Scaffolding Performance in EPSSs: Bridging Theory and Practice

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Scaffolding Performance in EPSSs: Bridging Theory and Practice
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  DOCUMENT RESUME ED 466 164 IR 021 235 AUTHORHannafin, Michael J; McCarthy, James E.; Hannafin, KathleenM.; Radtke, Paul TITLE Scaffolding Performance in EPSSs: Bridging Theory and Practice. PUB DATE2001-06-00NOTE 9p.; In: ED-MEDIA 2001 World Conference on EducationalMultimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Proceedings(13th, Tampere, Finland, June 25-30, 2001); see IR 021 194. Contains small print.PUB TYPEReports Descriptive (141) Speeches/Meeting Papers (150) EDRS PRICE MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.DESCRIPTORSEducational Technology; Information Dissemination; *MaterialDevelopment; *Military Training; Multimedia Materials;*Scaffolding (Teaching Technique); Skill Development;Teaching Methods IDENTIFIERS Navy; *Performance Support SystemsABSTRACTElectronic performance support systems (EPSS) help usersaccomplish tasks, using computational technologies. Scaffolding is theprocess through which efforts are supported while engaging a learning orperformance task. A number of different types of scaffolds are possible,including conceptual, metacognitive, procedural, and strategic. Each of thesetypes of scaffolding is defined in this paper, and a case study involving theapplication of different scaffolding approaches is presented. The TacticalReadiness Instruction, Authoring, and Delivery (TRIAD) project is developinga set of authoring and delivery tools that will enhance the quality oftactical guidance disseminated through the United States Navy. The bulk ofrequisite knowledge and skill is developed through experience and personalstudy of tactical publications (including Tactical Memoranda, or TACMEMOs)and combat system doctrine. TRIAD is a PC-based system being designed anddeveloped to improve the coherence and usability of TACMEMOs. TRIAD willprovide authors with an integrated tool set to enable them to create tacticaldocumentation using a variety of multimedia presentation techniques, and tocreate associated interactive multimedia instruction to support thedocumented tactic/doctrine. In turn, readers will receive a multimediatactical documentation product set that supports tactic/doctrinepresentation and briefing, instruction, quick reference, and facilitation ofelectronic feedback regarding tactic/doctrine evaluation. TRIAD's onlineauthor interview scaffolding of TACMEMOs is emphasized. (Contains 13 references.) (AEF) Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made from the srcinal document.  PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE AND DISSEMINATE THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN GRANTED BY G.H. Marks TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCESINFORMATION CENTER ERIC) Michael J. HannafinUniversity of GeorgiaAthens, GA USAhannafin@coe.uga.eduKathleen M. HannafinUniversity of GeorgiaAthens, GA USA khannafiecoe.uga.edu SCAFFOLDING PERFORMANCE IN EPSSs: BRIDGING THEORY AND PRACTICE James E. McCarthy Sonalysts, Inc. Waterford, CT USA mccarthy@sonalysts.com U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Educational Research and Improvement EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATIONCENTER ERIC) Of This document has been reproduced as received from the person or organization srcinating it.Minor changes have been made toimprove reproduction quality. Points of view or opinions stated in thisdocument do not necessarily representofficial OERI position or policy. Paul RadtkeNaval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division Orlando, FL USA radtkeph(2mavair.navy.mil Abstract. Two promising developments have emerged: 1) Electronic Performance SupportSystems (EPSS); and 2) scaffolding approaches. The link between these developments, however, is relatively new. The purposes of this paper are to introduce EPSS design and implementation issues, to describe the relevance of scaffolding to EPSS design, and to present a case study involving the application of different scaffolding approaches. An EPSS Primer Simply stated, performance support systems help users do or accomplish things as they attempt to perform (Dorsey, Goodrum, & Schwen, 1993); EPSSs do so using computational technologies (Hoschka, 1996). An EPSS is a system of task- integrated online job aids, support tools and information systems that assist users with workplace performance (IETI, 1995; Stevens & Stevens, 1996). While some have expressed the need for caution (e.g., Clark, 1992), EPSS technology has gained broad acceptance in the education and training communities (see, for example, Banerji, 1999; Gery, 1991, 1995; Huber, Lippinott, McMahon, & Witt, 1999; Raybould, 1995). Interest in EPSS technology has been evident in professional organizations, corporate training and education environments, and academic R&D settings (Carr, 1992). According to Gloria Gery (1995), two simple goals define what any EPSS should provide: 1) software to integrate knowledge, data, and tools required to help a performer succeed at a task; and, 2) task