ICT4 Elderly/Suitable product and service

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How to identify and recommend a suitable product or service[edit]

There is a wide diversity of digital products (e.g. devices, apps) and services (e.g. mobile internet connection). People have very different levels of skills, experiences, preconditions, requirements and interests. Therefore, they have individual needs for digital devices, applications and services and they recognize a specific individual benefit by using these products and services for themselves. The objective of the training is to facilitate the participants to be able to advise and accompany customers in the selection of a suitable product or service.

In the first part of this module, methods are presented that help to identify individual interests, needs and conditions.

The second part focuses on raising technical understanding and methods to find and compare suitable products. Key attributes and characteristics (e.g. size, weight, technical configuration, performance, price) will be introduced. It will be explained how they match a specific set of user requirements.

Furthermore the trainer gives hints where and how to search in internet platforms, forums etc. to find a suitable product that can be recommended to a person. Here it is also presented how to use filters, user ratings, comments and other functions to compare different products.

In the third part the participants will create a selection of devices, applications and an Internet Access Service matching the profile of a specific persona.

Finally, the trainee will be able to recommend individually best suited products or services to a specific client.

Analysis of personal (pre)conditions, interests and needs[edit]

  • Personal Conditions: social environment, age, education, learning experiences, level of digital skills, grade of mobility, special constraints / impairments, willingness to pay 
  • Interests: e.g. Hobbies
  • Needs: purposes of usage and benefits

Keywords[edit]

Devices, services, online platforms, online shops, forums, research, needs, conditions, requirements, recommendations

First session[edit]

The trainer will start the session by a preliminary discussion with participants about the devices they use for their own purposes and their experiences of recommending products and services to other persons. The main goal is to reflect on for what reasons they chose a specific device or service and what are challenges of finding and recommending products and services.

After this initial debate, the trainer will present the main approach, ideas and methods around finding and recommending suitable products or services. This part of the session can be supported by a slide presentation prepared in advance.

After that each trainee is going to create a persona by using a template provided by SDC (CC-BY-SA 4.0 by `Digital mobil im Alter`).

Subsequently the trainees will do a survey of personal needs. For this purpose, the participants meet in pairs and interview each other. The survey can be done as a narrative interview or by using a questionnaire (provided by SDC: CC-BY-SA 4.0 by `Digital mobil im Alter`). The participants should be able to create a brief profile of the persona and get an idea what type of device, thematic areas of applications and service (internet access) the persona needs.

This will be followed by an in classroom activity where participants present the needs and conditions they identified based on the persona of their partner. The participant who created the persona gives feedback followed by the class.

After this exercise, the trainer will wrap-up the session with a debriefing moment and a small evaluation of the session where participants can discuss what they just learned.

Second session: Technical Understanding and Research Skills[edit]

In the second session, participants will learn about technical specifications of mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) in exterior attributes (shape, size, weight) and performance indicators (processor, storage, memory, display, connections …)

It will be discussed how they match a specific set of user requirements.

Afterwards the trainer gives concrete examples where to get information about devices, applications and services in internet platforms, forums etc. The trainer presents different resources to search and buy products like comparison portals, online shops or trade magazine websites. The trainer also introduces methods to compare products. The trainer demonstrates how to use filters, user ratings, comments and other functions to select and compare different products in order to find suitable products that can be recommended to a person.

This segment of the training session is supported by a slide presentation prepared in advance or a live demonstration by the trainer.

Third session: How to search, compare and recommend[edit]

The trainer will start the session by making a summary of the previous sessions and by answering questions or comments participants might have. Additionally, a short introduction to the goals and themes of the third session will be presented.  

The participants will then meet again in the same pairs of the first session. Everybody is asked to create a selection of two devices, a small set of applications and an Internet Access Service suitable for the persona their partner prepared in the first session. The participants are asked to present the results to the whole group so that 3-4 different examples are presented.

Finally, the trainer presents a good way to give recommendations. Instead of recommending a single product or service, the participant should learn to present the advantages and disadvantages of a small selection of offerings. The trainer suggests to discuss the selection with their customers in order to guide them to their personal buying decision.

After this exercise, the trainer will wrap-up the session with a debriefing moment and a small evaluation of the session.

Material required[edit]

  • Personal computer or Smartphone / Tablet
  • Internet connection
  • Beamer
  • Paper and pens
  • Flipchart
  • Print Materials: Questionnaire and Persona Template

Context[edit]

  • Raise awareness of the individual needs and requirements of different persons
  • Teach participants to be capable to distinguish between different products and services by comparing their exterior and technical attributes
  • Teach participants to be capable to present the advantages and disadvantages of different products and services

First session[edit]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be[edit]

  • to provide an introduction to a demand based approach of recommending products and services to a client
  • to discover the variety of individual requirements, needs and interest
  • to present methods and materials to identify individual conditions, needs and interests
  • to exercise interviewing a person to identify their needs and requirements

Introduction (20 min): (Trainer & Group) - (support: slides)[edit]

Description of the activities:

Group discussion (10 min)[edit]

Trainer starts the session by asking some questions to participants about the devices they use for themselves and for what purposes. Also their experiences of recommending products and services to other persons are discussed.

