|< Day Day Up >|| |
The use of computing technology in the workplace continues to grow. In 1984, 24.6% of the work force used computers (C.P.S., 1984). In 1993, it had risen to 45.8%, and in 1997, it was up to 49.8% (C.P.S., 1993, 1997). The increased importance of technology is seen all around us. Yet, given the pervasive nature of technology in the workplace, it is the end user who still must take advantage of the applications to get the work done. The number one use for the computer, by those using a computer at work, is word processing, with 57%, followed by customer records and then email. (C.P.S., 1997) These applications are highly labor intensive, requiring significant amounts of time and effort of the end user for data entry and editing. Thus, it can be argued that the amount of time the computer spends processing the information relative to the amount of time utilized by the end user to enter or edit the data is negligible, and thus processor speed has no effect on end user productivity. If this should be the case, then the question arises as to what benefits are to be gained by paying for continued upgrades of processing power.
Using the framework and combining it with our understanding of productivity relative to the gap between end user time and effort and processor time and effort, it can be hypothesized that changes in microprocessor speed will have little to no difference in the quantity nor in the quality of common computer-related tasks. Based on these observations we hypothesize the following:
Hypothesis 1: Faster microprocessor speed will have a positive effect on the quantity of work accomplished by a user as measured by the number of correct answers divided by the total number of questions.
Hypothesis 2: Faster microprocessor speed will have a positive effect on the quantity of work accomplished as measured by the number of questions the student attempts to answer.
The above hypotheses address the efficiency component identified within the proposed framework. However, there is also a qualitative or effectiveness component that also must be evaluated. In terms of this study, the quality or effectiveness would be associated with the number of correct answers. That is, if there is an improvement in student learning, such that they improve their scores due to increased speed, then there would be an effectiveness improvement as well.
The authors believe that an improvement in processing speed will improve the quality of the student's answers, that is an increase in the percentage of correct answers, only if the result from the increase in speed provides additional time to evaluate questions. However, since the exams were designed in such a manner that students were not able to complete all of the exercises in the time allotted, then the improvement in quality would not be measurable.
Hypothesis 3: Faster microprocessor speed will have a positive effect on the quality of work accomplished as measured by the number of correct answers divided by the number of questions attempted.
|< Day Day Up >|| |