Conceptual Versus Procedural Software Training for Graphical User Interfaces: A Longitudinal Field Experiment
Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in organizations. Most of what we know about software training comes from studies of command line interfaces. This paper compares concept-based versus procedure-based content of training materials. Concept-based materials define the nature and associations of the objects in the interface, while procedure-based materials define how specific tasks are carried out. This comparison was done using a field experiement. Eighty-two volunteers participated in a three-week Windows training program and completed a follow-up questionnaire seven months later. The results show that the amount learned in such sessions is a function of neither concept-based nor procedure-based training. GUI training should provide both kinds of information because trainees need to learn both. In addition, trainers should be aware of an apparent early pateau in learning of the Windows GUI.
|Lorne Olfman and Munir Mandviwalla
|Computer literacy, direct manipulation, end users, graphical user interface, longitudinal study, user behavior, user training