As Baby Boomers begin to reach their 60s, designing products and training with the needs of older adults in mind becomes even more important. With regard to training, much research has been conducted to develop theories of learning and to determine beneficial training characteristics for older adults. However, this research often remains as separated recommendations of characteristics rather than attempting to determine the best training method. This occurs even though most people simply use a training method and do not go into the literature for individual recommendations each time they are looking to train or teach something. Minimalism is a training method that has the potential to alleviate some of the problems older adults tend to experience when training. Yet, up to the time of the research in this work, no empirical evidence has been gathered to compare minimalism and traditional training methods for older adults. Using a software training environment, this research endeavors to provide further insight into the best method for training older adults.
Jennifer A. Wissman, MS, studied Industrial and Systems Engineering with a focus in Human Factors at Virginia Tech. She is currently working as a Human Factors Engineer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.