Journal of Systems and Information Technology

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Emerald Publishing
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journal article
LitStream Collection
On the role of metaphor in conceptual models for enduser training

Blakey, Peter; Phillips, Chris; Bunnell, Julie

1998 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269880000738

It has been suggested that conceptual models can be used to enhance the training of novice endusers. This paper discusses the part played by metaphor in conceptual models, provides examples of enduser training incorporating metaphors, and contends that metaphors facilitate the development of accurate mental models. The more specific issue of the role of conceptual models, and by implication metaphor, in the training of endusers remains to be investigated, and a research agenda for this purpose is outlined.
journal article
LitStream Collection
A functional programming approach for macro development

Standing, Craig; Roy, Geoffrey G.

1998 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269880000739

Developing macro queries in software systems is a complex task for many users. Geographical information systems GIS are large software systems that require much effort to develop expertise in. A functional programming design approach has a number of distinct strengths that can be represented in a graphical query language interface to aid users in macro query development. A visual functional query language VFQL for Geographical Information Systems is presented and its strengths and weaknesses discussed. The system is based on a visual functional programming design approach. This offers a consistent, nonprocedural, strongly typed environment where users can develop their own higher order functions. The approach integrates functional programming, visual programming and knowledge and rules. VFQLs effectiveness is evaluated compared with a text based command language for GIS macro query development. The results of an experiment indicate that users could develop solutions to simpler tasks more quickly and with fewer errors than a comparative text based command language. On more complex tasks there was no significant difference. From this we deduce that VFQL demonstrates certain design features to help the development of macros or small programs for users but that the complexity of the problem in difficult tasks is likely to be the most important determinant of the error rate and time to complete the task.
journal article
LitStream Collection
Identifying process support requirements to facilitate distributed group work A longitudinal study

Nosek, John; Mandviwalla, Munir; Kock, Ned

1998 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269880000740

Mobile technology research focuses on supporting the individual mobile worker. CCSW research has primarily focused on supporting distributed, but fixedsite workers. This research bridges both research foci by expanding to include mobile, anytime, anyplace support. The VLab Virtual laboratory provides anytime, anyplace process support for mobile software development teams. A longitudinal evaluation of group interactions in multiple extant teams establishes a baseline that helps to identify process support requirements. This baseline can be used to judge the effect of introducing process support technology that addresses specific context variables in group interactions.
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