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The National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

Academic Articles

Research & Academic Articles

The Osher NRC has curated these listings of articles for further information about the fields of lifelong learning and others associated areas. Some links are pdfs, while others direct to online articles that may require a subscription to access.

Adult Learning and Teaching

Tony Bates. (2016): The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online 
Contact North.
This text acts as a guide for faculty and instructors to get a realistic understanding of what valuable online learning can look like, while also assessing whether online teaching is the best option for them personally. Dr. Bates created this guide to help individuals to make decisions about whether to pursue the path of online learning, and should the individual choose to do so, how to do it well.

Michael Brady, Steven R. Holt & Betty Welt. (2011): Peer Teaching in Lifelong Learning Institutes
Journal of Educational Gerontology
Forty-eight peer teachers in five different Lifelong Learning Institutes in Maine were interviewed via focus groups. Five methods are used in peer teaching practice: lecture, group discussion, hands-on experiences, various hybrids of these three, and a course coordination approach. Peer teachers encounter a number of special challenges that include dealing with a range of educational backgrounds, subject-matter expertise among selected students, limitations in program structure, the physical changes that accompany aging, and ambivalence concerning Lifelong Learning Institutes' mission.

Michael Brady, Anne Cardale, Jon C. Neidy (2013): The Quest for Community in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Educational Gerontology, 39:9, 627-639.
An analysis of an open-ended online survey issued to the Directors of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes regarding the factors involved in building a community through lifelong learning. The authors found that a successful learning community must include common goals, a sense of ownership, sustained relationships, and a strong foundation of committed volunteers who report to a responsive host organization. Implications for lifelong learning programs in the face of increased distance education are explored.

Erika Edwards (2019): Want to keep your brain sharp in old age? Go back to school 
NBC News, July 17, 2019.
An article on gerontology research conducted University of California Riverside. The research involves older adults participating in college curriculum as students and its effect on aging, learning, and brain function. This article is a brief summary of the results and interview snippets with selected researchers and participants.

Brian Findsen and Marvin Formosa. (2011): Lifelong Learning in Later Life: A Handbook on Older Adult Learning (Chapter 9)
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei
An exanimation of geragogy, adult learning teaching and instructional styles to aid the learning experiences of older adults. This chapter traces the development of geragogy from andragogy, discusses specific teaching and instructional styles pertinent to older adults, and addresses elearning and fourth age learning.

Cristina Gordon. (2016): The Lifelong Learning Experience
IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 5.1
Utilizing theories of Experiential and Transformative Learning, this article complements the Experiential Learning Cycle by combining the learner’s strengths and moving beyond life in the classroom. It emphasizes full-life experiences, out of the classroom reflection, and the role of the teacher as a facilitator for adult learners to make personal meaning as they learn.

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steven P. Thaxton, Kevin M. Connaughton, and Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Report on the 2018 National Survey of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes’ Membership 
This report reviews the results from a membership survey of a representative population of Osher Institute members from 14 selected OLLI programs across the national Osher Network. This was the third such survey, administered in 2018, following surveys in 2014 and 2016. Nearly 6,000 members responded to the survey. Among other aspects, the survey explores demographic characteristics of the subjects; identifies their topic interests; technology experiences; and traits such as relocation in retirement, educational attainment, and satisfaction levels in their social relationships.

R.J. Manheimer. (2016): International Perspectives on Older Adult Education
Lifelong Learning Book Series 22, Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Link Unavailable. ISBN #978-3-319-24939-1
A historical and current perspective on Older Adult Education in the United States. This includes the reasoning behind the rise of older adult education, including statistical data, government policies, and gerontology. Additionally, this chapter offers a comparison of programs and host institutions; Lifelong Learning Institutes, Shepherd’s Centers, SeniorNet, Senior Centers, Elderhostel (Road Scholar), Senior Theatres, Community Colleges, OASIS, Other Sponsors/Resources Sports. It also includes a review of programs that offer opportunities for older adults, such as wellness and arts competition, spirituality with ageing and lifelong learning, and leadership programs. It concludes with a review of prospects for the future in older adult education.

Rob Mark, Craig Talmage & Rick Knopf. (2018): Learning Later: responding to the evolving educational needs of older people
Pascal International Observatory (Briefing Paper 13).
The proportion of older people in many countries is increasing and will continue to play an important future role in policy. Policy debates focus on how to address the widespread needs of older adults, which include economic security, health, work, and leisure. We highlight the debate in the field of education, and focus on the emerging approaches and locales for responding to the learning needs of older adults if they are to receive appropriate responses through policy formation. We also emphasize the important role lifelong learning can serve in policies enacted across communities and societies.

Summer C. McWilliams and Anne E. Barrett. (2015): “I Hope I Go Out of this World Still Wanting to Learn More”: Identity Work in a Lifelong Learning Institute

Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
This article examines older adults’ identity work within the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a not-for-credit later life educational organization. Authors use qualitative data from three sources: interviews with OLLI participants and staff (n = 32); observations at OLLI courses, events, and two regional conferences (118 hours); and content analysis of program materials. Analyses revealed identity work allowing members to view themselves as “lifelong learners.” This work involved four processes: (a) framing as a college experience, (b) distancing from nonacademic pursuits, (c) embracing the mature love of learning, and (d) (re)casting themselves as lifelong students.

Phillip Preville. (2018): The Active Learning Handbook
Top Hat Blog – Sponsored blog of Top Hat, a learning platform development company
This is a succinct guide to teaching effectiveness, using contemporary methods to retain student attention and achieve deeper learning engagement.

Mikulas Pstross, C. Bjørn Peterson, Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2017): In Search of Transformative Moments: Blending Community Building Pursuits into Lifelong Learning Experiences
Journal of Education, Culture and Society 2017(1), 62-78.
This article explores the intersections between lifelong learning and community building. A reflexive approach is used to identify seven pursuits that positively infuse community building into lifelong learning. These pursuits are: “ (1) asset-based thinking; (2) critical reflection; (3) systems thinking; (4) cognitive vibrancy, (5) inclusiveness; (6) creative expression; and, (7) purpose in life” (p. 62). The pursuits are coupled with the metaphor of bread making to describe how transformative moments arise in lifelong learning.

Michael Ramscar, Peter Hendrix, Cyrus Shaoul, Peter Milin, Harald Baayen. (2014): The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-Linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning
Topics in Cognitive Science Vol 6(1): Pages 5-42
As adults age, their performance on many psychometric tests changes systematically, a finding that is widely taken to reveal that cognitive information-processing capacities decline across adulthood. Contrary to this, we suggest that older adults’ changing performance reflects memory search demands, which escalate as experience grows. A series of simulations show how the performance patterns observed across adulthood emerge naturally in learning models as they acquire knowledge. The simulations correctly identify greater variation in the cognitive performance of older adults, and successfully predict that older adults will show greater sensitivity to fine-grained differences in the properties of test stimuli than younger adults. Our results indicate that older adults’ performance on cognitive tests reflects the predictable consequences of learning on information processing, and not cognitive decline. We consider the implications of this for our scientific and cultural understanding of aging.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf, & Steve Thaxton. (2018): Directions for 21st Century Lifelong Learning Institutes: Elucidating Questions from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Studies
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(2), 109-125.
This article serves as synthesis of the literature on lifelong learning institutes, specifically research on Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. The article highlights findings from sixty articles that particularly concern Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Twelve thematic areas and twelve questions for future practice and researcher are offered to readers to help understand the future needs for institutional research and practice regarding older adult lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, Geoffrey Lacher, Mikulas Pstross, Richard C. Knopf, & Karla A. Burkhart. (2015): Captivating Lifelong Learners in the Third Age: Lessons Learned from a University Based-InstituteAlberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(2), 109-125. Adult Education Quarterly, 65(3), 232-249
This article examines the effects that different learning topics have on attendance at classes hosted by a university-based lifelong learning institute, asking, which learning topics draw enrollment in a lifelong learning program? Results indicate that lifelong learners are more interested in classes concerning global issues, religion/ philosophy, and social issues focusing on particular groups and individuals. Implications for enhancing lifelong learning experiences and programs are discussed.

Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Robin Redmon Wright & Edward W. Taylor. (2015): Adult Education Faculty and Programs in North America: Faculty Background, Work, and Satisfaction
Adult Education Quarterly 2016, Vol. 66 (1) 76–95
This article reports on the findings of a quantitative survey of North American adult education faculty and an analysis of websites of adult education graduate programs. The study examined background information about adult education faculty and programs; the nature of faculty work interests, motivations, and satisfaction; and, involvement with the Commission of Professors of Adult Education.

Rachel Wu & Carla Strickland-Hughes. (2019): Think you’re too old to learn new tricks?
Scientific American
This article argues that new skill and knowledge acquisition is a key to cognitive fitness in older adulthood. Their research proposes that the benefits of learning and mentally growing specifically outweigh those of maintaining previous learning or skillsets.

Age Friendly Movements

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton, & Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Barriers to Age-Friendly Universities: Lessons from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Demographics and Perceptions
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 40(2), 221-243.
This article is part of special issue on the Age Friendly University Movement. It serves as a follow up to Hansen, Brady, and Thaxton’s (2016) article on the demographics of Osher institutes. Specifically, the study looks at demographic changes between the 2014 and 2016 administration of the biennial Osher NRC survey of its learners. The article particularly notes the barriers that older adults face regarding lifelong learning.

Louis M. Palazesi & Beverly L. Bower. (2006): Self-Identity Modification and Intent to Return: Baby Boomers Reinvent Themselves Using the Community College
Community College Review
It is relevant to reflect on the return of the baby boomers to community college to “reinvent” or “modify self-view” during this time where retirement has shifted entirely in public and private perception. The study attempts to understand the unknown to understand more than the tangible economic value of community college degrees and certifications. Instead, the study hopes to understand the positive correlation between expanding colleges’ educational services to older adults to generate revenue.

Mikulas Pstross, Trudy Corrigan, Richard Knopf, et al. (2017). The Benefits of Intergenerational Learning in Higher Education: Lessons Learned from Two Age Friendly University Programs
Innovative Higher Education 42: 157.
This article compares the promotion of intergenerational learning through the lens of two university experiences. It examines the introduction of reciprocal expertise, and how the intermingling of age groups can provide benefits for both younger and older learners.

Craig A. Talmage, Rob Mark, Maria Slowey & Richard C. Knopf. (2016): Age Friendly Universities and engagement with older adults: moving from principles to practice
International Journal of Lifelong Education
The global society is facing a new burgeoning element: an ageing population. Response to the educational needs and interests of older adults requires innovative pedagogies and practices of teaching, research, and community engagement. While traditionally geared towards provision for younger adults, the case is presented that universities have the potential to play a major role in innovation for later life learning for older adults.

Aging

Jane E. Brody. (2017): The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health
The New York Times, December 11, 2017, Page D7 under headline “How Loneliness Takes a Toll on our Health.
Brody explores the science behind loneliness, and how social isolation in particular affects health. In this summary of analysis, surprising results indicate that older adults are not traditionally the loneliest, and that social connections are a fundamental human need.

Mark Brown. (2017): Don't call people 'old' until death is near, says gerontologist
The Guardian
Gerontologist and director of Oxford Institute of Ageing, Sarah Harper is featured in this article. She argues the label “old” is outdated. It should be replaced by “active adults” based on history and statistical predictions on longevity in the U.K and globally.

Erika Edwards (2019): Want to keep your brain sharp in old age? Go back to school 
NBC News, July 17, 2019.
An article on gerontology research conducted University of California Riverside. The research involves older adults participating in college curriculum as students and its effect on aging, learning, and brain function. This article is a brief summary of the results and interview snippets with selected researchers and participants.

Liam Foster & A. Walker. (2015): Active and Successful Aging: A European Policy Perspective

The Gerontologist, Volume 55, Issue 1: Pages 83–90
Within a special Gerontologist edition of Successful Aging, this article looks at societal strategies as well as individual responsibilities related to active aging, a term the authors differentiate from successful aging. The support the concept as more holistic and “life course-oriented” than successful aging. They call for a comprehensive framework of global, national, and local policies to address active aging in an ever increasing aging population.

FrameWorks Institute. (2017): Framing Strategies to Advance Aging and Address Ageism as Policy Issues
Frame Brief | FrameWorks Institute
This brief lays out an approach to adjusting the common perceptions related to aging in America. The paper presents a strategy to promote methods to support an inclusive age inclusive/integrated model with a goal of public support for policies and practices that can include older adults. The brief touches on; the patterns in public thinking limiting the policy climate, the priorities for building public understanding, and specific communications techniques that to expand people’s thinking about aging and aging policies.

Mara Gordon (2019): What's Your Purpose? Finding A Sense Of Meaning In Life Is Linked To Health
NPR, WBEZ Chicago, May 25, 2019.
An article regarding purpose in life for older adults. It associates the results of “purpose” on health and mortality. It reviews “purpose”, its meaning, function, and effects on adults ages 51 to 61. This article is based on research published in JAMA Current Open.

Eleonora Guglielman. (2012): The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning
eLearning Papers, no. 12, June 2012.
The role of adult education is becoming increasingly important in training activities but is still rather low. Participation in learning tends to decrease concomitantly with increasing age. Advanced research in neuroscience shows that brain ageing may be reversible, and that brain maps can be restructured through learning experiences.

Bert Hayslip. (2014): Lifelong Learning: A Dyadic Ecological Perspective
Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Vol 12(4): Pages 368-380
This paper examines lifelong learning in differentiating it from formal education and emphasizes multiple theoretical perspectives in doing so. The theoretically based approaches emphasized here include contextualism and the multi-layered nature of the environment, the dialectics of interactions among students and instructors, the zone of proximal development, and person-environment fit.  Examining lifelong learning from these perspectives deepens our understanding of such learners and has implications for future research examining lifelong learning, as well as for the design and implementation of interventions designed to foster positive intergenerational relationships. 

Peter Kearns, Denise Reghenzani-Kearns. (2018): Towards Good Active Ageing for All: In a context of deep demographic change and dislocation.
PASCAL & PIMA SIG on Learning Later Life: December 2018
As the population ages, revolutionary changes in technologies incur side-by-side. This study researches the potential societal life-course approach with learning and the community to understand the role of social networks amidst the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

Beth Lazer. (2005):  The Boomers are Coming – Will We Be Ready?
OLLI Asheville
Detailed summary of report on the wants and needs of the “baby boomer” generation. Key points include this generation’s desire to plan for their retirement, continue to engage in the world and their immediate environments in an active way, and to find community despite vast differences in personal/educational backgrounds.

