Comparison of Prompting Procedures to Teach Internet and Information and Communications Technology to Older Adults
Pachis, Jacqueline A.
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Internet use has been found to produce meaningful social interactions and greater social support among older adults (White et al., 2002). The Internet and related information and communications technologies (ICTs) has the potential to serve as an excellent communication tool for older adults, as it allows individuals to stay in touch with family and friends and may even help to expand one’s social network (Gato & Tak, 2008). Despite these benefits, the Internet and ICTs are not widely used among the older-adult population (Cresci, Yarandi, & Morrel, 2010). With continuous technological advancements, and a growing population of older adults, there is an increased demand for effective ICT-training programs geared specifically toward older adults (Mayhorn, Stronge, McLaughlin, & Rogers, 2004). The current study utilized an adapted alternating treatments design to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of video prompting and text-based instructions on the acquisition of three tablet-based tasks: emailing, video calling (FaceTime® application), and searching for a YouTube™ video. Video prompting and text-based instructions were both effective for all three participants, with both prompting procedures being roughly equivalent in terms of efficiency for two of three participants and video prompting being more efficient than text-based instructions for the third participant. Results are discussed in the context of potential limitations and areas for future research.