As one of the first attempts to research multimedia platforms for older adults when learning an online photo-editing software, this study examined whether an audio only, a text only, or a combination of an audio and text tutorial would be the most effective teaching method. Elderly adults aged 65 and older (N-45) were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions. They first went through a training phase that utilized their assigned condition to teach five tasks within the photo-editing program, and they were then tested on how well they learned these tasks as well as a transfer task. It was predicted that the multimedia condition would increase learning efficiency, produce more successes in the transfer task, and decrease cognitive load compared to the two unimodal conditions. The multimedia condition (text and audio) had no significant effect on transfer task successes or decreases in cognitive load compared to the unimodal conditions (text only and audio only). The multimedia condition, however, did produce significantly less errors on Tasks 2, 4, and 5 than the unimodal conditions. This suggests that redundancy principles may play an important role when designing learning platforms for elderly users, and that age needs to be considered as an additional factor during the technological design process.
- The Effects of Multimedia Learning on Task Performance Among the Aging Population
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