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Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Graduate School

First Advisor

Doug Matheson

First Committee Member

Gary N. Howells

Second Committee Member

Ann Zinck

Abstract

The attention directed toward computer software research has been sparse which is quite evident in particular facets such as learning methods, specifically towards tutorials. Some authors have identified various important issues which include cognitive factors, reduction of presentation of superfluous information, and the importance of interaction with software and hardware. The present . study examined two tutorials which were similar except in their level of required user behaviors. Tutorial A required only user manipulation of disk stored data. Tutorial B required the user to enter the data into the computer, design the screen format, and then to manipulate it. It was predicted that the extra task of entering data and designing the screen format would provoke more positive scores for Tutorial B as measured by two independent questionnaires, would require fewer requests for assistance than for those using Tutorial A, and require a comparative duration period to complete. The results obtained supported all hypotheses except for the duration period which took longer for Tutorial B. The implication is that there should be development of improved Tutorial options utilizing research based methods such as these presented.

Pages

46

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