The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 55:P343-P353 (2000)
© 2000 The Gerontological Society of America
Age-Related Effects of Blocked and Random Practice Schedules on Learning a New Technology
Brian A. Jamiesona and
Wendy A. Rogersb
a The University of Georgia, Athens
b Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Wendy A. Rogers, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0170 E-mail: [email protected].
Decision Editor: Toni C. Antonucci, PhD
Computer technology is pervasive in today's society. Issues of training must be investigated to ensure that older individuals are capable of interacting with such technology. In the present research a simulated automatic teller machine (ATM) served as a prototypical technology for which issues of training and transfer could be investigated. The focus of the study was on the potential benefits of a random practice schedule (wherein trial types are intermixed) relative to a blocked practice schedule (wherein trial types are grouped together). Both younger and older adults benefited from random practice for the acquisition of the ability to perform transactions on an ATM. Moreover, random practice was beneficial for both age groups in the transfer of learning to novel tasks on a novel ATM. These data have general implications for theories of training and specific implications for the development of training protocols for older adults and new technologies.
Copyright © 2000 by The Gerontological Society of America.