Older Adults’ Collaborative Learning Dynamics When Exploring Feature-Rich Software
Collaborative learning has been suggested as a promising approach to help older adults learn new technology, however, its effectiveness has been understudied in the context of feature-rich applications. We conducted an observational study with the aim of identifying aspects of collaborative learning, including characteristics of collaborative partners, that impact older adults’ exploratory learning behaviour in featurerich software. We recruited 22 participants (6 younger adults and 16 older adults) who formed 5 same-age and 6 mixed-age dyads. These dyads worked together remotely to explore a feature-rich application, which was new to them. We classified dyadic interactions into four different collaboration dynamics characterized by distinct attributes. We discovered that effective communication and the ability to navigate the software independently enabled a successful collaboration dynamic that empowered learners. We showed that trust between partners enabled effective communication and we observed that the existing relationship between partners strongly impacted their communication patterns. The more complicated study tasks required participants to validate the correctness of their work and this validation was particularly difficult for some novice older adults who did not benefit from transfer learning and struggled with navigation issues.
Afsane Baghestani, Celine Latulipe, Andrea Bunt. 2024. Older Adults’ Collaborative Learning Dynamics When Exploring Feature-Rich Software. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., 8, CSCW1, Article 101 (April 2024), 27 pages, https://doi.org/10.1145/3637378