Collaborative Learning for Feature Rich Software
Feature-rich software applications provide many options through complex structures which can make their learning process difficult. Given that older adults are increasingly using more complex software, we aimed to investigate how older adults learn feature-rich applications. We focus on a learning scenario where an older adult is learning collaboratively with a partner. We recruited 22 participants (6 younger adults and 16 older adults) who formed 5 same-age and 6 mixed-aged 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. Our results show that effective communication and the ability to navigate the software independently enabled a successful collaboration dynamic that empowered learners. Based on our findings, we discuss design implications for technologies that aim to improve older adults’ experience of learning feature-rich software both individually and collaboratively.
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