Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The management training section of the New England Telephone Company was interested in designing computer-based training materials because new management workstations contained microcomputers. Despite pressure from line and staff personnel, a positive response was not forthcoming because of classroom delivery priorities and force allocations restrictions. A concern for the problem before retiring, combined with an interest in designing a computer-based training reinforcement learning experience for a personally owned workshop, used by the company and other organizations, created a situation where offered assistance was accepted. Research questions for this Major Applied Research Project concentrated on knowledge and skill requirements needed to complete the prototype effort. Concerns were expressed relative to abilities required to evaluate computer-based training authoring system and then to use one system for the purpose of designing mechanized training materials. Additional research issues centered around capabilities required to successfully introduce and evaluate the innovative training delivery system. As a result, a systematic literature search was conducted before procedural strategies was finalized. An awareness of computer-based training authoring system technology combined with an inability to program computer software, resulted in a decision to modify existing evaluation criteria developed by Jane Lommel at Kansas State University in 1986, for the purpose of evaluating vendor provided authoring system demonstration diskettes. Results of that effort necessitated the design of a second instrument before a decision was rendered on a preferred system. Thereafter, authoring training was combined from the selected vendor before designing prototype materials. An iterative process was used throughout the development effort. Initially, computer screen details were diagrammed on block paper. After they had been evaluated and modified, the selected authoring system was used to design a total of fifth-one learning frames. Thereafter, they were trialed twice and changes were made before being considered acceptable following a third similar session. Concurrent with those efforts was the design and trialing of various feedback instruments that would be used in designing implementation and evaluation guidelines. The prototype implementation guidelines were developed to ensure that various members of the company’s management team were aware of their responsibilities pertaining to the introduction and continual use of mechanized learning materials. The issue was considered of prime importance because training was going to be administered at worksite locations. It was realized that an innovative delivery strategy would probably not be successful unless continued approval and cooperation was forthcoming from line management personnel. Prototype evaluation guidelines were designed to provide training development and evaluation personnel with eight specific steps that should be followed whenever computer-based learning projects are undertaken. Included in the material is a trialing instrument that was developed to obtain detailed information on individual computer-based training learning frames. In addition, a trainee reaction form and an administration evaluation checklist have been provided to help support the systematic methodology. The first conclusion was that a non-programmer can successfully design mechanized learning materials provided that that individual has selected an authoring system after completing an evaluation effort similar to the one utilized during this MARP effort. Two additional findings are also important. First, trainee typing skills are not necessary and, second, the availability of instant feedback is invaluable. Those attributes, along with the capability of interactive privately with an interactive medium, should enhance student interest in computer-based training technology. Several recommendations resulted. The study should be made available to other internal training organizations and a five year computer-based training development plan should be formulated. Funding should be allocated for purchasing an authoring system and a job description submitted for the purpose of obtaining a full time authoring person. Once hired, the individual should be trained on the purchased system before reading this document prior to authoring mechanized products for the management training organization.

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