SeniorLearning (SeniorLearning)

Published on: 31/07/2008
The SeniorLearning system is designed specifically to be targeted at senior citizens.The objective of the project is to design a user-centred e-learning system which offers four online courses for enabling users to learn how to use the Internet and its services. It aims to immerse them in the practical use of the Internet, thus involving them in the Information Society and enabling them to enjoy its many benefits.

Policy Context

SeniorLearning is funded by the Grundtvig programme of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme. Project's consortium: the project coordinator is CRIC (Barcelona, Spain), the project partners are FKK (Budapest, Hungary) IFS (Götzens, Austria), IPIC (Barcelona, Spain), SVS (Strommen, Norway) and ZAWiW (Ulm, Germany).

Description of target users and groups

Senior citizens who want to gain media competences.

Technology solution

We adapted Moodle, which is an open source free software. It offers an e-learning platform designed to help educators to create online courses. The Moodle modular construction enabled us to customise the functionality of the system and also permitted us to leave out certain Moodle modules, as well as to add other functions, such as plug-ins. All in all we implemented four courses, guided by a virtual tutor and some flash plug-ins. We have enhanced our SeniorLearning environment with the figure of a Virtual Tutor: this is an imaginary intelligent avatar which guides senior students in the process of learning. The Virtual tutor has welcome and farewell appearances with information about last session and hints about what to do next; he asks for student’s experience and interests. He/she later makes recommendations about the options to follow accordingly; he also checks continuously how the student interacts with the learning environment to offer support when there is a chance that he is lost or has problems and provides feedback on the student’s learning progress. Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

We aim for SeniorLearning to become a reference or best practice in the complex task of teaching the Internet via an e-learning approach to a special target audience, senior citizens, that have become one of the most important target groups in all inclusion programs. The digital gap shall be reduced and requirements of the demographic change shall be faced.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

We achieved a two-fold goal: - to deliver a multilingual learning environment for seniors, that teaches Internet tools and resources; - to deliver a formal set of recommendations and good practices based on what we will have learned during this development effort

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - The four courses' subjects were decided upon after a survey amongst seniors and seniors educational institutions in the project consortium's countries Lesson 2 - In consideration of usability aspects we designed an attractive e-learning platform with a virtual tutor and as well some flash animations Lesson 3 - The e-learning platform can be used by interested seniors or in the framework of course offers of educational institutions Scope: International