Term Paper: Technical Writing - Results Technical Instructions

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Technical Writing - Results



The design of the instructions was fundamentally sound, enabling most of the test subjects to achieve the objective of salvaging the cassette tapes so that it was capable of being played after repair. Those test subjects who failed to achieve the objective experienced two categories of difficulty, one of which is capable of redress in a revision to the instructions and the other of which is capable of improvement with the experience of additional trials and repetition only but not by any technical revisions to the original instructions.

Significantly more test subjects who failed by virtue of the technical aspect also failed the apparent experience-related operational element more often.

Additionally, most technical failures were resolved on a second trial, while fewer than half the operational failures were resolved on a second trial suggests that individual competence and concentration on task execution played some role in the technical aspect of failures as well. Definitions:

Success in the tested task was defined as restoring the damaged cassette cartridge to playable condition. Technical Failure was defined as malfunction upon playback as a result of deficiencies identified in the technical instructions. Operational Failure was defined as malfunction upon playback as a result of failure to follow the instructions and/or failure resulting from the subject's inability to successfully execute the instructions for reasons related to difficulty manipulating the tape cartridge components in a manner conducive to its successful repair.

Chart #1- Results of First Trial:

Total # Test Subjects in Testing Group: 18

Successful Completions: 9

Technical Failures: 4

Operational Failures: 5

Combined Technical and Operational Failures: 3

Chart #2- Results of Second Trial:

Successful Completions on 2nd Trial after Technical Failure: 3 of 4

Successful Completions on 2nd Trial after Operational Failure: 3 of 5

Successful Completions on 2nd Trial after Combined Failure: 1 of 3

Successful Completions on 2nd Trial after Initial Success: 9 of 11

Detailed Analysis:

Technical failures occurred when subjects successfully completed all the individual steps detailed in the technical instructions but experienced failure related to secondary magnetic tape breakage on the playback attempt. Failures of this type were universally attributable to failure of the technical instructions to provide more precise instructions for splicing the magnetic tape.

Operational failures occurred in two specific types: (1) where subjects reassembled the cassette cartridge but experienced failure on playback attributable forensically to specific inability or failure… [END OF PREVIEW]

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