Principled design guidance for the development of computer-based training materials
This study is concerned with the provision of guidance for designers of computer-based training (CBT) materials. Four interrelated principles - immersion, interaction, locative fit, and multiple representations - are discussed. These principles draw upon research into instruction and technology and re-frame and re-interpret established instructional factors in terms of the capabilities of the interactive computer as a training delivery medium. It will be argued that the conjoining of pedagogy and technology in the principles is crucial to the effectiveness of CBT. Furthermore, this study will also argue that the form of the guidance has a direct bearing on its usefulness. The four principles are argued to represent a coherent framework which can raise the awareness of CBT designers on key instructional issues and the ways in which the delivery medium may be used to support them, and provide a resource on which designers may draw. The relevance and effectiveness of the principles (and the issues that they address) are explored through a body of empirical work. This takes the form of two studies: a survey of designers providing comments on the content and expression of the principles and their importance to CBT design; and a series of user trials. The contrasting nature of the studies allows the comments of designers and users to be assessed and compared.