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Cognitive Task Analysis, Interface Design, and Technical Troubleshooting

Gitomer, Drew H.; Steinberg, Linda S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Cognitive Processes, HYDRIVE, Hydraulics, Mechanics (Process), Problem Solving, Tutoring, Videodisks


We propose a model of the interface design process that makes use of two interdependent levels of cognitive analysis: 1) the study of the criterion task through an analysis of expert/novice differences and; 2) the evaluation of the working user interface design through the application of a practical interface analysis methodology (GOMS model). We review this dual analysis in the context of HYDRIVE, a video-disc based intelligent tutoring system designed to facilitate the development of troubleshooting skills for aircraft hydraulics systems. The initial cognitive task analysis enabled the identification of critical troubleshooting skills and troubleshooting procedures. We find, though, that even with an in-depth initial cognitive task analysis, the GOMS interface analysis resulted in significant and beneficial design changes. (16pp.)

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