficient systems that allows a higher productivity or quality and decreases the production cost, which is necessary for a stable and healthy company. But the goal of these new technologies is also to provide more possibilities for the “normal” users, so that they for instance can easily and cheap get updated about the status of their family members or friends over the internet. So ICT allows a wide range of possibilities, also for providing education with these technologies. So in this connection ICT can contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through transfer of education and training, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, encompassing adults that are not participating to the formal education process, and improving professional skills (UNESCO, 2009). And skills are today the main factor for wealth in a society.
A modern established method to provide a flexible learning, especially for lifelong learning for adults, is learning over the internet. By this kind of eLearning it does not matter where a specific user or student lives or tries to learn, he only needs access to the internet and has with it access to a huge amount of information and eLearning materials. But in fact for this way of learning the user needs experiences in dealing with the internet and also with the learning platforms. Because of that fact often only younger students up to the age of ca. 30 years are able use the existing eLearning platforms in an efficient way. This young target group stands in opposition to the demographic effect that the average age of most of the European residents increases constantly. So it becomes to a national and European challenge to support also the middle-aged adults for holding them up-to-date educated. But to provide an advanced education for these adult people is difficult, because it can be very time consuming and expensive, if they are trained on the traditional way with courses and tutors or trainers. So another approach is useful, next to the traditional advanced education.
In our paper we describe an approach to provide a facilitated access to eKnowledge and so to virtual learning. With the described approach we address especially older adults between the age of 30 and 40 to support them in advanced learning. This allows bringing them up-to-date, so that they can achieve a similar education level than younger once which e.g. coming from the university. For reducing the access barrier many aspects, next to the general strategy, have to be to regarded, e.g. usability and also user experience aspects to avoid that middle and older adults get overstrained, which results often that they dislike the entire online learning strategy. So these technical features need to be hidden or so far reduced and abstracted that also these kinds of adults will understand the usefulness. In this paper we also take care for such aspects and presenting a concept and implementation of an eLearning portal that is primary designed for supporting the needs and behaviours of middle-aged adults. The main contribution of this paper is the abstraction and reduction of learning functionalities, implemented in a well-known learning environment.