Shirley Leanos, Esra Kürüm, Carla M. Strickland-Hughes, Annie S. Ditta, Gianhu Nguyen, Miranda Felix, Hara Yum, George W. Rebok, and Rachel Wu. (2019): Cognitive Abilities and Functional Independence in Healthy Older Adults
The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 75, Issue 6, Pages 1155–1169.
The natural learning experience from infancy to emerging adulthood, when considerable cognitive and functional growth is observed, mandates learning multiple real-world skills simultaneously. These studies investigated whether learning multiple real-world skills simultaneously is possible in older adults and whether it improves both their cognitive abilities (working memory, episodic memory, and cognitive control) and functional independence. Results from both studies show that simultaneously learning multiple skills is feasible and potentially beneficial for healthy older adults.

Tom Schuller. (2019): Active ageing and older learners—Trajectories and outcomes
European Journal of Education
In this opinion piece, Schuller examines the themes of chronological age as a shaper of personal and societal expectations, the relationship of lifelong learning to active ageing, and active social engagement. Questions of the collective value of older adults in the workforce, the benefit of learning in combating or delaying cognitive decline, and individual verses public agency in the process of death are explored.

Paola Scommegna, Mark Mather & Lillian Kilduff. (2018): Eight Demographic Trends Transforming America’s Older Population
Population Reference Bureau
A new publication from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies eight key demographic trends shaping the rapidly growing U.S. population ages 65 and older—projected to nearly double from 51 million in 2017 to 95 million by 2060. The publication, Future Directions for the Demography of Aging, reflects the perspectives of nearly two dozen National Institute on Aging-supported researchers who examine recent demographic shifts along with “positive changes and disquieting trends.” They also explore research and policies that could improve health and well-being among older adults in the United States.

Michelle Sierpina & Beverly Lunsford. (2017): Positive Aging - Chapter 32
Integrative Geriatric Medicine, edited by Mikhail Kogan
This chapter of the book, “Integrative Geriatric Medicine” was co-authored by veteran Osher Institute Director, Michelle Sierpina with Beverly Lunsford. Dr. Sierpina presents a series of case studies suggesting that while certain aspects of the aging process alter physical, mental, and social capabilities, new coping mechanisms and perspectives are significantly enhancing the health and lives of an emerging contemporary aging cohort.

Jennifer L. Smith, Phd: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: How Perceptions of Aging Affect Our Later Years
Orange Paper, Mather Lifeways
People are often unaware of the extent to which their views of aging shape their expectations and actions. But for older adults, their perceptions of aging—and their self-perceptions—can have serious effects on their health, behaviors, and even longevity. The good news is that research has shown these perceptions can be changed, and organizations that serve older adults can promote more positive perceptions of aging. In this Orange Paper, you’ll learn: how to engage older adults in behaviors and view experiences in adaptive ways; ways to help older adults develop more positive perceptions of aging; and, what to consider when developing programs as they relate to older adults’ perceptions of aging.

Julie Sweetland, Andrew Volmert & Moira O’Neil. (2017): Finding the frame: An empirical approach to reframing aging and ageism
FrameWorks Institute
Eight leading national aging organizations and nine funders set out to find a way to drive a productive narrative on aging issues, called the Reframing Aging Initiative. Research partners, The FrameWorks Institute, conducted a Strategic Frame Analysis®—an investigation that combines theory and methods from different social science disciplines to arrive at reliable, research-based recommendations for reframing a social issue. The group’s research shows that aging is misunderstood in America and that the misperceptions create obstacles to productive practices and policies. To change this dynamic, the field of aging needs to advance a set of core ideas that creates the shifts in public understanding essential to building the political will to create a more age-integrated society.

Craig A. Talmage, Allison Ross, Mark Searle, & Richard C. Knopf. (2018): The Social and Cognitive Transformation of Older Adult Women: An Analysis of Community Well-Being for a University-Based Lifelong Learning Community

International Journal of Community Well-Being, 1(1), 11-31.
This article explores the social and cognitive well-being of women who participate in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Specifically, the article explores psychological variables such as sense of community and gerotranscendence and how they relate to life satisfaction and quality of life. Both quantitative and qualitative data are analyzed and showcased to highlight the well-being of women engaged in lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, & Richard C. Knopf. (2018): Wisdom and Curiosity Among Older Learners: Elucidating Themes of Well-Being from Beautiful Questions in Older Adulthood
OBM Geriatrics, 2(4), 025.
This article draws on in-depth interviews with Osher lifelong learners. More specifically, the article focuses on how their big questions in older adulthood, which showcase themes of wisdom and curiosity. Nine subthemes of curiosity and wisdom are presented, which are linked to overall well-being in older adulthood.

John B. Horrigan (2016): Lifelong Learning and Technology
From the Pew research center, this article focuses on the relationship between lifelong learning and technology usage. It presents significant data, charts, and analysis from a Pew research surveys on older adults, lifelong learning, technology, and demographic data. 

Aging Biology

Jane E. Brody. (2017): The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health
The New York Times, December 11, 2017, Page D7 under headline “How Loneliness Takes a Toll on our Health.
Brody explores the science behind loneliness, and how social isolation in particular affects health. In this summary of analysis, surprising results indicate that older adults are not traditionally the most lonely, and that social connections are a fundamental human need.

Joshua A. Goh & Denise C. Park. (2009): Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Aging: The Scaffolding Theory of Aging and Cognition
Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2009; 27(5): 391–403.
A recent proposal called the Scaffolding Theory of Cognitive Aging (STAC) postulates that functional changes with aging are part of a lifespan process of compensatory cognitive scaffolding that is an attempt to alleviate the cognitive declines associated with aging. Indeed, behavioral studies have shown that aging is associated with both decline as well as preservation of selective cognitive abilities. In this review, we discuss these age-related behavioral and brain findings that support the STAC model of cognitive scaffolding and additionally integrate the findings on neuroplasticity as a compensatory response in the aging brain. As such, we also examine the impact of external experiences in facilitating neuroplasticity in older adults.

Eleonora Guglielman. (2012): The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning
eLearning Papers, no. 12, June 2012.
The role of adult education is becoming increasingly important in training activities but is still rather low. Participation in learning tends to decrease concomitantly with increasing age. Advanced research in neuroscience shows that brain ageing may be reversible, and that brain maps can be restructured through learning experiences.

Shirley Leanos, Esra Kürüm, Carla M. Strickland-Hughes, Annie S. Ditta, Gianhu Nguyen, Miranda Felix, Hara Yum, George W. Rebok, and Rachel Wu. (2019): Cognitive Abilities and Functional Independence in Healthy Older Adults
The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 75, Issue 6, Pages 1155–1169.
The natural learning experience from infancy to emerging adulthood, when considerable cognitive and functional growth is observed, mandates learning multiple real-world skills simultaneously. These studies investigated whether learning multiple real-world skills simultaneously is possible in older adults and whether it improves both their cognitive abilities (working memory, episodic memory, and cognitive control) and functional independence. Results from both studies show that simultaneously learning multiple skills is feasible and potentially beneficial for healthy older adults.

