Title: Focusing computer training to user needs: the impacts of online and offline training on learning

Authors: Jeffrey Hsu, Murray Turoff

Addresses: Information Systems, Silberman College of Business Administration, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ 07940-1099, USA. ' Department of Information Systems, College of Computing, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Abstract: Training is an important means by which to learn computing skills and gain knowledge in new technologies. However, frequently training does not achieve its desired result, and the type of training–help can also play an important part. The role of three different forms of training (offline, online, and visual online) in promoting or hindering learning was the focus of this empirical study, and the results varied by skill level: novices learned best with the offline manual, and worst with the visual online. Experienced users, on the other hand, learned best with online training and the worst with visual online. Experienced users have reasonably good perceptions of what kinds of training best contribute to their own learning while novices are largely erroneous in their perceptions.

Keywords: computer training; online training; offline training; learning; human–computer interaction; HCI; innovation; markup languages; minimal manual; help systems; user needs; computing skills; user preceptions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2007.012962

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2007 Vol.4 No.5, pp.530 - 546

Published online: 02 Apr 2007 *

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