Baby Boomer Perceptions and Experiences of Instructional Technology: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

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2021
Authors
Mangione, Brianne J.
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Abstract
Previous research on the implementation of instructional technologies has been conducted at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. Scholars have categorized college-age students as traditional or non-traditional, with the differentiation occurring at age 25. Little research has been done on specific populations of college students, particularly baby boomer community college students. As colleges serve a wide demographic of students, understanding the baby boomer generation’s experiences with and perceptions of instructional technology is important. The purpose of the descriptive phenomenological qualitative study was to explore baby boomer students’ perceptions of and experiences with instructional technology in college courses and classroom engagement. Both the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and technology acceptance model were used to guide the study. The sample size consisted of 18 baby boomer community college students enrolled at the chosen community college and who had no relationship with other individuals involved in the research. Semistructured interviews, which were video and audio recorded using Zoom software, were used to gather information from the participants. Interviews were transcribed, and a copy of the transcript was sent to each associated participant as part of a member-checking process. Data results indicated many adult students who are older have positive perceptions of instructional technology but desire a balance between technological teaching methods and traditional teaching methods. Such findings may provide information to college professionals on how to better engage an older demographic of students and promote future research on the topic. Keywords: baby boomers, community college, instructional technology, phenomenological, qualitative
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