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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.

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.

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.

Mark, R., Talmage, C., & Knopf, R. (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.

Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Robin Redmon Wright, and 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

Palazesi, Louis M., Bower, Beverly L. (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.

Pstross, M., Corrigan, T., Knopf, R.C. 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

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.

Aging Biology

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

Sharan B. Merriam & Youngwha Kee (2014): Promoting Community Wellbeing: The Case for Lifelong Learning for Older Adults
Adult 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.

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.

Mark, R., Talmage, C., & Knopf, R. (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.

Distance Learning

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.

Generativity

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.

Lifelong Learning Classics

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.

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 Adults
Adult 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.

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.

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.

Non-Scholarly Articles

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

Content coming soon!