Increasing digital literacy skills of older adults through a digital storytelling project-based course

ID: 52845 Type: Full Paper: Research
  1. Simone Hausknecht and David Kaufman, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Thursday, June 28 2:45 PM-3:15 PM Location: Jordaan 2 View on map

Presider: Maya Al Hawary, Hamadan Bin Mohammed Smart University, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Digital literacy is an important area of learning for all ages, including older adults. There are growing concerns regarding a digital divide between younger and older computer users. Older people may benefit from programs that increase digital literacy skills since these skills can lead to further advantages such as increasing access to information, services, and contact to family. A project-based learning approach may be an effective integrative method to increase these skills. This paper examines the reported improvements in digital literacy skills (i.e., computer, software, and internet skills) of 86 older adults who participated in an eight to ten-week project-based digital storytelling course. The learners ranged in their initial reported skill level with some having no computer and internet skills, most reported beginner or intermediate skills, and under 10% reported expert skills. After participating in the eight to ten-week course, approximately 90% reported some level of improvement in computer and software skills and about 75% reported improvement in internet skills at the end of the course. The greatest number of participants reported moderate improvement. Furthermore, over a quarter of participants reported very or extreme improvement. Using a project based course may be an effective and engaging approach to increasing digital literacy skills of older adults.

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