Software for senior citizens: An experiential learning course in gerontology, software usability and digital literacy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Two trends in the developed world - the marked growth in the percentage of the population identified as "elderly", and an increased reliance on computing technology - make it imperative that the high technology designers of tomorrow understand the challenges, capabilities and context of elderly users. Our graduate course on "software for senior citizens" provides a broad background of material from human-computer interaction, gerontology, literacy studies and cognitive and learning sciences. Students also gain first-hand experience through weekly tutoring sessions with local elderly residents. These sessions yield observations and generate contacts from which students generate research projects. This paper discusses our goals and motivations for the course, our experiences to date, and our plans for future iterations and opportunities for expansion. © 2013 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE