September 28, 2022
Part of the value of university-based retirement communities like Mirabella at ASU is the opportunity to explore how to support learning at every stage of life. It’s no surprise that learning looks a lot different at 70 than it does at 20! Lifelong learners like Mirabella at ASU residents have the luxury of enjoying learning without the pressure of tests and grades, but some may find that they are beginners at the technologies often incorporated into college classes today.
Because Mirabella at ASU residents have the unique opportunity to join ASU classes and learn alongside enrolled ASU students, classes are not simplified to be entertaining. They often employ new learning technologies to engage learners as active participants toward their learning objectives. This means Mirabella lifelong learners encounter new technology in their classes.
The ASU Engagement Office is dedicated to removing barriers to lifelong learning and supporting Mirabella residents to participate fully on campus and in ASU classes if they wish to do so. As such, we have secured support from a variety of existing campus resources and designed some new supports to help with this. For example, Mirabella learners can access a 24/7 hotline for technology questions any time night or day. They can also bring their devices to the ASU Tech Studio Monday through Friday during business hours to resolve any problem with in-person technology support at no charge.
We recently added another layer of support by enlisting a bright undergraduate student to provide on-site tech support office hours to residents taking classes. Twice a week, this student comes to Mirabella and takes pre-scheduled appointments and walk-ins with residents who are experiencing issues with technology in their classes. Sometimes, the questions are about how to log on to the campus wifi network. Others want assistance navigating the online portal where their course materials are posted. Others have had questions about how to purchase digital textbooks. All of these questions are very common. The good news is that Mirabella residents are known for being great learners, so they diligently seek assistance until they get through the learning curve. With the right mindset and a willingness to persist through unfamiliar territory, we usually find they don’t need much help after they’ve taken their first class.
Learning new technology is part of the experience of 21st century learning experience, so instead of shying away from it, we’re dedicated to building in supports to work through it and explore how to make learning accessible to people at every stage of life.
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