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older adults, Sheridan Elder Research Centre


This investigation compared the computer and the iPad in the context of a ten week technology tutoring program for older adults. Nineteen older adults between the ages of 60-84 were paired with nineteen tutors and met weekly for learning sessions during which they explored five learning modules. Participants’ feelings, attitudes and beliefs were assessed pre and post intervention, and they provided evaluation of the devices after using them for each module. Initially, all older adult participants reported being more familiar with the computer than with the iPad. The results showed that the learning sessions increased participants’ comfort and confidence when using the iPad and decreased their nervousness with the device. Interestingly, their beliefs about the usefulness and value of the iPad changed in an unexpected way. Despite some positive results with regard to the iPad, for most modules the computer appeared to be the preferred device. Overall, these findings suggest that novelty and familiarity influenced the tutoring experience. The implications for future technology training with older adults are discussed.


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Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC)


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Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

"Tsotsos, L., Spadafora, P., Bint, C., Hill, D., & Owsik, M. (2012). Technology assistance and evaluation research: Comparing the computer and the iPad in technology tutoring for older adults - Report Series # 21. [Report]. Oakville: Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC)."

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