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Title: The benefits of participating in virtual learning spaces for adults overcoming isolation during COVID-19
Authors: Valls-Carol, Rosa
Toledo del Cerro, Ana
Gomez-Cuevas, Sara
Keywords: COVID-19 (Disease) -- Psychological aspects
Adult education -- Computer-assisted instruction
Adult education -- Computer network resources
Web-based instruction
Social isolation
Issue Date: 2020-12
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Education
Citation: Valls-Carol, R., Toledo del Cerro, A., & Gomez-Cuevas, S. (2020). The benefits of participating in virtual learning spaces for adults overcoming isolation during COVID-19. Malta Review of Educational Research, 14(2), 301-326.
Abstract: The magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented; it has impacted millions of students around the world. Among these impacted students are participants in adult education. Adult education centres have engaged in a series of online activities that have enabled adults who had never used ICT resources before, to interact with other participants. In response to this challenge, this research provides scientific insight regarding the impact of the actions by one adult education centre in Spain, the participants’ association Ágora, whose scope of responsibility is to service the entire neighbourhood of La Verneda (Barcelona). Its objective is to enable adults to acquire abilities and to develop initiative through participation in a broad and high- quality educational programme. Ágora offers the entire neighbourhood a range of cultural and educational activities. This article provides knowledge about how to help people minimize the negative consequences of confinement, and uses a communicative methodology to provide a dialogical re-creation of knowledge which enables researchers to contribute to dismantling myths and false assumptions in identifying the benefits adult education can provide to participants. The field work was carried out online through semi-structured interviews with a number of adult participants between the ages of 30 and 90 who were engaged in adult education activities. The research revealed that participation improved the individuals’ situation by enabling them to overcome loneliness or isolation.
Appears in Collections:MRER, Volume 14, Issue 2
MRER, Volume 14, Issue 2

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