Older people’s adoption of e-learning services: A qualitative study of facilitators and barriers

Xue Bai, Yiqin He, Florian Kohlbacher*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This research investigates the facilitators and barriers for older people to adopt e-learning services using qualitative data of older people in a Chinese city. A qualitative approach was applied to explore the perceived facilitators and obstacles toward e-learning adoption with 10 older Chinese aged over 50. The results indicate the following: (1a) Age-related changes and cohort effects were found to be the internal barriers for the adoption of e-learning. (1b) Equipment problems, lack of time, and the availability of alternatives were found to have negative effects on the acceptance of e-learning services. It is notable that alternatives including the University of the Third Age (U3A) were found to be more attractive for older Chinese. (2a) Work requirements and flexibility of e-learning services were found to have direct effects on the acceptance of services. (2b) User-friendly design and stimulation from family would facilitate older people to adopt. Practical implications of this research include that policymakers should consider investing more in education in later life and introducing e-learning services in public lectures and tutorials and that the age-related barrier should be taken into consideration in the design phase of e-learning services. U3As should consider integrating e-learning approaches and cooperating with the community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)291-307
    Number of pages17
    JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


    • China
    • e-learning
    • education
    • technology

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