Learning to use a word-processing system as a function of training strategy

Sara J. Czaja, Katka Hammond, James J. Blascovich, Helen Swede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Three training strategies were evaluated for their effectiveness in teaching naive computer users to use a word-processing system. One hundred and thirty five women ranging in age from 25 years to 70 years participated in the study. Subjects were trained using one of three techniques and lpar;instructor, manual, computer and lpar; to perform basic word-processing tasks. The effectiveness of the training strategies was assessed by examining performance on basic word-processing tasks such as typing a letter or memo and editing an existing file. Results showed that for all subjects, computer-based training was a less effective teaching method than either instructor- or manual-based training. In general, subjects who were trained using the computer-based method attempted and completed fewer tasks, took longer to perform tasks, and also made more errors. These findings demonstrate the need for directing efforts towards the development of appropriate training methods for computer tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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