structuring that guides performers to create deliverables. In a sense, EPSS technology is not so much a unitary design concept, with fixed features and components, as it is a perspective on designing systems that support learning and/or performing.This, however, can prove elusive and deceptively complex. A recent volume describing the development of EPSS and other tools to support instructional design (van den Akker, Branch, Gustafson, Nieveen, & Plomp, 1999) highlights both the advances realized in the 1990's as well as needed research and development. A Scaffolding Primer Scaffolding is the process through which efforts are supported while engaging a learning or performance task. Scaffolding can be differentiated by mechanisms and functions. Mechanisms emphasize the methods through which scaffolding is provided, while functions emphasize the purposes served. Scaffolding complexity varies according to different contextual variables; scaffolding approaches, therefore, vary accordingly. In some instances where the problem or task is very explicit, scaffolding can be closely linked to the specific performance demands; when the task is not well-known or is ill-defined, scaffolding of a generic nature is generally provided. A number of different types of scaffolds are possible, including Conceptual, Metacognitive, Procedural, and Strategic. Conceptual Scaffolding Conceptual scaffolding is provided when the task is well defined and guides users regarding what to consider. At times, this is accomplished by identifying key conceptual knowledge related to a task or creating structures that make conceptual organization readily apparent. These structures can be made available through a variety of mechanisms, ranging from the graphical depiction of relationships, to outlines featuring ordinate-subordinate relationships, to information and hints provided by experts. BEST COPY NAMABLE 2 Page 658  Conceptual scaffolding can be designed to help users reason through complex or fuzzy problems, as well as for conceptswhere known misconceptions or misunderstandings are prevalent. Hints can guide users to available resources or tools whereunderstanding is typically problematic. Metacognitive ScaffoldingMetacognitive scaffolding supports the underlying self-management processes associated with performance, i.e., it provides guidance in how to think. Metacognitive scaffolding can be either domain-specific, such as where performance contexts are externally induced, or more generic where the performance context is not known in advance. Metacognitive scaffolding might also remindusers to reflect on the goal(s) or prompt them to relate a given resource or tool manipulation outcome to the problem or need at hand. Procedural Scaffolding Procedural scaffolding emphasizes how to utilize available resources and tools.It orients to system features and functions,and otherwise aids the user while performing. For example, some users become disoriented in complex or fuzzy performance contexts. Procedural scaffolding is frequently provided clarifying how to return to a desired location, how to flag or  bookmark locations or resources for subsequent review, or how to deploy given tools.Users need not develop facility with all procedures until they have established, on an individual basis, the need for a given tool or resource. Strategic Scaffolding Strategic scaffolding emphasizes alternative approaches that might prove helpful.It supports analysis, planning, strategy, and tactical decisions. It focuses on approaches for identifying and selecting needed information, evaluating available resources, and relating new to existing knowledge and experience. Another typeof strategic scaffolding involves alerting theuser to available tools and resources that might prove helpful under givencircumstances, and providing guidance in their use. Expert advice regarding approaches that might be helpful can also be embedded. Finally, strategic scaffolding may take the form of response-sensitive guidance at key decision points. Scaffolding in an EPSS: A Brief Case Study The Tactical Readiness Instruction, Authoring, and Delivery (TRIAD) project is developing a set of authoring and delivery tools that will enhance the quality of tactical guidance disseminated through the U.S. Navy. Introduction to TRIAD Decision-makers are faced with increasingly complicated and stressful tactical environments characterized by situational uncertainty, time compression, and capable adversaries. To cope with such environments, today's decision-makers must haveabsolute command of a vast and varied knowledge base. Decision-makers must be familiar with situational cues, their ship and fleet capabilities and limitations as well as those of potential adversaries, and tactics at his or her disposal as well as those thatpotential adversaries might employ. The bulk of requisite knowledge and skill is developed through experience and personal study of tactical publications (including Tactical Memoranda [TACMEMOs]) and combat system doctrine (Cannon-Bowers et al., 1994). TRIAD is a PC- based system being designed and developed to improve the coherence and usability of TACMEMOs. TRIAD will provide authors with an integrated tool set to enable them to create tactical documentation (i.e., TACMEMOs) using a variety of multimedia presentation techniques, and to create associated interactive multimedia instruction (IMI) to support the documented tactic/doctrine. In turn, readers will receive a multimedia tactical documentation product set that supports tactic/doctrine presentation and briefing, instruction, quick reference, and facilitation of electronic feedback regarding tactic/doctrine evaluation. In the following sections, we emphasize TRIAD's on-line author interview scaffolding of efficient and effective TACMEMOs. 