ERIC Number: ED351524
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Written Instructions for Procedural Tasks. Working Papers.
Guthrie, Bennett, and Weber (1990) have proposed a transformational model of procedural document processing. They suggest that successful completion of written instruction occurs when sources of information are combined with certain cognitive processes. Optimal combinations of information and cognition include the following: using the exposition to help form the conceptual model of the task; using the written steps to help encode the procedures (identify and execute the steps); and using the graphic representation of the outcome to foster self-testing. To recognize or select well-constructed procedural documents, text and graphics must be examined carefully. Accommodating the tendency of the reader to like and use pictures is an important part of creating well-constructed documents to enhance reader performance. Adding text is necessary for optimal performance. Effective written instructions do the following: (1) represent the procedure in a list of separate executable actions, often in a hierarchical format; (2) present relationships between actions and progress on the procedure; (3) provide access to information about the outcome; (4) give action information first in the sentences; and (5) give organization information before step information. Tools to help the reader encode the procedure include listing, formulas and guidelines, and procedural schema. Test features to improve reader performance include increased amounts of self-testing and self-correcting. (Appendixes include 59 references and 2 descriptions of procedural tasks.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Coding, Instructional Materials, Job Skills, Layout (Publications), Material Development, Methods, Postsecondary Education, Secondary Education, Technical Writing, Textbook Preparation, Vocational Education, Writing Improvement
NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, Horrabin Hall 46, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (Order No. MDS-147: $2).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.
Identifiers: Following Directions