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Older adults and technology: A critical incident inquiry into learning experiences DISSERTATION

, Texas A&M University - Commerce, United States

Texas A&M University - Commerce . Awarded

Abstract

This dissertation describes the critical incident study in which 346 critical incidents reported by 130 older adults were analyzed. The study served the following purposes: to establish meaningful categories for both helpful and hindering incidents as reported by older adult students learning to use computers and to determine if there was a difference between participants' education levels, occupations or where participants learned to use computers within categories of helpful or hindering incidents.

The study addressed two research questions: What “helpful” critical incidents were reported by older adults involved in learning to use computers? What “hindering” critical incidents were reported by older adults involved in learning to use computers? Additionally, six hypotheses stated: There would be no significant difference in the education levels of respondents within reports of incidents which were helpful to their learning to use computers; there would be no significant difference in the education levels of respondents within reports of incidents which were hindering to their learning to use computers; there would be no significant difference in the occupations of respondents within reports of incidents which were helpful to their learning to use computers; there would be no significant difference in the occupations of respondents within reports of incidents which were hindering to their learning to use computers; there would be no significant difference in the place of learning within reports of incidents which were helpful to respondents learning to use computers; there would be no significant difference in the place of learning within reports of incidents which were hindering to respondents learning to use computers. The significance of the study is that as Americans live longer, the challenge of meeting their needs to acquire computer skills is growing.

The results of the study indicated that there were five categories—Books, People, Software/Hardware, Teacher/Instruction and Other—for both helpful and hindering incidents. It was found that for both types of incidents, themes emerged which represented the participants' learning experience. Additionally, occupation and place of learning were found to have an impact on older adults' computer learning experience.

The methodology used was the Critical Incident Survey developed by John Flanagan. Data were gathered via an electronic questionnaire, and data analyses were conducted by categorization. The findings, conclusions, and the implications of the study are discussed. Recommendations for further research are offered as an extension of the findings and conclusions.

Citation

Knight, K.J.M. Older adults and technology: A critical incident inquiry into learning experiences. Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University - Commerce. Retrieved November 22, 2017 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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