Because of the growing number of older adults per total population, discussion has grown regarding the cognitive learning needs of older adults. In this article, I will look at what research has discovered and what actions have been taken in regard to meeting those needs. I also wanted to know whether instructional designers needed to consider those learning needs in their instructional design practices. But why should instructional designers even consider the cognitive learning needs of older adults. Aren’t these older adults past the point of learning or having the need to learn? Aren’t they just going to retire, relax, travel, do hobbies, visit the grandchildren, and live off of their retirement income?
Key Terms in this Chapter
Barriers: Anything that bars passage to learning or discovery. The obstruction or limitation of learning by a number of factors in the particular environment.
Cognitive Psychology: The school of psychology that examines internal mental processes including language, memory, and problem solving. Cognitive psychologists are interested in how people understand, diagnose, and solve problems.
Baby Boomers: Those born during the post-World War II period of increased birth rates. In the United States the term applies to those individuals who born during this period of increased birth rates from about 1946 to 1964.
Performance-Based: Performances that are created or produced to do something often in settings that involve real-world applications of knowledge and skills. Performance behaviors that involve real-world applications.
Stereotyping: Ideas that may be positive or negative that are held about members of particular groups. These ideas may be used to justify certain discriminatory behaviors.
Technologies: Material objects that benefit humanity and include machines, hardware, and utensils. These materials are predominantly used to assist a species’ in controlling and adapting to its environment.
Instructional Designers: Those who practice the arrangement of media that helps learners and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively. Designers who determine the current state of the learner understanding, define the end goal of instruction, and create media-based intervention to assist in the transition.
Cognitive: Refers to the information processing view of an individual’s psychological functions. The process of knowing consciously or subconsciously.