• An exploration of online access by non-traditional students in higher education: A case study.

      Dearnley, Christine A.; Dunn, G.; Watson, S. (2006)
      The nature of Higher Education (HE) has seen many changes throughout the last decade. The agenda for widening participation in HE has led to an increase in the number of students with a broader range of educational backgrounds. At the same time there has been a surge in the development of digitalisation and the convergence of computing and telecommunications technologies available for use in education. This paper discusses the outcomes of a case study, conducted in a School of Health Studies within a northern English University, which identified the extent to which `non-traditional¿ students access on-line learning facilities, such as virtual learning environments and library networks, and what factors enhanced or formed barriers to access. `Non-traditional¿ students, for the purpose of this study, were defined as mature students who were returning to higher education after a considerable break. The outcomes indicated that skill deficit is a major obstacle for many `non-traditional¿ students. The paper explores this issue in depth and suggests potential ways forward for the delivery of technology supported learning for `non-traditional¿ students in Higher Education.