OASIS Connections: Results From an Evaluation Study
Purpose of the Study: The objectives of this study were to evaluate a community-based basic computer and Internet training program designed for older adults, provide recommendations for program refinement, and gather preliminary information on program sustainability. Design and Methods: The program was developed by the OASIS Institute, a nonprofit agency serving older adults and implemented in 4 cities by community trainers across the United States. One hundred and ninety-six adults aged 40–90 years were assigned to the training or a wait-list control group. Knowledge of computers and the Internet, attitudes toward computers, and computer/Internet use were assessed at baseline, posttraining, and 3 months posttraining. Results: The program was successful in increasing the computer/Internet skills of the trainees. The data indicated a significant increase in computer and Internet knowledge and comfort with computers among those who received the training. Further, those who completed the course reported an increase in both computer and Internet use 3 months posttraining. Implications: The findings indicate that a community-based computer and Internet training program delivered by community instructors can be effective in terms of increasing computer and Internet skills and comfort with computer technology among older adults.