Summer C. McWilliams and Anne E. Barrett. (2015): “I Hope I Go Out of this World Still Wanting to Learn More”: Identity Work in a Lifelong Learning Institute
Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
This article examines older adults’ identity work within the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a not-for-credit later life educational organization. Authors use qualitative data from three sources: interviews with OLLI participants and staff (n = 32); observations at OLLI courses, events, and two regional conferences (118 hours); and content analysis of program materials. Analyses revealed identity work allowing members to view themselves as “lifelong learners.” This work involved four processes: (a) framing as a college experience, (b) distancing from nonacademic pursuits, (c) embracing the mature love of learning, and (d) (re)casting themselves as lifelong students.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2018): Health, United States, 2018
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Health, United States series presents an annual overview of national trends in key health indicators. The 2018 report presents trends and current information on selected measures of morbidity, mortality, health care utilization and access, health risk factors, prevention, health insurance, and personal health care expenditures in a 20-figure chartbook. The Health, United States, 2018 Chartbook is supplemented by several other products including Trend Tables, an At-a-Glance table, Appendixes, and Spotlight Infographics available for download on the Health, United States website.

Michael Ramscar, Peter Hendrix, Cyrus Shaoul, Peter Milin, Harald Baayen. (2014): The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-Linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning
Topics in Cognitive Science Vol 6(1): Pages 5-42
As adults age, their performance on many psychometric tests changes systematically, a finding that is widely taken to reveal that cognitive information-processing capacities decline across adulthood. Contrary to this, we suggest that older adults’ changing performance reflects memory search demands, which escalate as experience grows. A series of simulations show how the performance patterns observed across adulthood emerge naturally in learning models as they acquire knowledge. The simulations correctly identify greater variation in the cognitive performance of older adults, and successfully predict that older adults will show greater sensitivity to fine-grained differences in the properties of test stimuli than younger adults. Our results indicate that older adults’ performance on cognitive tests reflects the predictable consequences of learning on information processing, and not cognitive decline. We consider the implications of this for our scientific and cultural understanding of aging.

Tom Schuller. (2019): Active ageing and older learners—Trajectories and outcomes
European Journal of Education
In this opinion piece, Schuller examines the themes of chronological age as a shaper of personal and societal expectations, the relationship of lifelong learning to active ageing, and active social engagement. Questions of the collective value of older adults in the workforce, the benefit of learning in combating or delaying cognitive decline, and individual verses public agency in the process of death are explored.

Paola Scommegna, Mark Mather & Lillian Kilduff. (2018): Eight Demographic Trends Transforming America’s Older Population
Population Reference Bureau
A new publication from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies eight key demographic trends shaping the rapidly growing U.S. population ages 65 and older—projected to nearly double from 51 million in 2017 to 95 million by 2060. The publication, Future Directions for the Demography of Aging, reflects the perspectives of nearly two dozen National Institute on Aging-supported researchers who examine recent demographic shifts along with “positive changes and disquieting trends.” They also explore research and policies that could improve health and well-being among older adults in the United States.

Michelle Sierpina & Beverly Lunsford. (2017): Positive Aging - Chapter 32
Integrative Geriatric Medicine, edited by Mikhail Kogan
This chapter of the book, “Integrative Geriatric Medicine” was co-authored by veteran Osher Institute Director, Michelle Sierpina with Beverly Lunsford. Dr. Sierpina presents a series of case studies suggesting that while certain aspects of the aging process alter physical, mental, and social capabilities, new coping mechanisms and perspectives are significantly enhancing the health and lives of an emerging contemporary aging cohort.

Rachel Wu & Carla Strickland-Hughes. (2019): Think you’re too old to learn new tricks?
Scientific American
This article argues that new skill and knowledge acquisition is a key to cognitive fitness in older adulthood. Their research proposes that the benefits of learning and mentally growing specifically outweigh those of maintaining previous learning or skillsets.

Aging Social Issues

Jane E. Brody. (2017): The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health
The New York Times, December 11, 2017, Page D7 under headline “How Loneliness Takes a Toll on our Health.
Brody explores the science behind loneliness, and how social isolation in particular affects health. In this summary of analysis, surprising results indicate that older adults are not traditionally the most lonely, and that social connections are a fundamental human need.

Mark Brown. (2017): Don't call people 'old' until death is near, says gerontologist
The Guardian
Gerontologist and director of Oxford Institute of Ageing, Sarah Harper is featured in this article. She argues the label “old” is outdated. It should be replaced by “active adults” based on history and statistical predictions on longevity in the U.K and globally.

FrameWorks Institute. (2017): Framing Strategies to Advance Aging and Address Ageism as Policy Issues
Frame Brief | FrameWorks Institute
This brief lays out an approach to adjusting the common perceptions related to aging in America. The paper presents a strategy to promote methods to support an inclusive age inclusive/integrated model with a goal of public support for policies and practices that can include older adults. The brief touches on; the patterns in public thinking limiting the policy climate, the priorities for building public understanding, and specific communications techniques that to expand people’s thinking about aging and aging policies.

Richard J. Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton, & Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Barriers to Age-Friendly Universities:  Lessons from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Demographics and Perceptions
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 40(2), 221-243.  
This article is part of special issue on the Age Friendly University Movement. It serves as a follow up to Hansen, Brady, and Thaxton’s (2016) article on the demographics of Osher institutes. Specifically, the study looks at demographic changes between the 2014 and 2016 administration of the biennial Osher NRC survey of its learners. The article particularly notes the barriers that older adults face regarding lifelong learning.

Louise C. Hawkley, K. Wroblewski, L. Schumm, T. Kaiser & M. Luhmann. (2019): Are U.S. Older Adults Getting Lonelier? Age, Period and Cohort Differences
Psychology and Aging, Vol. 34, No. 8: Pages 1144–1157
Using data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project and from the Health and Retirement Study collected during 2005–2016, researchers looked at age, birth year, and survey time point associated with loneliness. Interestingly, they found loneliness decreased with age through the early 70’s, but increased in those older than mid-70’s.

Bert Hayslip. (2014): Lifelong Learning: A Dyadic Ecological Perspective
Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Vol 12(4): Pages 368-380
This paper examines lifelong learning in differentiating it from formal education and emphasizes multiple theoretical perspectives in doing so. The theoretically based approaches emphasized here include contextualism and the multi-layered nature of the environment, the dialectics of interactions among students and instructors, the zone of proximal development, and person-environment fit.  Examining lifelong learning from these perspectives deepens our understanding of such learners and has implications for future research examining lifelong learning, as well as for the design and implementation of interventions designed to foster positive intergenerational relationships. 

Rob Mark, Craig Talmage & Richard Knopf. (2018): Learning Later: responding to the evolving educational needs of older people
Pascal International Observatory (Briefing Paper 13).
The proportion of older people in many countries is increasing and will continue to play an important future role in policy. Policy debates focus on how to address the widespread needs of older adults, which include economic security, health, work, and leisure. We highlight the debate in the field of education, and focus on the emerging approaches and locales for responding to the learning needs of older adults if they are to receive appropriate responses through policy formation. We also emphasize the important role lifelong learning can serve in policies enacted across communities and societies.

