Older adults, computer training, and the systems approach: A formula for success

Christopher B. Mayhorn, Aideen J. Stronge, Anne Collins McLaughlin, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adults over the age of 65 are the fastest growing segment of computer users. Due to this increased demand, effective training programs are essential. Although previous research findings illustrate the importance of older adults’ goals, abilities, and experience levels in learning to use computers, these factors are often neglected in the development of computer training courses. We apply a systems approach to help bridge this gap between research and practice to address the disparity between what older adults would like to learn and the content of computer training courses. We review the literature on training older adults to use computers and report data from a set of structured interviews to illustrate the criticality of each step in the systems approach. Lastly, we provide the means to evaluate existing computer training programs and suggest modifications for improvement. Our purpose is not to evaluate specific programs, but to educate developers about an approach that has proven successful. Specifically, we provide suggestions for effective computer training for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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