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Help-based tutorials

Help-based tutorials,10.1145/1456536.1456538,David G. Novick,Oscar D. Andrade,Nathaniel Bean,Edith Elizalde

Help-based tutorials   (Citations: 2)
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The consensus of the documentation literature is that users rarely use help, usually preferring to muddle through. To increase use of help, tutorials for novice users could be changed from guided presentations toward using the system's actual help system. To determine whether this approach would increase users' use of help when they encountered problems with an application, we developed an alternative, help-based tutorial introduction to Microsoft Publisher. We compared the behaviors of users introduced to Publisher with the help-based tutorial with the behaviors of users who learned from a traditional tutorial. A balanced study of 22 novice users of Publisher suggests that using a help-based tutorial leads to significantly greater use of help systems when users encounter problems. However, the data also suggest that the increased use of help may not lead to more effective task performance.
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    • ...It is possible to induce users to use help via a help-based tutorial, but the use of help appears not to provide users with much of an advantage, and the use of help tapers off consistently [10]...
    • ...In previous work [10], we had been successful in inducing novice users of Microsoft Publisher to use help as they tried to accomplish tasks with the application, even if, as it turned out, those using help more did not apparently perform better on the tasks than those who used help less...
    • ...This study starts with the audiovisual recordings collected in [10]...
    • ...While the results in [10] were based on the data from only the 8 subjects who used help more than negligibly in their sessions, this study is based on the data from 14 subjects, so that we could have a more complete look at problemsolving behaviors...

    David G. Novicket al. The micro-structure of use of help

    • ...But more often, people prefer to muddle through the application through trial-and-error methods rather than use the application’s help [3],[13],[14]...
    • ...Users routinely run into such issues and abandon the help system to try other approaches such as muddling through the application via trial and error [9],[14]...
    • ...It appears that users prefer to muddle through an application to complete a task, and even when they can be persuaded to use help they still resort to other strategies because help does not provide them with the assistance they need [14]...
    • ...To determine the transitions people make among computer application problem-solving approaches, we analyzed highdefinition audiovisual recordings collected as part of a prior study [14][13]...
    • ...Vocabulary mismatches occur because help systems are likely to use the same terms as the application [14], which requires users to familiarize themselves with such terms to learn about the application...

    Oscar D. Andradeet al. The macro-structure of use of help

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