ERIC Number: ED298345
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
The Instructional Effectiveness of the Microcomputer with an Elderly Population.
Doll, Lynda S.; Thompson, Dennis N.
A study compared the amount of contact and the attitudes of young and old individuals toward computers and computer-based instruction (CAI). Developmental differences were examined in the effectiveness of two instructional design features--the use of pictorial (graphics) versus highlighting--and extent of learner participation. Fifty elderly adults and 50 young adults were randomly assigned to five treatment groups--signaling, signaling/embedded questions, passive graphics, interactive graphics, and embedded questions. The five versions of the CAI lesson differed in the form of highlighting used and the extent to which learners had to respond actively. Following completion of the lesson, subjects took a prompted recall test. Subjects were also administered a survey assessing previous experience with computer-related technology and were pre- and posttested on attitudes toward computer-related technology. The main effect for highlighting was significant. Twenty percent of the elderly reported having used a microcomputer, compared with 98 percent of the young subjects. Both age groups were found to be slightly favorable toward CAI, and attitudes became slightly more favorable following participation in the study. Elderly subjects performed best on signaling; the young were best with graphics. Both age groups were relatively poor performers with interactive graphics. (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).