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Title:An Exploration of Technical Troubleshooting Expertise in Design, Manufacturing, and Repair Contexts
Author(s):Flesher, Jeffrey Will
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnson, Scott D.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Industrial
Physics, Electricity and Magnetism
Education, Vocational
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore electronic troubleshooting expertise in three contexts (design, production, and repair) that reflect distinct problem solving task environments, in an effort to provide a more precise definition of the boundaries of expertise in electronics troubleshooting and the relationship of context to the development of troubleshooting instruction. Based on the cognitive science approach to the study of expertise, two related investigations explored knowledge base content and actual troubleshooting performance in contextually representative tasks. Although broad generalizations are limited due to sample size, important implications for the study of electronics troubleshooting expertise were discovered.
Responses to the knowledge inventory revealed that a greater degree of emphasis was placed on theory, concepts, and principles by the design group, while the repair group placed more emphasis on procedural knowledge elements. The knowledge base required to support electronics troubleshooting expertise also includes important contextual elements as evidenced by the consistently high unique inventory ratings. Each group reported unique factors reflecting the typical task environments in which troubleshooting is accomplished. It appears from the results of this study that an important knowledge element is the selection of an appropriate contextual frame of reference. These references play an important role in developing an efficient problem space for troubleshooters. The reference enables the troubleshooter to make a basic assumption regarding the baseline characteristics of problem situations, improving efficiency and reducing cognitive processing requirements.
Subjects from all groups were generally able to demonstrate high levels of skill associated with expertise in electronics troubleshooting in problems representative of typical tasks in their positions. An important aspect of the expertise demonstrated by the subjects in this study is that basic troubleshooting appears to be a unique skill, supported by knowledge base elements, but not dependent upon a single level of understanding or educational background. The demonstration of troubleshooting expertise does not appear to be dependent upon specific knowledge base elements beyond basic concepts and procedures.
Issue Date:1993
Description:225 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9314867
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1993

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