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ERIC Number: EJ1073861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
A Formative Analysis of Resources Used to Learn Software
Kay, Robin
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v33 n1 Win 2007
A comprehensive, formal comparison of resources used to learn computer software has yet to be researched. Understanding the relative strengths and weakness of resources would provide useful guidance to teachers and students. The purpose of the current study was to explore the effectiveness of seven key resources: human assistance, the manual, the keyboard, the screen, the software (other than main menu), the software main menu, and software help. Thirty-six adults (18 male, 18 female), representing three computer ability levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), volunteered to think out loud while they learned, for a period of 55 minutes, the rudimentary steps (moving the cursor, using a menu, entering data) required to use a spreadsheet software package (Lotus 1-2-3). The main menu, the screen, and the manual were the most effective resources used. Human assistance produced short term gains in learning but was not significantly related to overall task performance. Searching the keyboard was frequently done, but was relatively ineffective for improving learning. Software help was the least effective learning resource. Individual differences in using resources were observed with respect to ability level and gender.
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail: cnie-rcie@cnie-rcie.ca; Web site: http://www.cjlt.ca
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)