This thesis focuses on the effectiveness of a selfguided training manual for use by beginners of the Harris Page Layout System. The problem was to prove that this manual, titled A Beginner' s Guide to Harris Pagination Systems and written in conjunction with this study, is an effective instructional tool. Two groups of beginning users of the Harris Page Layout System were used for testing the effectiveness of the manual. The members of the control group were taught the system by an instructor, while the members of the experimental group were taught the system by the aforementioned training manual. Both instructor and manual were to teach these new users the same objectives. An initial survey, the purpose of which was to glean how experienced and comfortable the users were with computers, was given to the entire population of 14 students before any instruction on the Harris system began. Then, the students split up into the two groups and began to learn the system. The members of both groups were required to complete two projects using the Harris Page Layout System: they were to use the system to compose an advertisement and paginate a news page. The instruction they received was to have taught them how to compose a sample advertisement and a sample news page. Then, they were each to complete an advertisement and page on their own. After completing the projects, the members of both groups were required to take a general knowledge exam about the Harris system. Also, final surveys were completed by the population. The experimental group was given a moreextensive final survey, so as to gather particular information about the manual. The final advertisement and page collected from each member were graded on a number of criteria. The total number of mistakes was recorded for each of the two projects. The completed knowledge exams were graded and the scores for them were recorded. The initial and final surveys were analyzed, and anecdotal information was drawn from them. The data from the final projects were analyzed. The average number of mistakes on the final advertisement was exactly the same from one group to the other. An insufficient number of news pages were collected from the experimental group, leading to speculations instead of solid conclusions, regarding that group' s ability to produce better news pages than the control group. If speculation could be considered, then it could be formulated that the experimental group produced better pages than the control group. The scores of the knowledge exam, however, showed that the members of the experimental group were markedly more knowledgeable of the Harris Page Layout System than the members of the control group. The least-knowledgeable member of the experimental group matched the test score of the most-knowledgeable member of the control group. The fact that the average number of mistakes on the advertisement was the same for both the control and experimental group indicates that the manual is at least as good an instructional method as the "traditional," verbal instructional method. Adding to this the fact that the exam scores show the members of the experimental group to be more knowledgeable of the Harris system than the members of the control group, the conclusion must be that A Beginner' s Guide to Harris Pagination Systems is an effective instructional tool and possibly a better method of instruction than the traditional method.
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Mulik, Mark, "A Study of the use of a manual in the training of operators of Harris Pagination Systems" (1993). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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