DOI link for Observing Learners
Observing Learners book
The research published in 1990 is by John Carroll and led to his developing the minimalist instructional theories for practical computer skills. Carroll collected information both by observing what people did and asked the users to think aloud and explain what they were thinking and perhaps what they were feeling. The learners that Carroll studied used instructional manuals and computer tutorials in a self-study environment. Learners have greater freedom to follow their own styles of learning in the self-study situation, be it print or e-learning. Presenting learners with a sequence of logical and well ordered steps in a learning process is ineffective because learners jump around material, skip bits and generally behave in ways that respond to their own goals and concerns. People were learning the skill of using applications that were novel and strange. There is much relevant material in Carroll observations that apply to the design and creation of e-learning.