Accession Number:

ADA350160

Title:

Evaluation of a Software User Coach for Manpower Planning

Descriptive Note:

Rept for Oct 94-Sep 96

Corporate Author:

NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTCENTER SAN DIEGO CA

Report Date:

1998-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

46.0

Abstract:

This research project explored the feasibility of improving user performance on manpower planning tasks by employing a user coach. A user coach is a software aid, often built directly into software applications, that assists the user at critical stages. The user coach developed for this project closely resembles the wizards that are commonly used in commercial software today. The user coach was applied to a software tool known as SKIPPER, a manpower modeling tool that is employed by the Enlisted Community Managers ECMs at the Bureau of Navy Personnel BUPERS. This report describes the user coach and documents a formal evaluation of its effectiveness. The evaluation compared the use and understanding of SKIPPER 1 with the coach, 2 with the coach and a visual metaphor a hydraulic system representation of the enlisted personnel system, and 3 without the coach or the metaphor. All users experienced and inexperienced were able to complete their manpower plans significantly faster using the coach than using SKIPPER unaided. Neither performance on the manpower planning task, nor the users understanding of the task, was influenced by providing a visual picture of the process. It appears that users found the procedural what to do aids useful, but aids designed to help the user understand the purpose and dynamics why do it of the task were not effective.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE