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ERIC Number: ED314018
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 37
Abstractor: N/A
Computer Documentation: Effects on Students' Computing Behaviors, Attitudes, and Use of Computers.
Duin, Ann Hill
This study investigated the effects of a minimal manual version versus a cards version of documentation on students' computing behaviors while learning to use a telecommunication system (Appleshare), students' attitudes toward the documentation, and students' later use of the system. Guidelines from the work of Carroll and colleagues at the IBM Watson Research Center and Reder and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University were followed when developing the two versions of the documentation. Subjects were 74 junior and senior college-level students enrolled in a technical writing course. Results showed that students in both treatments completed the tasks and felt that the documentation was relatively easy to use. There were significant differences, however, in the students' manual/display coordination, in their ratings of the instruction, and in their later use of the system. The central implication of the study is that documentation for computer-based instruction should center on the learners' goals instead of on the system or the concepts being taught. Statistical data is included throughout the report. Sample pages from the minimal manual and the cards version of the documentation, a goal/task checklist for the Appleshare system, and the student questionnaire are appended. (17 references) (Author/GL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A