ERIC Number: ED315455
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-10
Reference Count: N/A
Learning about Equipment from Technical Documentation: A Basic Comprehensible Writing Aid. Final Report. Technical Report No. 31.
Kieras, David E.
Theoretical and empirical work was conducted on the role of the "mental model," or how-it-works information, in learning to operate equipment. The original project was concerned with empirical and cognitive modeling studies of how people learn to operate equipment from the kind of information contained in technical documentation. The goal was to understand how knowledge about equipment could be presented effectively and how knowledge about the equipment should be conveyed to the reader. These studies were described in prior publications, which are listed in this final report. The second part of the project was a separate line of work on a computerized aid for comprehensible writing, a computer program intended to provide feedback to the writers of technical documents about comprehensibility problems. A general conclusion of the project was that high-quality training on specific procedures is generally superior to training limited to system knowledge. The developed feedback system was sophisticated and fast. Future work on this topic might best be focused on documenting the redundancy and insignificance of much mental model content. The reports and publications of this portion of the project are also listed. Applications of the work of both parts of the project and the problems encountered are summarized. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Technical Information Design and Analysis Lab.