Sharan B. Merriam & Youngwha Kee. (2014): Promoting Community Wellbeing: The Case for Lifelong Learning for Older AdultsAdult Education Quarterly
Community wellbeing is a function of many factors working in concert to promote an optimal quality of life for all members of a community. It is argued here that the promotion of lifelong learning among older adults can significantly contribute to community wellbeing. The aging society is a worldwide phenomenon presenting both opportunities and challenges to community wellbeing. Research suggests that the more active, healthier, and educated older adults are, the less drain they are on family and community resources and services. At the same time, active and healthy elders contribute to community wellbeing through their accumulated life experience, expertise, and service.

Rebecca Patterson, Suzanne Moffatt, Maureen Smith, Jessica Scott, Christopher McLoughlin, Judith Bell, & Norman Bell: (2016). Exploring social inclusivity within the University of the Third Age (U3A): a model of collaborative research
Ageing and Society, 36 (8): 1580-1603.
Lifelong learning is believed to have physical, social, and emotional benefits for older adults. Numerous programs encouraging learning in later life exist worldwide. One example is the University of the Third Age (U3A) – a lifelong learning co-operative rooted in peer-support and knowledge sharing. This article is based on a collaborative study conducted by university researchers and members of a U3A in North-East England (UK) investigating the social inclusivity of the group considering low attendance levels among those from social housing and non-professional backgrounds.

Tom Schuller. (2019): Active ageing and older learners—Trajectories and outcomes
European Journal of Education
In this opinion piece, Schuller examines the themes of chronological age as a shaper of personal and societal expectations, the relationship of lifelong learning to active ageing, and active social engagement. Questions of the collective value of older adults in the workforce, the benefit of learning in combating or delaying cognitive decline, and individual verses public agency in the process of death are explored.

Michelle Sierpina & Beverly Lunsford. (2017): Positive Aging - Chapter 32
Integrative Geriatric Medicine, edited by Mikhail Kogan
This chapter of the book, “Integrative Geriatric Medicine” was co-authored by veteran Osher Institute Director, Michelle Sierpina with Beverly Lunsford. Dr. Sierpina presents a series of case studies suggesting that while certain aspects of the aging process alter physical, mental, and social capabilities, new coping mechanisms and perspectives are significantly enhancing the health and lives of an emerging contemporary aging cohort.

Jennifer L. Smith, Phd.: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: How Perceptions of Aging Affect Our Later Years
Orange Paper, Mather Lifeways
People are often unaware of the extent to which their views of aging shape their expectations and actions. But for older adults, their perceptions of aging—and their self-perceptions—can have serious effects on their health, behaviors, and even longevity. The good news is that research has shown these perceptions can be changed, and organizations that serve older adults can promote more positive perceptions of aging. In this Orange Paper, you’ll learn: how to engage older adults in behaviors and view experiences in adaptive ways; ways to help older adults develop more positive perceptions of aging; and, what to consider when developing programs as they relate to older adults’ perceptions of aging.

Bianca Suanet & T.G. Van Tilburg. (2019): Loneliness declines across birth cohorts: The impact of mastery and self-efficacy
Psychology and Aging
Some, both citizens and the popular press, have examined the extensiveness of loneliness among older adults. This study looks at age cohorts as well as mastery and self-efficacy. It uses data from the important work done in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.

Julie Sweetland, Andrew Volmert & Moira O’Neil. (2017): Finding the frame: An empirical approach to reframing aging and ageism
FrameWorks Institute
Eight leading national aging organizations and nine funders set out to find a way to drive a productive narrative on aging issues, called the Reframing Aging Initiative. Research partners, The FrameWorks Institute, conducted a Strategic Frame Analysis®—an investigation that combines theory and methods from different social science disciplines to arrive at reliable, research-based recommendations for reframing a social issue. The group’s research shows that aging is misunderstood in America and that the misperceptions create obstacles to productive practices and policies. To change this dynamic, the field of aging needs to advance a set of core ideas that creates the shifts in public understanding essential to building the political will to create a more age-integrated society.

Craig A. Talmage, Allison Ross, Mark Searle, & Richard C. Knopf. (2018): The Social and Cognitive Transformation of Older Adult Women: An Analysis of Community Well-Being for a University-Based Lifelong Learning Community
International Journal of Community Well-Being, 1(1), 11-31.
This article explores the social and cognitive well-being of women who participate in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Specifically, the article explores psychological variables such as sense of community and gerotranscendence and how they relate to life satisfaction and quality of life. Both quantitative and qualitative data are analyzed and showcased to highlight the well-being of women engaged in lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, & Richard C. Knopf. (2018): Wisdom and Curiosity Among Older Learners: Elucidating Themes of Well-Being from Beautiful Questions in Older Adulthood
OBM Geriatrics, 2(4), 025.
This article draws on in-depth interviews with Osher lifelong learners. More specifically, the article focuses on how their big questions in older adulthood, which showcase themes of wisdom and curiosity. Nine subthemes of curiosity and wisdom are presented, which are linked to overall well-being in older adulthood.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf, Steve P. Thaxton, Riley McTague & D. Bennett Moore. (2019): Unleashing the Value of Lifelong Learning Institutes:  Research and Practice Insights from a National Survey of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Adult Education Quarterly, 69(3), 184-206.
This article specifically focuses in on the final qualitative item of the 2016 national Osher NRC survey. Specifically, the study explores the value of lifelong learning to Osher learners. Using content analysis, four dimensions were identified and explained: (1) learning experience; (2) community environment; (3) learning quality; and, (4) learning access. Demographic variations regarding perceptions of value are noted as well.

Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Considering Family Stories and Phenomena in Older Adult Lifelong Learning
HSOA Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 5, 033.
This article features stories regarding experiences and the impact of family members unearthed from in-depth interviews with Osher learners. Specifically, it focuses on the role families as phenomena play in lifelong learning. Eight areas are explored:  “(1) family backgrounds; (2) family changes; (3) family distance; (4) family education; (5) perceptions of the family’s future; (6) family history; (7) family influence; and, (8) family stories.” The article concludes with a call for a greater consideration of family phenomena in research.

Laurie Theeke & Jennifer A. Mallow: (2015). The Development of LISTEN: A Novel Intervention for Loneliness
Open J Nurs. 2015 Feb;5(2):136-143.
The purpose of this paper is to present the development of LISTEN (Loneliness Intervention using Story Theory to Enhance Nursing-sensitive outcomes), a new intervention for loneliness. LISTEN was developed using the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for intervention development. Extensive literature review revealed that belonging, relating, placing in community, challenges, and meanings of coping were concepts significant to loneliness. LISTEN is developed and the first randomized trial is complete with a sample of 27 lonely, chronically ill, community dwelling, and older adults. LISTEN was evaluated as feasible to deliver by the study team and acceptable for significantly diminishing loneliness by participants of the LISTEN groups who were compared to attention control groups (p < 0.5). LISTEN has the potential to enhance health by diminishing loneliness which could result in improving the long-term negative known sequelae of loneliness.

