Watkins, Meic and Bennett, Elizabeth (2010) I don't want any help!! A survey of attitudes to help packages. ALT Newletter (21). ISSN 1748-3603

Teachers and software manufacturers can spend much time and energy creating ‘Getting Started” guides for software. Yet users report that they prefer a trial and error approach involving getting ‘stuck in’ to exploring a new package (Shneiderman & Plaisant 2004 p532, Capobianco & Carbonell 2001). Conole et al point out that “practice has shifted from a culture of reading the manual of instructions to a ‘just-in-time’ culture based on immediate need.” (Conole et al 2007 p117). This article outlines the findings of a study that set out to explore the extent to which this experimental approach to learning software was in evidence amongst staff and students at University Campus Oldham, part of the University of Huddersfield. In particular the study examined whether people with higher levels of computer confidence made use of different strategies for gaining help.

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