Intellectual development and aging of adults in educational technology

Eunjung Grace Oh, Yi-Chun Hong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We live in an era facing a strong societal demand for lifelong learning as well as actually having more abundant access to learning opportunities than ever before because of ubiquitous emerging technologies. An adult life span contains many life expectations demanding adjustment and growth in each stage. To support adult learners, it is important to understand the diversity of development needs and provide learning opportunities to help them achieve the necessary development at various stages. The purpose of this literature review is to address the question of how educational technology has served the needs of adult learning from the perspective of intellectual development and aging. Informed by the discussions about intellectual development in adulthood and aging, the major findings of this literature review address these four areas: (1) the current development of online learning addressing adult learners’ characteristics, (2) factors influencing adults’ adoptions of new technologies, (3) external agents supporting older adults’ learning, and (4) technologies selected to connect older adults with society and communities. Although our effort thus far has generated useful knowledge and insight to support adult learning, such an endeavor has been limited to understanding the needs and challenges of adult learners and effectively supporting their learning and intellectual development. Recommendations for future research and practice regarding (1) learning environment design, learning technologies, and learning experiences, (2) research methods, and (3) older adult learners conclude the chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research in Educational Communications and Technology
Subtitle of host publicationLearning Design
EditorsM.J. Bishop, Elizabeth Boling, Jan Elen, Vanessa Svihla
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030361198
ISBN (Print)9783030361181, 9783030361211
StatePublished - 2020


  • Adult learners
  • Aging
  • Educational technology
  • Intellectual development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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