Collaborative learning in older age and the role of familiarity: Evidence from the Map Task

Kelly Wolfe, Catherine J. Crompton, Paul Hoffman, Maria K. Wolters, Sarah E. MacPherson

Research output: Working paperPreprint


As we age, learning new knowledge and skills becomes more difficult due to age-related changes to cognition. Learning collaboratively could counteract these changes, and perhaps more so when working with someone familiar. This study examined whether collaborative learning is affected by age and partner familiarity. Forty-eight participants (younger n = 24, older n = 24) completed the Map Task with a familiar and unfamiliar same-age partner. Participants became more efficient at completing the Map Task over time, regardless of age and partner familiarity. There was no age difference in immediate or 1-hour recall, but younger adults recalled more after 7 days than older adults. Overall, results suggest that collaborative learning outcomes are unaffected by age or partner familiarity, and that collaborative learning has short-term protective effects on memory, with age-related declines only emerging after 7 days.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherResearch Square
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


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