Beyond command knowledge: Identifying and teaching strategic knowledge for using complex computer applications

S. K. Bhavnani, F. Reif, B. E. John

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite experience, many users do not make efficient use of complex computer applications. We argue that this is caused by a lack of strategic knowledge that is difficult to acquire just by knowing how to use commands. To address this problem, we present efficient and general strategies for using computer applications, and identify the components of strategic knowledge required to use them. We propose a framework for teaching strategic knowledge, and show how we implemented it in a course for freshman students. In a controlled study, we compared our approach to the traditional approach of just teaching commands. The results show that efficient and general strategies can in fact be taught to students of diverse backgrounds in a limited time without harming command knowledge. The experiment also pinpointed those strategies that can be automatically learned just from learning commands, and those that require more practice than we provided. These results are important to universities and companies that wish to foster more efficient use of complex computer applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages229-236
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2001 Anyone. Anywhere - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2001Apr 5 2001

Other

OtherConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2001 Anyone. Anywhere
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period3/31/014/5/01

Keywords

  • GOMS
  • Instruction
  • Strategies
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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    Bhavnani, S. K., Reif, F., & John, B. E. (2001). Beyond command knowledge: Identifying and teaching strategic knowledge for using complex computer applications. 229-236. Paper presented at Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2001 Anyone. Anywhere, Seattle, WA, United States.