The experiences of older students' use of web-based student services Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6395w990j

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  • The purpose of this phenomenological case study was to understand the experiences of older students' use of web-based student services in a community college setting. For the purpose of this study the term "older student" was defined as people born between the years 1943 and 1960. This group of people, often described as the Baby Boomer generation, would not have had access to computer technologies had they gone to college during their adolescent years. Web-based student services was defined as the range of student services which are placed online, allowing students to access information and services without needing to see someone in-person. There were three major reasons for this study: (a) the increase in the development and use of online student services, (b) the increase of older students in higher education, and (c) further need to understand the unique experiences of older students in higher education. The case study design used an interpretive social science philosophical approach. The study was conducted at a large multi-campus community college in a metropolitan area located in the Northwest. A combination of survey, interviews, institutional data, and student-journals were used to answer the following research questions: (a) What is the experience of older students with web-based technology in a community college setting, (b) How do the older students' overall experiences and use of web-based services affect their community college experience, and (c) How might older students' background and experiences with web-based student services inform community college policy and practice? Close examination of data revealed several major themes of older students' experiences with online student services. These themes are: • Student Assumptions • Self-Motivation • Influence of Prior Work Experiences • User Preferences • How and What Online Services are Used • User Suggestions When these themes are taken into consideration with related literature on the digital divide, technology use in student affairs, older student experiences in the community college, and older students' use of technology, this study offers implications for community college leaders and practitioners in the student affairs and technology development. The implications of this study may impact online service development, assessment of computer literacy, program enhancement or development, and technical changes.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-07-09T18:09:08Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 HoMiddletonKatyW2012.pdf: 732117 bytes, checksum: 52e1e52bb10f1ef607c7fe471a6d1d61 (MD5)
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