CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

The Development And Evaluation of A Hypertext Computer-Based Training Program to Assist In Developing Publications Skills

Date of Award

1991

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science

Department

Center for Computer-Based Learning

Advisor

George Fornshell

Committee Member

John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Peter M. Delaney

Abstract

The purpose of this study was the development and evaluation of a hypertext computer based training program for new yearbook advisers who lack either a background or certification in journalism. An informal needs analysis and a review of literature established that the training needs of new advisers were being met only through personal contact with publishing representatives. This form of training was dependent as much on the training skills of the representatives as it was on their publishing skills. It was sporadic, subjective, and lacked consistency. This information indicated a need to explore other methods of training.

Through a series of checks, it was determined that a hypertext computer-based training program would offer a feasible alternate avenue of training for several reasons. First, a hypertext training program would allow for the differences in background and experience of the new advisers. Second, training would no longer be subject to the availability of representatives or their skill as trainers. Third, it would allow companies to train a population that has a high turnover rate and is geographically dispersed. Fourth, it would allow for maximum training within a limited time frame.

A hypertext computer based program was created for this study using Hyper Studio as the authoring system. The development of the program followed the Instructional Systems Development (ISD) approach to design which includes the use of needs analysis, behavioral objectives, criterion-referenced or competency-based testing, and formative evaluation. The CBT program was limited to the following areas: developing a thematic approach, cropping photographs, designing page layouts, using graphic design elements, and preparing pages for submission to the printer.

The program was field tested with 30 new advisers. A pre and post treatment multiple choice test was used to measure gains in knowledge; pre and post treatment Likert questionnaires were used to measure interests, attitudes, and expectations toward the computer learning environment. A posttest only control group composed of experienced advisers trained by publishing representatives was used to determine benchmarks for the knowledge-based test. The testing procedures produced data that represented statistically significant increases in both attitudes and expectations and the knowledge level of new advisers.

In addition, the personal questionnaires distributed to both groups report that a majority of the advisers, both new and experienced, believe that training can be done through computer based programs. All of these results support the concept that CBT is a viable method of disseminating information to those involved in scholastic publications

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