Advertisement

On the implications of users' prior knowledge for human-computer interaction

  • Yvonne Waern
Novices And Learning
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 178)

Abstract

This paper analyses the situation in which a beginning computer user tries to handle a computer system by only having had a brief period of instruction and manned with a manual. The situation is analysed as a problem solving situation, in which knowledge about how similar tasks are handled outside of the system plays a great role. It is suggested that the following situations will lead to slow learning: when the problem space is great, when necessary methods are difficult to access, when prior methods are inadequate and strong, when prior models are inadequate, and when the problem formulation is misleading. It is further suggested that the following may be learned in this situation: situation specific goal-condition-method rules, higher order rules, problem schemata, and causal explanations.

Empirical observation by means of think aloud protocols and registering of actual interactions are presented. These show that difficulties encountered by beginning users may be interpreted as suggested above. As to the learning content, the observations suggest that beginning users primarily learn situation specific goal-condition-method rules. They may furthermore redefine old or create new problem schemata. Higher order rules and causal explanations were not evident in the data collected.

Keywords

Production Rule Causal Explanation Problem Space Magnetic Tape Problem Interpretation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, J.R. (1982). Acquisition of Cognitive Skill. Psychological Review, 89, 369–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Askwall, S. (1984). Computer supported reading vs reading text on paper. FOA-report, No. D 53018. Also accepted for publication in International Journal for Man-Machine Studies.Google Scholar
  3. de Bachtin, O. (1984). It is what it's used for. Paper to be presented at the first IFIP conference on Human-Computer Interaction, London.Google Scholar
  4. Baladi, P. (1983). Inlärning av ett ordbehandlingssystem (VIDED). (Learning of a word processing system (VIDED)). B.A. thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Stockholm.Google Scholar
  5. Barnard, P.J., Hammond, N.V., Morton, J and Long, J. (1981). Consistency and compatibility in command languages. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 15, 87–134.Google Scholar
  6. Card, S.K., Moran, T.P. and Newell, A. (1983). The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  7. Halasz, F. and Moran T.P. (1982). Analogy considered harmful. Proceedings from the CHI '82 Conference: Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.Google Scholar
  8. Halasz, F.G. and Moran, T.P. (1983). Mental models and problem solving in using a calculator. Proceedings from the CHI '83 Conference: Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.Google Scholar
  9. Kieras, D.E. and Polson, P.G. (1982). An outline of a theory of the user complexity of devices and systems. Project on User complexity of devices and systems. Working Paper No. 1. University of Arizona and University of Colorado.Google Scholar
  10. Kieras, D.E. and Polson, P.G. (1982). An approach to the formal analysis of user complexity. Project on User complexity of devices and systems. Working Paper No. 2. University of Arizona and University of Colorado.Google Scholar
  11. Kintsch, W. and Greeno, J.G. (1982). Understanding and solving word arithmetic problems. Technical Report, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado.Google Scholar
  12. Linde, L. and Waern, Y. (1984). On search in an incomplete database. FOA-report. (in press).Google Scholar
  13. Maier, N.R.F. (1931). Reasoning in humans. II. The solution of a problem and its appearance in consciousness. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 12, 181–194.Google Scholar
  14. Mayer, (1975). Different problem-solving competencies established in learning computer programming with and without meaningful models. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 725–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mayer, R.E. (1981). The psychology of how novices learn computer programming. Computing Surveys, 13, 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Moran, T.P. (1981). The command language grammar: a representation for the user interface of interactive computer systems. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 15, 3–50.Google Scholar
  17. Moran, T.P. (1983). Getting into a system: External-internal task mapping analysis. Proceedings form the CHI '83 Conference: Human Factors in computing Systems, The Association for Computing Machinery, 45–49.Google Scholar
  18. Newell, A. (1973). Production system: Models of control structures. Visual information processing. Chase W.G. (Ed.). Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Newell, A., Simon H.A. (1972). Human problem solving. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  20. Norman, D.A. (1982). Five Papers on Human-Machine Interaction. Report NO. CHIP-112-TR-ONR-8205.Google Scholar
  21. Payne S.J., Green, T.R.G. (1983). The user's perception of the interaction language: A two-level model. Proceedings from the CHI '83 Conference: Human Factors in Computing Systems, The Association for Computing Machinery, 202–206.Google Scholar
  22. Reisner, P. (1982). Formal grammar as a tool for analysing ease of use: some fundamental concepts. Human Factors in Computer Systems. Thomas H.J. and Schneider M. (Eds). Ablex.Google Scholar
  23. Rumelhart, D.E., Ortony, A. (1977). The representation of knowledge in memory. Schooling and the acquisition of knowledge. Anderson, R.C., Spiro, R.J. and Montague W.E. (eds). Lawrence Erlbaum. Hillsdale, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Sääf, J. (1984). Can experience be a disadvantage in computer programming. A study of the problem solving approaches of experienced an inexperienced programmers. B.A. thesis. Department of Psychology, University of Stockholm.Google Scholar
  25. Waern, Y (1983). Prior knowledge as obstacle and help in computer aided tasks. Working Papers from the Cognitive seminar, Department of Psychology, University of Stockholm. No. 17.Google Scholar
  26. Waern, Y. (1984). Learning computerised tasks as related to prior task knowledge. Manuscript, submitted for publication.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Waern
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations