Re: Cost Savings and Online Help

Subject: Re: Cost Savings and Online Help
From: hfi -at- INS -dot- INFONET -dot- NET
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 02:41:21 GMT

Everyone in creation writes or E-Mails me...
Dr. Eric. Shaffer (hfi -at- ins -dot- infonet -dot- net) writes:

>However, there are situations where it does make sense. Jack
>Tananbaum wrote a great Bell Technical Memo on "Means to Achive
>Performance Tradeoff". He identified critiera for when doucmentation,
>training, OR performance aides (e.g. help) were acutally useful.
>Great work, we use it regularly.

How can one get a copy of this memo?

I can not post a Bell TM. But I will capsul a bit for those
who are interested.

Beofre Jack, everyone automatically wrote THE documentation,
created THE job aids, and developed THE training. Jack noticed
that this was stupid. We were killing the problem repeatedly.
Instead he suggested the following.

Start with the task analysis and derive a list of skill and
knowledge requirements.

Subtract the user's existing skill and knowledges (at 5th percentil).

The reult is a list of skill and knowledge deficiancies.

Now... figure out the optimal stragagy for fulfilling the user needs.
Jack provided extensive critieria for selection of training, vs
performance aids, vs doucmentation. For example, if you only
do the work occasionaly (e.g., disaster recovery) you can't train
on it because people will forget.

Whe I developed our course on help, online documentation, and CBT
I extended this model to look at online vs paper presentation.
For example Paper Job Aids vs Online Job Aids (ie help).

Good instructional technologists have lots of criteria for looking
at diffierent training stratagies (stand up vs CBT, etc.).

The key idea here is that we need to identify an overall user support
stragy that is practical and economical. Do this BEFORE begining
product creation and the developers will solidly know the objectives
of their packages!

Dr. Eric M. Schaffer CPE
For Human Factors International, Inc.

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