This entry starts with an argument on how computerbased learning (CBL) can benefit senior citizens, then reviews the effects of aging on CBL. It finally discusses how the CBL material should be designed for senior citizens to facilitate their learning experience.
Relatively little research exists that relates the effects of aging to CBL. However, there is extensive research that analyzes age-related differences in cognitive, motor, and perceptual abilities. In general, cognitive-aging literature shows that aging causes decline in the abilities to sense, process information, and respond to stimuli. These declines can negatively affect older users’ ability to perform computer-related tasks.
In this section we present a summary of available literature that addresses such age declines. It is advised that designers of CBL systems for senior citizens should take these issues into consideration.
Key Terms in this Chapter
User-Centered Design: It is a philosophy that places the person (as opposed to the “thing”) at the center of the design process.
Universal Design: A concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities.
Aging-Related Declines: Age-related differences in cognitive, motor, and perceptual abilities.
Senior-Centered Design: A methodology that involves older users in the process of designing products that are targeted toward the aging population.
Assistive Technology: Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Peer Learning: A learning style that supports the concept of peers learning from each other.
Adaptive Interfaces: Interfaces that allow for some user customization and personalization .