University of Limerick
0624993 Joanne Irwin Thesis October 2010.pdf (984.3 kB)

An investigation of the factors that promote and hinder the use of ICT in an Irish adult education and training centre

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posted on 2022-10-12, 08:34 authored by Joanne Irwin
Due to the widespread use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within all aspects of today’s society, ICT use within all education sectors, including adult education must be encouraged in order to fully prepare learners for employment. This case study examines factors that facilitate and impede the use of ICT within education and identifies factors that are specific to adult education. This study primarily investigates the role of ICT within two adult education programmes, namely the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) and the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) within an Adult Education and Training Centre (AETC) in Ireland. Primary research involved observing the eight teachers in the AETC to identify if and how they use ICT within their specific subject area. In addition, questionnaires were disseminated to these teachers and to a random sample of 30 learners, 15 learners from each programme. Alongside this, a semi-structured interview was carried out with the co-ordinators from both of the aforementioned programmes. This study identified a disparity in ICT use across these specific adult education programmes. VTOS teachers and learners have increased ICT funding resulting in increased availability and accessibility of ICT resources. Consequently, VTOS teachers are highly trained and competent in ICT enabling the creation of versatile and innovative learning environments for VTOS learners. Comparatively, BTEI teachers do not experience the same levels of ICT funding, therefore have fewer opportunities to learn or develop ICT skills. BTEI teachers and learners have access to fewer ICT resources and subsequently BTEI teachers are less knowledgeable, competent or confident using ICT in their classrooms. Although inconsistencies in ICT use exist across programmes, all teachers and learners in the AETC acknowledge that ICT skills are crucial in today’s society. Accordingly, this study suggests that unless this disparity is addressed and resolved, the AETC is failing to meet the ICT requirements and needs of all adult learners.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Leahy, Noeleen



Also affiliated with

  • DMARC - Digital Media and Arts Research Centre

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