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Analysing the learning of command sequences in a menu system.
Wilson, M.D., Barnard, P.J., & MacLean, A.
In P. Johnson & S. Cook (Eds.), People and Computers: Designing the Interface (pp.63-75). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Year of publication:
Although there is substantial literature on both novice and expert performance, there is little data on the transition from one to the other. This paper presents data from 8 subjects performing a core set of tasks in each of word processing, graph drawing and calculatioon environments during this transition. A descriptive model of the command structure used in these tasks is presented which permits the analysis of both the successful attempts to complete tasks and those involving deviations from optimal performance. The pattern of deviations changes over learning in that the proportion of those involving major re-attempts at tasks decreases while that involving local corrections increases. Two classes of mental representation aare used to explain the changing performance: those involving general system principles, and those using specific procedures. The changes that take place during learning aare charcterised as an increase in the proportion of specific procedures in the repertoire of representations sampled during task performance.