Distance Learning

Michael Brady, Anne Cardale, Jon C. Neidy (2013): The Quest for Community in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Educational Gerontology, 39:9, 627-639.
An analysis of an open-ended online survey issued to the Directors of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes regarding the factors involved in building a community through lifelong learning. The authors found that a successful learning community must include common goals, a sense of ownership, sustained relationships, and a strong foundation of committed volunteers who report to a responsive host organization. Implications for lifelong learning programs in the face of increased distance education are explored.

Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR and Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies (2020): Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption, for SIS and PWR
Teaching during times of potential disruption requires creative and flexible thinking about how instructors can support students in achieving essential core course learning objectives. This document offers suggestions for instructors in Stanford University’s PWR and Thinking Matters looking to continue offering a student-centered learning experience in a remote or online learning environment.

Brian Findsen and Marvin Formosa. (2011): Lifelong Learning in Later Life: A Handbook on Older Adult Learning (Chapter 9)
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei
An exanimation of geragogy, adult learning teaching and instructional styles to aid the learning experiences of older adults. This chapter traces the development of geragogy from andragogy, discusses specific teaching and instructional styles pertinent to older adults, and addresses elearning and fourth age learning.

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton & Richard C. Knopf. (in press). Enhancing Older Adult Access to Lifelong Learning Institutes Through Technology-Based Instruction: A Brief Report
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education
This article focuses on the promise of distance learning and technology enhanced methods for lifelong learning. This short report features insights from the 2014 and 2016 Osher NRC surveys of institutes. Technology, in particular, may help alleviate barriers for older adults, such as health limitations and distance from lifelong learning sites. Ideas for future practice are also shared.

John B. Horrigan. (2016): Lifelong Learning and Technology
From the Pew research center, this article focuses on the relationship between lifelong learning and technology usage. It presents significant data, charts, and analysis from a Pew research surveys on older adults, lifelong learning, technology, and demographic data. 

Generativity

Summer C. McWilliams and Anne E. Barrett (2015): “I Hope I Go Out of this World Still Wanting to Learn More”: Identity Work in a Lifelong Learning Institute

Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
This article examines older adults’ identity work within the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a not-for-credit later life educational organization. Authors use qualitative data from three sources: interviews with OLLI participants and staff (n = 32); observations at OLLI courses, events, and two regional conferences (118 hours); and content analysis of program materials. Analyses revealed identity work allowing members to view themselves as “lifelong learners.” This work involved four processes: (a) framing as a college experience, (b) distancing from nonacademic pursuits, (c) embracing the mature love of learning, and (d) (re)casting themselves as lifelong students.

Milken Institute. (2016): The Power of Purposeful Aging: Culture Change and the New Demography
2016 Purposeful Aging Summit
This study engages in the understanding of the perspective and motivation of adults over the age of 65. Using a combination of statistical and anecdotal evidence, this text highlights a proven model for intergenerational success that originates at the intrinsic evolution of the older adults towards philanthropy and giving back, particularly in tandem with the generations which succeed them.

Mikulas Pstross, C. Bjørn Peterson, Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2017): In Search of Transformative Moments: Blending Community Building Pursuits into Lifelong Learning Experiences
Journal of Education, Culture and Society 2017(1), 62-78.
This article explores the intersections between lifelong learning and community building. A reflexive approach is used to identify seven pursuits that positively infuse community building into lifelong learning. These pursuits are: “ (1) asset-based thinking; (2) critical reflection; (3) systems thinking; (4) cognitive vibrancy, (5) inclusiveness; (6) creative expression; and, (7) purpose in life” (p. 62). The pursuits are coupled with the metaphor of bread making to describe how transformative moments arise in lifelong learning.

Michelle Sierpina & Beverly Lunsford. (2017): Positive Aging - Chapter 32
Integrative Geriatric Medicine, edited by Mikhail Kogan
This chapter of the book, “Integrative Geriatric Medicine” was co-authored by veteran Osher Institute Director, Michelle Sierpina with Beverly Lunsford. Dr. Sierpina presents a series of case studies suggesting that while certain aspects of the aging process alter physical, mental, and social capabilities, new coping mechanisms and perspectives are significantly enhancing the health and lives of an emerging contemporary aging cohort.

Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2018): Wisdom and Curiosity Among Older Learners: Elucidating Themes of Well-Being from Beautiful Questions in Older Adulthood
OBM Geriatrics, 2(4), 025.
This article draws on in-depth interviews with Osher lifelong learners. More specifically, the article focuses on how their big questions in older adulthood, which showcase themes of wisdom and curiosity. Nine subthemes of curiosity and wisdom are presented, which are linked to overall well-being in older adulthood.

Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Considering Family Stories and Phenomena in Older Adult Lifelong Learning
HSOA Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 5, 033.
This article features stories regarding experiences and the impact of family members unearthed from in-depth interviews with Osher learners. Specifically, it focuses on the role families as phenomena play in lifelong learning. Eight areas are explored:  “(1) family backgrounds; (2) family changes; (3) family distance; (4) family education; (5) perceptions of the family’s future; (6) family history; (7) family influence; and, (8) family stories.” The article concludes with a call for a greater consideration of family phenomena in research.

Lifelong Learning Classics

Michael Brady, Anne Cardale, Jon C. Neidy (2013): The Quest for Community in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Educational Gerontology, 39:9, 627-639.
An analysis of an open-ended online survey issued to the Directors of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes regarding the factors involved in building a community through lifelong learning. The authors found that a successful learning community must include common goals, a sense of ownership, sustained relationships, and a strong foundation of committed volunteers who report to a responsive host organization. Implications for lifelong learning programs in the face of increased distance education are explored.

Brian Findsen and Marvin Formosa. (2011): Lifelong Learning in Later Life: A Handbook on Older Adult Learning (Chapter 9)
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei
An exanimation of geragogy, adult learning teaching and instructional styles to aid the learning experiences of older adults. This chapter traces the development of geragogy from andragogy, discusses specific teaching and instructional styles pertinent to older adults, and addresses elearning and fourth age learning.

Lightfoot & E.M. Brady. (2005): Transformations through teaching and learning: The story of Maine’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Journal of Transformative Education, 3(3), 221-235.
This article outlines the history of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at University of Southern Maine (USM) presents a microcosm of lifelong learning institutes in the United States. OLLI at USM conducted two research studies, one on the experience of peer teaching in lifelong learning institutes and another on the nature of the learning experience for their students. The authors pose questions about the future of lifelong learning institutes and the changes that may come as a result of the philanthropy of the Bernard Osher Foundation.

R.J. Manheimer. (2016): International Perspectives on Older Adult Education
Lifelong Learning Book Series 22, Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Link Unavailable. ISBN #978-3-319-24939-1
A historical and current perspective on Older Adult Education in the United States. This includes the reasoning behind the rise of older adult education, including statistical data, government policies, and gerontology. Additionally, this chapter offers a comparison of programs and host institutions; Lifelong Learning Institutes, Shepherd’s Centers, SeniorNet, Senior Centers, Elderhostel (Road Scholar), Senior Theatres, Community Colleges, OASIS, Other Sponsors/Resources Sports. It also includes a review of programs that offer opportunities for older adults, such as wellness and arts competition, spirituality with ageing and lifelong learning, and leadership programs. It concludes with a review of prospects for the future in older adult education.

