Digital skills and training needs of people over 50

A team working at the «Institut für Altersforschung» (IAF) will investigate which digital literacy courses are currently available throughout Switzerland for people over 50. The researchers will develop a dynamic adaptive questionnaire for self-assessment of digital skills, conduct a representative survey on digital literacy and educational needs, and draw up recommendations for practical applications.

  • Project description

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    The project team will identify the digital skills and educational needs of people aged 50 and over in Switzerland. For this purpose, they will develop a dynamic adaptive online questionnaire for the self-assessment of digital skills that is to be used in the long term, i.e. beyond the duration of the project. In a first step, they will analyse the courses currently available in Switzerland. They will then conduct a representative quantitative survey of the digital literacy and training needs of people over 50. Qualitative interviews will provide an in-depth look at the training experience gained during digital literacy classes. This data will be used as a basis to formulate specific recommendations for the providers of digital literacy courses for people over 50 with different educational backgrounds.

  • Background

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    In the debate on digitalisation, it is often forgotten that digital skills are not simply existent or non-existent, but that their degree of development varies. These skills should therefore be taught according to the individual level of qualification. It is particularly difficult for middle-aged people with a moderate level of digital skills to find suitable offers that allow them to improve their skills during and beyond their working life.

  • Aim

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    The IAF aspires to find out what digital literacy educational programmes are currently available and to relate these to the actual needs of older adults with intermediate digital skills. The project aims to develop a tool that can measure a person’s individual digital qualification level, that can compare these qualifications with the available courses, and that can enable long-term analysis of qualification levels.

  • Relevance

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    By providing a measurement tool and evidence-based recommendations for action, this project will help course providers design educational programmes for adults with intermediate digital skills, thereby ensuring their digital participation in later life. The cross-sectional and longitudinal data regarding the digital qualification level of the Swiss population can serve as a basis for further strategies in the area of digitalisation and educational planning.

  • Original title

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    Digital Skills and Training Needs of 50+. A Study Beyond the Digital Divide