Retention

Once the initial hurdles of recruitment have been overcome, keeping older adults in technology classes can be difficult. Retaining them in the training is important on two fronts: it is important that they attend all classes, or at least most training sessions to (1) benefit from learning the new technology and (2) obtain accurate and meaningful study outcomes (i.e., if the technology training is a component of a research study). The remainder of this chapter addresses key findings in relation to aspects of participant retention. We address retention in terms of needs, rapport, class time, and office hours. It is best to be in tune with the older adults' needs (physical, emotional, social, and cognitive) throughout the training. Having an understanding of these areas for each participant is fundamental to maintaining the relationship throughout the training duration. Building rapport with residents will help researchers understand the unique needs of each resident for the learning process. Further, organizing the training to work well as a learning environment for multiple types of learners is crucial. To ensure this, having time both in class and outside of class, using multiple examples for each topic area, being consistent and clear with directions, and having time for questions are important. Each of these aspects are evaluated below.

 
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