Futurism and retrospect : User strategies to learning opportunities in cases of surprise or confusion

Stefan Holmlid


Astrid suddenly happens to get the table in the report she is in a hurry finishing up to look like she wanted it to. Surprised she makes her tutor take care of her interaction history all the way back to when she started to fiddle around with the table, saving it for a later learning session. For now it suffices that it looks alright and that the report is soon finished.

Later, in a more comfortable learning environment, she brings up the table design problem with her tutor. She browses through the different steps she made and reads the comments from the tutor, realizing that it all, of course, was very simple. Or at least straightforward. She defines the correct steps as a template, and the whole sequence as a reminder, for later use as a shortcut to the correct look as well as online help.

A week later she gets stuck on quite a different task. She gets confused, and even a little bit annoyed. She asks her colleague for help. She scribbles down what she wants to do, and makes a small sketch of the endresult she wants to achieve. Her colleague suggest a series of steps that should get her at least in the right neighbourhood. She follows the advice given and with only minor adjustments she succeeds with her task.

Later that evening, working on overtime, she once again needs to get the table to look as the other week. She brings up the template and adjusts the number of columns to the number she needs. While at it, she changes the style of the table heading, to be a little bit more subtle looking.

Imagine your wordprocessor being designed and constructed so as to be the tutor as well as the colleague.

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