An analysis of the developmental process in an electronic performance support system for behavior management in the classroom
Wei-Chen Hung, Indiana University, United States
Indiana University . Awarded
Instructional designers are responsible for developing effective learning environments. A successful computer-supported learning system requires certain accessible features and a usable interface that together allow learners to engage in experiences that would be expensive or impossible without it. This study was an analysis of the developmental process of an electronic performance support system (EPSS) for behavior management in the classroom. Such an analysis of the EPSS's development process is a type of developmental research which focuses on the study of tasks, constraints, and design features involved in the process. The purpose was to describe and analyze the process of developing an EPSS in order to understand how instructional design principles, human-computer interaction, and system engineering were applied in that process and therefore making that process more explicit for instructional practitioners, so that they could generate further research ideas and make informed general decisions about their own applications. It is hoped that the findings of the study will also provide the initiative and foundation for future studies in EPSS.
The methodological approach for the study included survey, focus group discussion, task analysis, usability testing, expert appraisal, observation, prototyping, and field testing. Finally, an initial working prototype was designed, created, distributed, and field-tested to investigate its developmental process. In the summarizing conclusion, reflections on the developmental process, the EPSS concept, design strategies, costs, and user-reactions to the system prototype were reported. Strengths and limitations of the study were also discussed. Some necessary inclusions in the system design and considerations in its development which became apparent from this study included: (1) Combine performance and reference tools to empower users in a context of problem solving. Integrate these tools and enable them to communicate with each other to provide the users with a complete performance and knowledge management tool. (2) Use a “single entry” design approach to support users' problem solving processes. That is, provide a problem-diagnosing function to help users to recognize the problem in context. (3) Embed an expert problem-solving model in the help (or system's tutorial) function—a system guide that is built on the cognitive apprenticeship design principle. (4) Apply various information and conceptual representations to amplify users' cognitive flexibility: multimedia contents, alternative examples, multiple ways of information representation (e.g., proceduralized, operative, symbolic, and domain-specific), information arrangements, and advice or guidelines in multiple perspective modes. (5) Encourage reflection on the strategies applied by providing a work environment for planning problem-solving strategy, developing action plans, recording feedback, and sharing information. (6) Provide opportunities for collaboration and for keeping the users informed through up-to-date information online. However, the collaboration should only be made available (but not required) for supporting problems that are more complex and subject-oriented. (7) Educate system designers to be proficient in the subject-matter, and in the mean time, provide users with learning opportunities to familiarize them with the design framework—a reciprocal design approach. (8) Consider time and cost that users have to invest in the system.
Hung, W.C. An analysis of the developmental process in an electronic performance support system for behavior management in the classroom. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University.
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