Adult Learning: #DLNETChat September 2021

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Anne-Marie Langford

September #DLNETChat

This months chat covers how organisations approach digital learning, the tools they use and the opportunities it presents.

The chat started with a poll which asked. “What sort of things does your organisation offer adult learners”.

A discussion participant notes that there are different types of learner

The second question asked how digital technology currently supports adult learning work and ask if it does why that is.

A reply noted that the pandemic has encouraged organisations to use digital as a means of delivery. They note that digital platforms were used for administration and bookings.  Another answer notes that digital delivery is used for leisure learner days at the moment, but they have also developed a few MOOCs (massive online open courses) in the past with other partner organisations. A response notes that many learners are often looking for deeper content and not to be afraid to be niche.  There is a lot of generalist information out there but organisations should brave and embrace their unique selling points. Another response says that adults can access online learning via YouTube. Learners subscribe or access via social media. They also offer longer posts about collection items with images.

The organisation lines up a monthly episode in partnership with community groups then the organisation is responsible for editing and publishing. A crucial part of this is the content creation by working with others to enable strong partnerships to ensure the workload is shared to reduce the demand on staff.


The third question asks are cultural organisations using existing general digital platforms for delivering learning to adult audiences. A response stated that they have used educational platforms use such as FutureLearn to host MOOCs and streaming things onto YouTube. An answer notes that general platforms offer numbers.  Their MOOC on FutureLearn attracted 96000 people to sign up.  Platforms also offer interaction as participants can post comments.

A follow up the question was posed about good examples of adult learning supported by or facilitated through digital.

The Sounds of the Forest website is a fascinating example of global UGC dependent on digital for creation and dissemination.

The pandemic has opened up geographical access to CPD online in the sector which has been fantastic the more interactive the better.


The next question posed was what is the most important lesson you have learned in using digital for adult learning.

A couple of responses noted the importance of preparation, practise and rehearsal. An example was shared with a YouTube live. Having a script makes technical issues are easier to deal with.  Patience is another vital attribute.  Things can go wrong, and it is important to have alternatives.

The final question asked how you would like to see your adult learning offer change with respect to digital.

Responses talked about digital opening organisations to international audiences and partnerships across borders. Virtual tourism and time-zone friendly programming are norms in other parts of the world. Although the pandemic has shown that some audiences prefer remote engagement, not always to do with geography.

Join us Friday 1 October 2021 1pm for the next Digital Learning chat.

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