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Narrative Versus Step-by-Step Instructions for Computer Procedures
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Selected Research and Development Presentations at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Sponsored by the Research and Theory Division,

Abstract

This paper describes a study designed to investigate the effectiveness of narrative versus step-by-step instructions for a computer task. The participants in this study were 31 undergraduate education students enrolled in a computer literacy class at the University of Memphis during the Summer 1996 semester; none of the participants had prior knowledge of e-mail. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups and were individually observed as they completed the steps for retrieving, replying, spell checking, and sending e-mail using software on a mainframe computer. After completion of their respective treatments, participants completed a survey designed to assess their attitudes toward the instruction. There was no performance time difference between the two groups, but the step-by-step treatment made fewer errors during the more complex tasks. There was a lack of difference in attitude between the two groups. A figure illustrating the performance rating form used by the researchers is included, as well as tables containing data on errors on task and errors by treatment. (DLS)

Citation

MacLeod, L.G. & Morrison, G.R. (1998). Narrative Versus Step-by-Step Instructions for Computer Procedures. Presented at Selected Research and Development Presentations at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Sponsored by the Research and Theory Division 1998. Retrieved April 21, 2021 from .

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