3 Page 659  Author Interview Overview The TACMEMO development process consists of three stages: interview, edit and review. During theinterview stage, the author creates and/or imports existing resources regarding the tactic in response to TRIAD-supplied interview questions. Using the information gained from the interview, TRIAD generates a draft TACMEMO product set consisting of the following integrated components: Base Document, Tactic Training Component, Quick Reference Guide (QRG), Feedback, and Brief. The Base Document contains the core TACMEMO content and procedures. The Tactic Training component addresses training requirements keyed to specific tactics knowledge and skills identified in a given Base Document. The QRG is an on-line job aid designed to distill the most essential aspects of the tactic for ready reference and to enable the user to link to associated Base Document and Tactic Training sections of the TACMEMO. Feedback, of a formative nature related tothe tactic's usefulness, is elicited from users and recorded electronically. Finally, TRIAD generates a Power Point® presentation Briefcontaining the primary information contained in the tactic. The Brief can be edited and otherwise modified to provide greater or lesser breadth and depth, per audience needs. The process begins through progressive decomposition of the product set's content. That is, the author is first asked to specify broad categories of information that the product set will address (e.g., Threats, Weapon Systems, Tactical Employment) and to specify one of these categories as the main thrust of the product set. For example, a given product set may focus on how to use a certain weapon to defeat a certain threat. In this case, the Tactical Employment, Weapon, and Threat categories wouldall be uses, but the Tactical Employment category would be marked as being the central theme or frame. After specifying the broad categories of concern, the author breaks each category into smaller and smaller units. For each category, the author is asked to specify which of a set of possible anchors are important to the product set. For example, within the Threat category, the possible anchors include Type, Mission, Design Characteristics, Identifying Characteristics, etc. This process continues as the author determines which aspects of the anchors themselves to discuss. For example, within the Identifying Characteristic anchor, the author could choose to discuss Identifying Features and/or Indicators via Equipment. The interview process continues by further decomposing the material to be presented (e.g., creating sub-sections for the basedocument or learning objectives for the tactic training component) and by eliciting content associated with a particular element (e.g., creating a description of a piece of equipment or a particular practice exercise). Content is added to the skeleton createdthrough decomposition through tools that allow authors to create novel content or select from a library of existing knowledge objects. The process continues with a guided elaboration and augmentation of the draft product set. The process consists of three iterative strategies, confirming, elaborating, and fine-tuning, designed to help authors refine and augment content. Confirmation assists authors in validating content accuracy and completeness as well as confirming TRIAD-generated structures and sequences. Confirmation is critical because it safeguards the accuracy of both the content and structure of TRIAD-generated documents. Elaboration helps authors to extend, amplify, and otherwise augment TRIAD documents. Authors elaborate and detail descriptions and supporting examples, especially those considered critical to the user's knowingand implementing the tactic. Fine-tuning enables the author to clarify information, directions, instruction, and presentation. At this step, the author amplifies key information, reducing or eliminating ambiguity and unclear or non-essential information. Once the interview is completed and the draft product set generated, the edit stage commences. Here, the author is again presented with the draft product set and can choose to edit any or all of the product set components. The author can add newmedia and edit existing media (text, graphics, animation, simulation, etc.). The author can import related media from the local TRIAD database, or from a remote database, into a product template and then edit as desired. The review stage commences after all TACMEMO product set components have been developed. Reviewers will be able to comment within the document and return these comments to the author. Comments received electronically will be stored in the TRIAD database for use by the TACMEMO author to revise components as required. The capability to merge comments into the document will be provided. As in the edit stage, the author can create/import new media and edit existing media (text, graphics, animation, simulation, etc.) in response to review comments. 