Answered By: Linda Kern Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Views: 17
There are lots of different LibGuides, depending on what you are studying. There's also an all-purpose guide, which is good for just about anything. Let's use the All-Purpose guide for this search. Link to our Libguides and scroll down the list. Choose the All-Purpose guide. Click on the Journal Articles tab. Click on Academic Search Complete. This database, or collection of articles covers many topics including education, your topic.
Your research question has two parts, so I started with the characteristics of nontraditional students by using the search term nontraditional college students AND characteristics. The "and" is very important to the search; be sure to include it. Before clicking "search", scroll down the page and click the boxes on the left for full text (to see only articles that you can read immediately) and scholarly peer reviewed journals. (This database also includes lots of newspapers and trade magazines, and you want to eliminate those from your results.) I used the boxes on the right side to limit the dates to the last 10 years to eliminate the older stuff. Then click search.
Begin by reviewing the titles of the articles for relevance. Then look to the far right side of each title and point to the icon of a paper and magnifying glass. The abstract, a summary of the article, will pop up. Interestingly, the first article in the results helps you to answer the second part of your research question - the impact of adult learning on higher education! Ross-Gordon, J. M. (2011). Research on adult learners: Supporting the needs of a student population that Is no longer nontraditional. Peer Review, 13(1), 26-29. This scholarly article looks really good!
To collect the article, you can either click on the fill text link and download the PDF or you can click on the title and use the right side toolbar to email it to yourself.
There are other good results here. You might find enough articles in this set of results to write the paper, but if you don't, try searching "adult learners". Include the quotation marks, which narrow the results to that specific phrase. I was going to add another search term because there were too many results, but then I saw this in the result list: Gast, A. (2013). Current trends in adult degree programs: How public universities respond to the needs of adult learners. New Directions For Adult & Continuing Education, 2013(140), 17-25. doi:10.1002/ace.20070 . It's spot-on, meaning this is a good pool of results. as before, you'll find a lot of good articles to choose from in there results.
Have fun! This is a good topic!