Co-designing contextual tutorials for older adults on searching health information on the internet

Bo Xie, Tom Yeh, Greg Walsh, Ivan Watkins, Man Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence in the literature suggests an integrated e-tutorial is more effective than a paper- or video-based tutorial among younger people. Yet, relatively little is known about the effectiveness of an integrated e-tutorial on the older population. This study explored the applicability of an integrated e-tutorial to an older population, focusing on the content area of e-health literacy. A specific integrated etutorial, the Online Tutorial Overlay Presenter (OnTOP), was used to add an overlay to the Website. Features of the overlay were examined thoroughly in seven 2-hour-long participatory design sessions with ten older adults. Several participatory design techniques were used to elicit participants' preferences for design features of the OnTOP tutorial. These techniques included drawing on the board, voice recording and integration, and peer instruction. Three major themes emerged: 1) using contextual cues to facilitate learning; 2) tailoring to accommodate the learner's literacy level; and 3) enhancing existing interfaces with multimedia cues. These findings improved the design of OnTOP. They also contribute to the multimedia learning literature, generating empirical evidence about the effects of multimedia learning among the understudied older adult population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2011


  • E-health literacy
  • Health information seeking
  • Integrated e-tutorial
  • Participatory design


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