Distributed performance support systems
The focus of this thesis is on electronic performance support and, in particular,
systems which enable performance support facilities to be distributed across networks.
A review of the literature was undertaken, followed by a discussion of the rationale for
using a distributed performance support system (DPSS) and an evaluation of a number
of tools and facilities which can be used during the development and implementation
of this type of system. This analysis enabled a model of a distributed performance
support system to be developed which illustrates the potential relationships between
the embedded support tools and components. Two different types of distributed
performance support system are then given. These reflect a number of different
architectures such a system can take within academic institutions in order to facilitate
teaching and learning.
Based upon one of these types of DPSS, an important part of the work described in
this thesis has been an investigation into the use of computer-based learning facilities
and how these facilities can be effectively used by integrating them within a DPSS.
The investigation centred on the use of the BYZANTIUM marginal costing package: a
computer-based learning package used within the School of Business and
Management, at the University of Teesside, to teach undergraduates the accounting
technique of marginal costing.
In order to investigate the potential and impact of embedding the marginal costing
package within a distributed performance support system within the context of an
academic institution, a number of experimental case studies were implemented and
evaluated within the School of Business and Management, at the University of
Teesside. Each of these case studies relates to the theme of `learning support
environments'. The case studies have served to establish a set of principles and
guidelines for the creation of distributed performance support systems within an
In the final part of this thesis the results of the evaluation studies are presented and
discussed. This is followed by some concluding remarks and some suggestions for