4 Page 660  TRIAD's Scaffolding TRIAD is essentially an EPSS authoring environment for producing EPSSs. That is,the authoring environment must support authors as they attempt to produce a TACMEMO product set that supportsthe performance of field users (readers).It is useful, therefore, to consider TRIAD as a family of EPSSs, some designed to aid the author'sperformance and others to support readers' performance. In Table 1, we summarize TRIAD's scaffolding features.Scaffolding assists individuals as they engage various activities. For example, conceptualscaffolding assists the learner in defining what to consider. Within TRIAD, the searching mechanisms described earlier alsofunction as conceptual scaffolds by directing the users' attention to product sets and sections that are likely to contain the most relevant information. At a macroscopic level, the majority of conceptual scaffolding actually takes place during authoring. By enforcing a performance-focus during authoring, TRIAD ensures that the base document, tactic training component, QRG, and brief indicate to the user the key concepts within a given product set. Metacognitive scaffolding is provided through the practice and assessment area in the tactictraining component. These sections provide a definitive indication of what each user knows. Rather than just providing an indication of correctness, thesespaces try to capture teachable moments and deliver guiding feedback to users. Procedural scaffolding is provided through atask-oriented help system and results-oriented tool tips. Rather than defining buttons and functions, TRIAD's help system andpop-up tips describe how to complete tasks and explain the consequence of using a control. The TRIAD navigational constructis another procedural scaffold. Depending on user actions, this construct provides a table of contents, anindex, or a list of the active bookmarks. Conclusions Scaffolding is a natural fit in EPSS design since, by definition, the systems guide or facilitate task completion. Scaffolding provides a more principled approach, however, in that it differentiates among the different types of both performance support needed and the methods/media used to support performance. This paper and presentation focused on defining and differentiating among scaffolding levels and illustrating their applicability in an ongoing R&D initiative. We believe the principles are more broadly applicable across a range of both performance support and knowledge system support. Future efforts should demonstrate scaffolding's viability accordingly. References Banerji, A. (1999). Performance Support in perspective. Performance Improvement Journal, 38(7), 6-9.Cannon-Bowers, J.A., Salas, E., Duncan, P., & Halley, E.J. (1994) Application of Multimedia Technology to Training for Knowledge-Rich Systems. Paper Presented with 13th Interservice/Industry Training Systems and Education Conference.Orlando, FL. Carr, C. (1992). Performance support systems: The next step? Performance & Instruction, 31(2), 23-26. Clark, R. C. (1992). EPSS-- Look before you leap: Some cautions about applications of electronic performance support systems. Performance & Instruction, 31(5), 22-25. Dorsey, L. T., Goodrum, D. A., & Schwen, T. M. (1993). Just-in-time knowledge performance support: A test of concept. Educational Technology, 33(11), 21-29.Gery, G. (1991). Electronic performance support systems: How and why to remake the workplace through the strategicapplication of technology. Tolland, MA: Gery Performance Press.Gery, G. (1995). Attributes and behavior of performance-centered systems. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(1), 47-93. Hoschka, P. (Ed.) (1996). Computers as assistants: A new generation of support systems. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Huber, B., Lippincott, J., McMahon, C. & Witt, C. (1999). Teaming up for performance support: A model of roles, skills, andcompetencies. Performance Improvement Journal, 38(7), 10-15. IETI (1995). Special issue on electronic performance support systems. Innovations in Educational and Training International, 32(1). Raybould, B. (1995). Performance support engineering: An emerging development methodology for enabling organizationallearning. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(1), 7-22. [Also at http://www.cet.fsu.edu/SY2000/P1O/Raybould.html Stevens, G. H., & Stevens, E.F. (1996). Designing electronic performance support tools: Improving workplace performance with hypertext, hypermedia, and multimedia. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. van den Akker, J., Branch, R., Gustafson, K., Nieveen, N., & Plomp. T. (Eds.). (1999). Design approaches and tools ineducation and training. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 5 Page 661
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