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Diagrams and Text in Instruction: Comprehension of the Assembly Process. Julie Heiser Marie-Paule Daniel Ginet Barbara Tversky. Special thanks to Christina Vincent! . Why assembly? - A process that requires a match between visual and verbal internal representations

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Diagrams and Text in Instruction: Comprehension of the Assembly Process


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    1. Diagrams and Text in Instruction: Comprehension of the Assembly Process Julie Heiser Marie-Paule Daniel Ginet Barbara Tversky Special thanks to Christina Vincent!

    2. Why assembly? - A process that requires a match between visual and verbal internal representations and the external counterpart. - Requires action- structure into function. - A common task for all ages…also a common problem.

    3. Assembling a BBQ

    4. BBQ assembly broken into steps

    5. Why assembly? - A process that requires a match between visual and verbal internal representations and the external counterpart. - Requires action- structure into function. - A common task Why furniture? - Has both structure and function - Requires nearly perfect action on mental representations, perhaps driven by instructions. - A common experience, becoming more common with assemble-your- own everything. - Nearly universal. - Also a common problem (sample of responses).

    6. A simple 2 drawer dresser…

    7. Assembly instruction project outline: Experiment 1: Collection of instruction protocols Experiment 2: Compilation of individual protocols into a ‘mega-description’ Experiment 3: Quality rating of instruction protocols Experiment 4: Efficiency and effectiveness evaluation of representative instructions

    8. Experiment 1 - 42 undergraduate Introductory Psychology students - Between subjects, 21 S’s in 2 conditions 1) Experience questionnaire 2) Spatial Ability tasks - Mental rotation test - Money navigation test 3) Assemble TV stand (w/only picture of completed stand) 4) Write instructions for assembly - unconstrained - constrained

    9. Spatial ability: Mental Rotation Test (Vandenburg & Kuse, 1978)

    10. Spatial ability: Money Task (Money & Kuse, 1966)

    11. Experiment 1- method - 42 undergraduate Introductory Psychology students - Between subjects, 21 S’s in 2 conditions 1) Experience questionnaire 2) Spatial Ability tasks - Mental rotation test - Money navigation test 3) Assemble TV stand (w/only picture of completed stand) 4) Write instructions for assembly - unconstrained - constrained

    12. Given parts and a picture of the completed stand…... ….….Assemble

    13. Experiment 1- method - 42 undergraduate Introductory Psychology students - Between subjects, 21 S’s in 2 conditions 1) Experience questionnaire 2) Spatial Ability tasks - Mental rotation test - Money navigation test 3) Assemble TV stand (w/only picture of completed stand) 4) Write instructions for assembly - unconstrained (2 pages) - constrained (1/2 pg- minimal amount of information)

    14. TV Stand Instruction Protocols Constrained Unconstrained

    15. Example 1: unconstrained, low spatial ability

    16. Example 2: constrained, high spatial

    17. Example 3: unconstrained, low spatial

    18. Protocol Analysis Text - effect of space constraint - effect of drawings (condition 3) Drawings - diagrammatic elements - types of diagrams (interactive, structural, etc.) - individual differences

    19. Text Analysis Effect of space constraint: - Strong decrease of number of propositions: 43.33 vs. 21.60 - Resistance of assembly action category - Decrease of part description, other non-assembly categories Effect of presence of drawings on text: - Overall, no significant effect on the number of propositions: 38.57 vs. 42.33 - Number of propositions referring to actions is less with drawings (9.3 vs. 6.7) - When drawings are present, less time indicators present in text. - Information in text duplicates information in drawings.

    20. Diagram Analysis • Time to assemble • Number of steps specified • Step elements • Start protocol with text or diagram? • Number of separate parts drawn • Number of interactive drawings • Number of non-interactive drawings • Parts labeled, how? • Elements in diagrams (lines, arrows) • Diagram representations • End result or procedural diagrams • Integrated or exploded • Quality of drawing • Quality of 3-D • Mental Rotations score • Money task score • Assembly experience • Self-rated assembly ability • Self-rated mechanical ability • Condition (U vs C)

    21. Diagram Analysis Independent variables • Time to assemble • Number of steps specified • Step elements • Start protocol with text or diagram? • Number of separate parts drawn • Number of interactive drawings • Number of non-interactive drawings • Parts labeled, how? • Elements in diagrams (lines, arrows) • Diagram representations • End result or procedural diagrams • Integrated or exploded • Quality of drawing • Quality of 3-D • Mental Rotations score • Money task score • Assembly experience • Self rated assembly ability • Self rated mechanical ability • Condition (U vs C)

    22. Diagram Analysis Independent Dependent • Time to assemble • Number of steps specified • Step elements • Start protocol with text or diagram? • Number of separate parts drawn • Number of interactive drawings • Number of non-interactive drawings • Parts labeled, how? • Elements in diagrams (lines, arrows) • Diagram representations • End result or procedural diagrams • Integrated or exploded • Quality of drawing • Quality of 3-D • Mental Rotations score • Money task score • Assembly experience • Self-rated assembly ability • Self-rated mechanical ability • Condition (U vs C)

    23. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    24. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    25. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    26. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    27. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    28. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    29. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    30. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    31. Unconstrained vs. Constrained • - No group differences (MR scores etc., time to assemble) • - No difference in # of steps, interactive or structural drawings, • - More separate parts drawn in Unconstrained • Diagram representations- dual. • constrained more likely to use new information in diagrams. • Indicating steps- generally used numbers • - unconstrained use more indirect cues • - Labeling parts: • constrained- part A,part B, etc. • unconstrained- top, bottom, side, etc. • - Both conditions more likely to start with text than diagram. • - Diagram elements- if any, arrows and lines indicate direction or interaction • - Integrated diagrams most common. Constrained more likely to use exploded.

    32. Individual Differences Condition Unconstrained Constrained Time # of parts drawn # of interactive # structural 9.6 3.43 1.76 1.0 10.9 2.95 1.5 1.2

    33. Individual Differences Condition Unconstrained Constrained Time # of parts drawn # of interactive # structural 9.6 3.43 1.76 1.0 10.9 2.95 1.5 1.2 SA Low High Time # of parts drawn # of interactive # structural 11.4 3.8 .57 1.57 8.1 2.6 2.64 .73

    34. Correlations • MR score and Assembly time = -.531 • MR score and Quality of drawings = .543 • MR score and Quality of 3-D = .478 • Assembly experience and # parts drawn = -.653 • MR score and # interactive drawings = .584

    35. Assembly instruction project outline: Experiment 1: Collection of instruction protocols Experiment 2 (analysis in progress): Compilation of individual protocols into a ‘mega-description’ Experiment 3: Quality rating of instruction protocols Experiment 4: Efficiency and effectiveness evaluation of representative instructions

    36. Assembly instruction project outline: Experiment 1: Collection of instruction protocols Experiment 2: Compilation of individual protocols into a ‘mega-description’ Experiment 3 (experiment in progress): Quality rating of instruction protocols Experiment 4 (to be continued…): Efficiency and effectiveness evaluation of representative instructions

    37. (Preliminary) general conclusions • People have different ideas of what makes effective manuals. Is this in production of instruction • or in comprehension, or both? • There are performance differences in assembly tasks depending on prior experience and spatial • ability. • There are individual differences in internal mental representations for external representations • in assembly tasks. • Important to design instructions using design principles developed by cognitive psychologists. • Would be great to have automated visual instructions that can balance text and diagrams in • relation with the experience of the user!