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Title:"Learning How to Know How to Do": Enabling Newcomers to Succeed in Complex Micro-Cultures
Author(s):Pianfetti, Brian Matthew, Jr
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hill, Jacquetta
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Technology of
Abstract:The oversimplification of "step-by-step" approaches to software design and instruction creates conceptual barriers for learning in local communities of practice, micro-cultures. This study explored the efficacy of using a sociocultural-based learning environment to help novice computer users understand the complexity associated with modern software applications. Learners were presented with a variety of procedures, interpretations and contexts of computing from different communities of practice, increasing the probability that they would martial a cognitively flexible approach to accomplishing tasks. These presentations were made through five animated characters, based on the Microsoft Agent technologies, which were able to interact with the user as an "expert" a learner could call upon for help. During each stage of the research the subjects could also get second and third opinions from the remaining characters enabling them to have more options when attempting to complete a task. Results from the study indicate that learning to use a computer with this character based help system enabled novice users to transfer knowledge to novel situations and to create innovative solutions to problems better than users who used traditional "step-by-step" methods of instruction.
Issue Date:1999
Description:174 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9944967
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1999

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