ERIC Number: ED470093
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Older Adults Eager To Explore Cyberspace.
Lawton, Dianne Ford
This study compared two methods of computer instruction for older adults. Elder Computer Instruction was systematically designed and developed according to criteria established by both theory and research in andragogy. This instructional design took into consideration identified cognitive and physical changes that accompany the aging process. Traditional Computer Instruction consisted of generic computer instruction commonly used with adults of all ages. A checklist, the Criteria Checklist for Andragogical Principles, was developed to help instructional designers and educators assess the adherence of instructional materials to andragogical principles. The systematic process for instructional design detailed in the study should be of use to those involved in the design, development, and delivery of instruction for older adults. The study investigated the effects of both types of instruction on older adults' computer attitudes, frequency of computer use, and types of computer tasks performed. Participants in both groups completed the Attitudes Toward Computers Questionnaire that assessed six dimensions of attitudes toward computers. Participants receiving Elder Computer Instruction had significantly more positive attitudes in the dimensions of efficacy, interest, and utility. The Computer Task Frequency Survey was given as a pretest-posttest. Both groups increased in their frequency of computer use and types of computer tasks performed following instruction. There was a significant difference between the two groups in the e-mail task, with those who received Elder Computer Instruction sending more e-mail than those who received Traditional Computer Instruction. This study underlines the importance of designing instruction to meet the specialized learning needs of older adults. (Contains 28 references.) (Author/AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Annual Proceedings of Selected Research and Development [and] Practice Papers Presented at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (24th, Atlanta, GA, November 8-12, 2001). Volumes 1-2; see IR 021 504.