Enhancing Electrical Troubleshooting Skills in Computer-Coached Practice Envrionment

S. Johnson, A. Ferej, J. W. Flesher, J.-C. Jehng

Troubleshooting is a key skill for technicians. However, it's often difficult to provide practice opportunities that simulate the dangerous and expensive problems that occur in the field. Computer-based skills training is a solution to this problem. This reprint describes in detail a field study of a computer-coached practice environment, which enables students to confront challenging problems and to make use of corrective feedback and guidance. Students learned to peform like experts, using as much information as possible to solve the problem and performing checks to verify the fault. The results showed that students coached by a computer tutor had a 78% improvement in actual troubleshooting success over the control group. This instructional strategy also has the advantage of emphasizing only the cognitive processes of troubleshooting, thus eliminating the need for time-consuming assembly and disassembly operations. Computer-coached practice clearly has exceptional possibilities for technical education.

MDS-888 /

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