|Abstract or Summary
- The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine if individual
differences in the learner characteristics of field dependence, state
and trait anxiety, age, sex, and prior computer experience were related
to performance in operating a computer system; (2) to determine if
differences in performance would occur as a result of two different
instructional delivery methods, manual-based training (MBT) and
instructor-based training (IBT); and (3) to determine if differences in
performance between instructional delivery methods could be partially
explained by differences in the learner characteristics examined.
An experimental research design was used involving two groups of
subjects. The control group was trained to operate a computer software
system using MBT, the experimental group was trained to operate the
same system using IBT. Subjects were administered two standardized
instruments, the Group-Embedded Figures Test and the State-Trait
Anxiety Inventory. A demographic questionnaire was used to identify
age, sex, and prior computer experience. Participants in the study
were 72 undergraduate students enrolled in one or more courses in
Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at Oregon State University in
April of 1987.
Chi-square, t-tests, analysis of variance, regression analysis,
and Pearson product-moment correlations were used to test the
hypotheses of this study. The following findings were considered
significant at the .05 level of confidence:
1. There was a negative correlation between execution time in
performing tasks on the computer and level of field
dependence. Subjects who were more field independent
(higher GEFT score) took less time to perform a series of
tasks following training.
2. There was a difference in training time between MBT and IBT.
Subjects trained using IBT took significantly longer to
train than did subjects using MBT.
3. There was a difference in execution time between MBT and
IBT. Subjects trained using MBT took significantly longer
to complete the representative tasks than did subjects using
4. There was a negative correlation between field dependence
and execution time for MBT, but not for IBT.
Based on the results of this study there appears to be evidence
that individual differences and training delivery methods effect
performance in operating a computer software system. Further research
is recommended to better define the relationship of these variables to