Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Phyllis Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sanghoon Park, Ph.D.


instructional best practices, community-based training, Baby Boomers, Digital Divide


This study sought to explore the utilization and perception of best practices by community-based technology training programs when instructing older adults to become technologically literate. The target population included adults age 55 years and older of the Baby Boomer generational cohort who ranged academically from possessing a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) through a college degree and had enrolled in a local technology training program to improve their technological skill level with the goal of obtaining employment and/or to remain functionally independent. This study was conducted at three community technology training centers located in the southeast that offered computer training classes for both civilian and ex-military older adults and employed a mixed methods research design. Data was collected through a series of participant interviews, surveys, and class observations to establish an understanding of current participant computer literacy status, demographic details and experiences, class structure, the computer curriculum, and training execution. It was the intent of this study to help maintain increased focus on the necessity of reducing the present digital divide that exists between younger and older adults by highlighting the importance of designing technology training programs that incorporated both expert recommended best practices for instructing older adults, as well as the expressed benefit and personal needs of the Baby Boomer population being served by local technology training centers.