Trainer will introduce the objectives and the structure of the sessions.

This is important to establish a learning field where both trainer and participants come together to discuss the specific topic of finding suitable products or services.

Trainer (10 min)[edit]

Trainer introduces the demand-oriented approach. The trainer explains how socio-demographic factors, personal circumstances, prior knowledge and individual interests influence the needs when choosing a product or service. The trainer gives examples for illustration.

Create Personas (20 min): (Trainer & Group) - (support: slides & persona template)[edit]

Introduction to the session (5 min)[edit]

Trainer makes an introduction how to create personas, why they can be useful and gives an example.

He puts value on the diversity of personas and that they might correspond to a real person.

This segment of the training session is supported by a slide presentation prepared in advance and shared with participants.

Participants create personas (15 min)[edit]

Each participant creates a persona using the persona template and filling aid.

Role play (25 min): Narrative interviews on needs and requirements[edit]

Class is divided into pairs.

Participants interview each other in pairs. One person asks questions with the use of a questionnaire. The other person answers from the perspective of the persona they created. This enables participants to create brief request profiles.

With that hands-on approach (learning by doing methodology), participants will experience how it is to communicate with a demanding person and identify their individual interest, needs and requirements.

Group discussion (10 min)[edit]

After the exercise, participants will have a chance to come together in the group again to discuss their experiences with the interviews. The discussion is led by the questions: what are the main things they take away from the experience and what are the main difficulties they felt?

The process of sharing personal experiences and learn by listening to the other person’s experience is at the base of the non formal education methodology and it is particularly useful with this target group.

Debriefing (5 min)[edit]

To wrap up the session, the trainer will facilitate a debriefing moment where participants are encouraged to express their questions, doubts, ideas and feelings toward the topics discussed.

Second session[edit]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be[edit]

  • to provide an introduction to differences of devices and their technical equipment
  • to discover the variety of products and services
  • to discover functions to filter and compare products and services
  • to exercise finding suitable products and services on online platforms, shops etc.

Introduction (5 min): (Trainer) - (support: slides & video & web)[edit]

Introduction to the topic and sequence of the session (5 min)

Exterior and interior (technical) attributes of mobile devices (15 min)[edit]

The trainer explains key attributes and characteristics of mobile devices (e.g. size, weight, technical configuration, performance, price). A presentation that has been prepared beforehand can be used for this purpose.

The trainer should involve the participants, e.g. by asking them to explain something to the group.

It will also be discussed and explained how technical attributes match a specific set of user requirements.

Find and compare suitable products (15 min)[edit]

The trainer gives information where and how to search on internet platforms, forums etc. to find a suitable product that can be recommended to a person.

The trainer also introduces methods to compare products. The trainer demonstrates how to use filters, user ratings, comments and other functions to select and compare different products in order to find suitable products that can be recommended to a person. This can be done on the basis of a live demonstration for a specific case in an online shop or with a slide presentation prepared in advance.

Discover online shops and functions to filter and compare (20 min)[edit]

The participants will search for different devices in online platforms, online shops and gain information in magazines or forums. They could ask questions to the trainer and the group.

Debriefing (5 min)[edit]

To wrap up the session, the trainer will facilitate a debriefing moment where participants are encouraged to express their questions, doubts, ideas and feelings toward the topics discussed.

Third session[edit]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be[edit]

  • to exercice finding different products
  • to facilitate how to do recommendations

Introduction (5 min): (Trainer) - (support: slides & video & web)

Introduction to the topic and sequence of the session (5 min)

Trainer presents the task to the group: participants shall find and recommend a suitable product and service for the persona their interview partner.

Find and compare suitable products (30 min)[edit]

Every participant is asked to create a selection of two or three devices, a small set of applications and an Internet Access Service suitable for the persona their partner prepared in the first session.

The participants will search for devices on online platforms, online shops and gain information in magazines or forums. They could ask questions to the trainer.

Recomment Suitable products (15 min)[edit]

Introduction of the trainer (5 min)[edit]

The trainer places value on a good way to give recommendations. Instead of recommending a single product or service, the participant should learn to present the advantages and disadvantages of a small selection of offerings. The trainer suggests to discuss the selection with their customers in order to guide them to their personal buying decision.

Recommend suitable products (2 x 5 min)[edit]

The participants will meet again in the same pairs of the first session. Each participant will recommend the selection of devices, a small set of applications and a type of Internet Access Service to the partner, who gives feedback if the recommendation is suitable for the persona, which was created.

The trainer asks some pairs to present their examples to the whole group, so that 3-4 different examples are presented.

Group discussion (10 min)[edit]

After the exercise, participants will have a chance to come together in the group again to discuss their experiences with the interviews. The discussion is led by the questions, what are the main things they take away from the experience and what are the main difficulties they felt.

The process of sharing personal experiences and learn by listening to the other person’s experience is at the base of the non-formal education methodology and it is particularly useful with this target group.

Debriefing (5 min)[edit]

To wrap up the session, the trainer will facilitate a debriefing moment where participants are encouraged to express their questions, doubts, ideas and feelings toward the topics discussed.