Functional utility of visual information supporting instructions for actions : an exploratory study (1992)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
The aim of this study was to explore the functional utility and effectiveness of arrows presented as specificational information for conveying proceduralised instructions and facilitating learning. A further objective was to investigate the effectiveness of a picture of depicting the final form of the assembled object and step by-step pictorial instructions on performance during a novel and proceduralised task. It was hypothesised that the presence of a picture of the goal, the picture-text, and picture-text-arrow instructional formats would facilitate superior performance on the proceduralised tasks. Subjects were required to assemble and then test a prototype product termed the CPM unit, from a set of proceduralised instructions. Nine different instructions manuals were assessed. Each manual comprised a different combination of informational elements. Ninety-nine subjects were randomly assigned to one of the nine instruction manual conditions. Seven performance categories were devised to explore the scope of functional utilities and the type of specificational information a picture of the goal, step-by-step instructional pictures and arrows potentially carried. The results showed that a pictorial representation of the assembly goal was a primary source of information which facilitated superior assembly performances. This was also found for step-by step pictures instruction. The results validated the superiority of picture-text instructional format over a text-only instruction format. Evidence was found to suggest that arrows carry functional and specificational information when presented with a picture-text instructional format. These findings and their implications were discussed in relation to the field of instructional research and education.
KeywordsVisual communication; Technical manuals; Programmed instruction
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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