Developing a Training Program for Digital Literacy Coaches for Older Adults: Lessons Learned from the Train-the-Trainer Program

Jacqueline Mary McGinty


Social isolation and loneliness are critical issues facing older adults. The COVID-19 pandemic increased isolation among this population, and digital technologies are considered a significant lifeline for older adults adhering to social distancing guidelines. Research has shown that lifelong learning and maintaining social connection during the senior years leads to positive health outcomes. The digital literacy training program addresses isolation and loneliness issues and promotes lifelong learning among older adults. The program's delivery is a train-the-trainer (TT) model. In the TT model for this study, volunteers facilitated eight digital technology lessons after receiving training on adult learning principles, working with older adults, and teaching technology strategies. This article aims to share the results from the TT process and the curriculum implementation from the volunteer trainers' perspectives, called coaches, who participated in the pilot program. The coaches' feedback and the observations made by the researchers offer essential insights into the design and development of a TT model for a technology training program for older adults. The findings suggest improvements for the curriculum and the TT model, including equipping the coaches with tablets at the beginning of the training, providing extended video conference practice, increasing technical support on-site, and expanding step by step instructions for training guides.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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