Sharan B. Merriam & Youngwha Kee (2014): Promoting Community Wellbeing: The Case for Lifelong Learning for Older AdultsAdult Education Quarterly
Community wellbeing is a function of many factors working in concert to promote an optimal quality of life for all members of a community. It is argued here that the promotion of lifelong learning among older adults can significantly contribute to community wellbeing. The aging society is a worldwide phenomenon presenting both opportunities and challenges to community wellbeing. Research suggests that the more active, healthier, and educated older adults are, the less drain they are on family and community resources and services. At the same time, active and healthy elders contribute to community wellbeing through their accumulated life experience, expertise, and service.

Rebecca Patterson, Suzanne Moffatt, Maureen Smith, Jessica Scott, Christopher McLoughlin, Judith Bell, & Norman Bell: (2016). Exploring social inclusivity within the University of the Third Age (U3A): a model of collaborative research
Ageing and Society, 36 (8): 1580-1603.
Lifelong learning is believed to have physical, social, and emotional benefits for older adults. Numerous programs encouraging learning in later life exist worldwide. One example is the University of the Third Age (U3A) – a lifelong learning co-operative rooted in peer-support and knowledge sharing. This article is based on a collaborative study conducted by university researchers and members of a U3A in North-East England (UK) investigating the social inclusivity of the group considering low attendance levels among those from social housing and non-professional backgrounds.

Lifelong Learning Institutes

Michael Brady, Steven R. Holt & Betty Welt. (2011): Peer Teaching in Lifelong Learning InstitutesJournal of Educational Gerontology
Forty-eight peer teachers in five different Lifelong Learning Institutes in Maine were interviewed via focus groups. Five methods are used in peer teaching practice: lecture, group discussion, hands-on experiences, various hybrids of these three, and a course coordination approach. Peer teachers encounter a number of special challenges that include dealing with a range of educational backgrounds, subject-matter expertise among selected students, limitations in program structure, the physical changes that accompany aging, and ambivalence concerning Lifelong Learning Institutes' mission.

Robert Jack Hansen, E. Michael Brady & Steven P. Thaxton. (2016): Demographic and Behavioral Characteristics of Lifelong Learning Institute Members
The Journal of Continuing Higher Education
The number of lifelong learning institutes (LLIs) is growing across the United States and it is important for educational planners and administrators to know about current demographic and behavioral characteristics of program participants. A 14-question survey was administered via SurveyMonkey to members who use computers in eight Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs. Questions focused on selected demographic characteristics and also retirement trends such as relocation, extent of part-time or full-time employment, and technology utilization, as well as experience with distance education and areas of interest for lifelong learning courses.

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton & Richard C. Knopf. (2019): Barriers to Age-Friendly Universities: Lessons from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Demographics and PerceptionsGerontology & Geriatrics Education, 40(2), 221-243.
This article is part of special issue on the Age Friendly University Movement. It serves as a follow up to Hansen, Brady, and Thaxton’s (2016) article on the demographics of Osher institutes. Specifically, the study looks at demographic changes between the 2014 and 2016 administration of the biennial Osher NRC survey of its learners. The article particularly notes the barriers that older adults face regarding lifelong learning.

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton & Richard C. Knopf. (in press). Enhancing Older Adult Access to Lifelong Learning Institutes Through Technology-Based Instruction: A Brief ReportGerontology & Geriatrics Education
This article focuses on the promise of distance learning and technology enhanced methods for lifelong learning. This short report features insights from the 2014 and 2016 Osher NRC surveys of institutes. Technology, in particular, may help alleviate barriers for older adults, such as health limitations and distance from lifelong learning sites. Ideas for future practice are also shared.

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steven P. Thaxton, Kevin M. Connaughton & Richard C. Knopf (2019): Report on the 2018 National Survey of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes’ Membership 
This report reviews the results from a membership survey of a representative population of Osher Institute members from 14 selected OLLI programs across the national Osher Network. This was the third such survey, administered in 2018, following surveys in 2014 and 2016. Nearly 6,000 members responded to the survey. Among other aspects, the survey explores demographic characteristics of the subjects; identifies their topic interests; technology experiences; and traits such as relocation in retirement, educational attainment, and satisfaction levels in their social relationships.

Rick Lamb & E. Michael Brady (2007): Participation on Lifelong Learning Institutes: What Turns Members On?
Educational Gerontology, 31(3), 207-224
Following research of the OLLI at University of Southern Maine, Lamb and Brady conducted interviews to investigate the perceived benefits of participation in peer-governed and taught elder learning program. This revealed a multidimensional motivation for lifelong learners to experience intellectual stimulation as well as community.

LLI Network at Road Scholar: How to Start a Lifelong Learning Institute
Road Scholar LLI Resource Network
This comprehensive guide explains the process of starting a Lifelong Learning Center, including a brief history of the LLI itself. From gathering information to securing finances, this guide details considerations to make before and during the first years of establishment.

R.J. Manheimer. (2016): International Perspectives on Older Adult Education
Lifelong Learning Book Series 22, Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Link Unavailable. ISBN #978-3-319-24939-1
A historical and current perspective on Older Adult Education in the United States. This includes the reasoning behind the rise of older adult education, including statistical data, government policies, and gerontology. Additionally, this chapter offers a comparison of programs and host institutions; Lifelong Learning Institutes, Shepherd’s Centers, SeniorNet, Senior Centers, Elderhostel (Road Scholar), Senior Theatres, Community Colleges, OASIS, Other Sponsors/Resources Sports. It also includes a review of programs that offer opportunities for older adults, such as wellness and arts competition, spirituality with ageing and lifelong learning, and leadership programs. It concludes with a review of prospects for the future in older adult education.

Jon Charles Neidy (2019): Exploring the Relationship Between Members of Lifelong Learning Institutes and Host Institutions
Dissertation Theses by Jon C. Neidy for Doctor of Philosophy awarded by Illinois State University 10-14-19
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between an individual’s involvement in Lifelong Learning Institutes (LLIs) and his or her propensity for philanthropic giving to the institute or its hosting college or university. The dataset was acquired through a survey administered to eleven Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLIs) in the United States. The results of this study encourage OLLI stakeholders to consider the findings during program and strategic planning.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf & Steve Thaxton. (2018): Directions for 21st Century Lifelong Learning Institutes: Elucidating Questions from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Studies
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(2), 109-125.
This article serves as synthesis of the literature on lifelong learning institutes, specifically research on Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. The article highlights findings from sixty articles that particularly concern Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Twelve thematic areas and twelve questions for future practice and researcher are offered to readers to help understand the future needs for institutional research and practice regarding older adult lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf, Steve P. Thaxton, Riley McTague & D. Bennett Moore. (2019): Unleashing the Value of Lifelong Learning Institutes:  Research and Practice Insights from a National Survey of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Adult Education Quarterly, 69(3), 184-206.
This article specifically focuses in on the final qualitative item of the 2016 national Osher NRC survey. Specifically, the study explores the value of lifelong learning to Osher learners. Using content analysis, four dimensions were identified and explained: (1) learning experience; (2) community environment; (3) learning quality; and, (4) learning access. Demographic variations regarding perceptions of value are noted as well.

