ERIC Number: ED386168
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Cyber-Seniors: Planning Computer Courses for Older Adults.
Donohue, Sue; Herres, Lorelei
This study was designed to solicit responses from senior citizens (adults over the age of 55) who had enrolled in a computer course after retirement. The information is intended to aid program planners for seniors in developing future courses. Seventy-six seniors from four local sites (Puget Sound, Washington) and two nationwide online services completed surveys detailing why they had enrolled in the course, if the course had met their reasons for enrolling, and how they were using their computer skills currently. Suggestions for future courses and comments were also solicited. The majority of seniors (45) completed computer courses to learn the basics of the computer for the first time and 74% were satisfied that the course had met their needs. Some of the reasons given for a course's failure to meet the students' needs were: "not complex enough"; "too much at one time"; "too brief"; and "too technical." The variety of uses that seniors found for their newly learned skills was unexpected. Uses included: financial and home records (37%); word processing (30%); online (21%); volunteer work (17%); and games (13%). Recommendations for further research is recommended with emphasis on ethnic/racial backgrounds. Seven figures and seven tables illustrate data. Appendices include: the survey; site descriptions; survey responses to "other reasons for enrolling in a computer course"; responses to "why computer courses did not meet senior needs"; responses from "how seniors use computer skills"; suggestions and comments from surveys; and synopses of interviews with selected participant. (Contains 27 references.) (MAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Seattle Univ., WA.