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Should we retire the phrase “Silver Surfer”?

In this post Newcastle University tell us about what they've discovered about the audience on their course Ageing Well: Falls.

In this post Newcastle University tell us about what they’ve discovered about the audience on their course Ageing Well: Falls.

FutureLearn Ageing Well Silver Surfers

We know that FutureLearn have been working hard to “pioneer the best social learning experiences for everyone” but does this hold for older learners?  Based on recent experiences with our course Ageing Well: Falls  we can say an emphatic yes.   The course attracted record numbers of over-65s –  showing that older people are just as enthusiastic about online learning.  In addition, the fact that over 56 % of learners fully participated in the four week course gives us an inkling not only of enthusiasm, but of ‘stick-ability’.

Data from our course shows that 41% of learners were 65 and over, in fact, the oldest participant on the course was 87 – proving that you are never too old to learn more!

Age of Learners on FutureLearn Falls

 This data is actually in keeping with national trends for computer use in older people.  In the UK, only 9% of people aged over 65 and 36% of those aged 55-64 used a computer on a daily basis when surveyed in 2006. But by August 2014, these figures had risen to 42% and 74% respectively.  Of particular relevance to the success of Ageing Well: Falls course, is that when older people use the Internet, one of the main reasons is to seek health information. 1, 2 

Join the course Ageing Well: Falls runs again on 5 September.

  1. Office for National Statistics. Internet Access – Households and Individuals: Statistical Bulletin; 2014.
  2. Morrell RW, Mayhorn CB, Bennett J. A survey of World Wide Web use in middle-aged and older adults. Hum Factors 2000;42(2):175-82.

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