When we talk about the challenges we face with Adult Learners, there are several area’s that we can focus on. I’ve summed these up as Digital blefs. This post will look at the issue, Digital Fear.
Fear can be defined as:
‘a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.’
There is a genuine fear of some learners when it comes to using technology. This need not just be within the bounds of technology with learning, but technology in their life. Fears with the use of technology can be based on a life experience, conspiracy or external influences.
A genuine fear of technology can have a detrimental effect on an adult learner. Someone with a fear of technology needs that face to face interaction and will generally use older methods of studying and researching.
From experience I have had older family members literally give up when they can’t follow a simple quiz as a pre-requisite for a course. This could be a combination of Digital Experience and Literacy, but there is real fear for some learners. Instructional Designers and Education Technologists need to consider this in the design of their courses.