Craig A. Talmage, Geoffrey Lacher, Mikulas Pstross, Richard C. Knopf & Karla A. Burkhart. (2015): Captivating Lifelong Learners in the Third Age: Lessons Learned from a University Based-InstituteAlberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(2), 109-125. Adult Education Quarterly, 65(3), 232-249
This article examines the effects that different learning topics have on attendance at classes hosted by a university-based lifelong learning institute, asking, which learning topics draw enrollment in a lifelong learning program? Results indicate that lifelong learners are more interested in classes concerning global issues, religion/ philosophy, and social issues focusing on particular groups and individuals. Implications for enhancing lifelong learning experiences and programs are discussed.

Non-Scholarly Articles

Avi Bernstein (2016): Cultivating Leadership in Lifelong Learning Institutes: A Narrow Bridge
The Evolllution: A Destiny Solutions Illumination
Lifelong Learning Institutes that belong to university campuses like Avi Bernstein’s own have a special challenge. They walk a narrow bridge, and sometimes it can even feel like a tightrope. The cause of the particular difficulties is that volunteers run the operation. In this article, Avi Bernstein, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis University offers fellow academic leaders in lifelong learning institutes, advice on establishing an appropriate set of practices to integrate volunteer-leaders into the organization.

Mark Brown. (2017): Don't call people 'old' until death is near, says gerontologist
The Guardian
Gerontologist and director of Oxford Institute of Ageing, Sarah Harper is featured in this article. She argues the label “old” is outdated. It should be replaced by “active adults” based on history and statistical predictions on longevity in the U.K and globally.

John Coleman (2017): Lifelong Learning Is Good for Your Health, Your Wallet, and Your Social Life
A Harvard Business Review article on the benefits for lifelong learning. The article highlights specific areas that lifelong learning benefits including: economic benefits, health, personal well-being, and professional growth.

Miriam Cross (2015): 7 Things You Must Know about Lifetime Learning
Kiplinger’s Personal Financial – October 2015
This quick-read introduction of learning options for retired adults includes for credit and non-credit suggestions, along with other options for learning that vary from international travel to low or no-cost local opportunities.

Sandra von Doetinchem (2019): Lifelong Learning: Do You Know It When You See It?
From the American Society on Aging, this article is a review on the foundations of what composes lifelong learning. The article offers explanations of “What is lifelong learning?”, “Why is lifelong learning important?”, the locations of lifelong learning and the unique aspects of older adults as learners

Harriet Edleson (2016): Older Students Learn for the Sake Learning
New York Times, January 1, 2016
The New York Times profiles members of the larger Osher community, some of the then 150,000 and 119 Osher Institutes (now 170,339 and 124 Institutes). Citing the experiences of individual members, this article details the importance of non-credit intellectual options, instead of skill-based coursework traditionally available.

Erika Edwards (2019): Want to keep your brain sharp in old age? Go back to school 
NBC News, July 17, 2019.
An article on gerontology research conducted University of California Riverside. The research involves older adults participating in college curriculum as students and its effect on aging, learning, and brain function. This article is a brief summary of the results and interview snippets with selected researchers and participants.

Mara Gordon (2019): What's Your Purpose? Finding A Sense Of Meaning In Life Is Linked To Health
NPR, WBEZ Chicago, May 25, 2019
An article regarding purpose in life for older adults. It associates the results of “purpose” on health and mortality. It reviews “purpose”, its meaning, function, and effects on adults ages 51 to 61. This article is based on research published in JAMA Current Open.

Phillip Preville. (2018): The Active Learning Handbook
Top Hat Blog – Sponsored blog of Top Hat, a learning platform development company
This is a succinct guide to teaching effectiveness, using contemporary methods to retain student attention and achieve deeper learning engagement.

Rachel Wu & Carla Strickland-Hughes. (2019): Think you’re too old to learn new tricks?
Scientific American
This article argues that new skill and knowledge acquisition is a key to cognitive fitness in older adulthood. Their research proposes that the benefits of learning and mentally growing specifically outweigh those of maintaining previous learning or skillsets.

Programming

Jack Hansen, Craig A. Talmage, Steve P. Thaxton & Richard C. Knopf. (in press). Enhancing Older Adult Access to Lifelong Learning Institutes Through Technology-Based Instruction: A Brief Report
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education
This article focuses on the promise of distance learning and technology enhanced methods for lifelong learning. This short report features insights from the 2014 and 2016 Osher NRC surveys of institutes. Technology, in particular, may help alleviate barriers for older adults, such as health limitations and distance from lifelong learning sites. Ideas for future practice are also shared.

LLI Network at Road Scholar: How to Start a Lifelong Learning Institute
Road Scholar LLI Resource Network
This comprehensive guide explains the process of starting a Lifelong Learning Center, including a brief history of the LLI itself. From gathering information to securing finances, this guide details considerations to make before and during the first years of establishment.

Rebecca Patterson, Suzanne Moffatt, Maureen Smith, Jessica Scott, Christopher McLoughlin, Judith Bell, & Norman Bell: (2016). Exploring social inclusivity within the University of the Third Age (U3A): a model of collaborative research
Ageing and Society, 36 (8): 1580-1603.
Lifelong learning is believed to have physical, social, and emotional benefits for older adults. Numerous programs encouraging learning in later life exist worldwide. One example is the University of the Third Age (U3A) – a lifelong learning co-operative rooted in peer-support and knowledge sharing. This article is based on a collaborative study conducted by university researchers and members of a U3A in North-East England (UK) investigating the social inclusivity of the group considering low attendance levels among those from social housing and non-professional backgrounds.

Mikulas Pstross, C. Bjørn Peterson, Craig A. Talmage & Richard C. Knopf. (2017): In Search of Transformative Moments: Blending Community Building Pursuits into Lifelong Learning Experiences
Journal of Education, Culture and Society 2017(1), 62-78.
This article explores the intersections between lifelong learning and community building. A reflexive approach is used to identify seven pursuits that positively infuse community building into lifelong learning. These pursuits are: “ (1) asset-based thinking; (2) critical reflection; (3) systems thinking; (4) cognitive vibrancy, (5) inclusiveness; (6) creative expression; and, (7) purpose in life” (p. 62). The pursuits are coupled with the metaphor of bread making to describe how transformative moments arise in lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf & Steve P. Thaxton. (2018): Directions for 21st Century Lifelong Learning Institutes: Elucidating Questions from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Studies
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64(2), 109-125.
This article serves as synthesis of the literature on lifelong learning institutes, specifically research on Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. The article highlights findings from sixty articles that particularly concern Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Twelve thematic areas and twelve questions for future practice and researcher are offered to readers to help understand the future needs for institutional research and practice regarding older adult lifelong learning.

Craig A. Talmage, R. Jack Hansen, Richard C. Knopf, Steve P. Thaxton, Riley McTague & D. Bennett Moore. (2019): Unleashing the Value of Lifelong Learning Institutes:  Research and Practice Insights from a National Survey of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
Adult Education Quarterly, 69(3), 184-206.
This article specifically focuses in on the final qualitative item of the 2016 national Osher NRC survey. Specifically, the study explores the value of lifelong learning to Osher learners. Using content analysis, four dimensions were identified and explained: (1) learning experience; (2) community environment; (3) learning quality; and, (4) learning access. Demographic variations regarding perceptions of value are noted as well.