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Rizwan Ansary

Assignment 11

1. choose MS-Word (or another HFA) as an example:

1.1. how much (in percent) of the functionality of the HFA do you know?

Roughly 80%.

1.2. how do you learn new functionality?

I have learnt most of the complex things from people. Occasionally I use the help section. I have learnt a considerable portion of new things by exploring, making mistakes and by trial and error.

1.3. for MS-Word users: is there a command in MS-Word which "transposes two characters" (e.g., "leanr" becomes "learn" by positioning the cursor between n and r and executing the command)?

I do not know of any such way to do the transposition. The help section in MS-Word did not pullup anything worthwhile. Google also did not help much either in this case.
However, I am familiar with the concept of macros in MS Office applications and I have a hunch that this functionality can be achieved by making a macro.

2. what have YOU learnt "on demand" in YOUR life? Briefly describe the most prominent examples.

I have learnt how to use a mobile phone on-demand. I have always tried to avoid using a mobile phone but even when I am forced to keep one, I have known only the bare minimum functionalities. However, with time I have learnt many features and have made my user experience more pleasant.

Apart from this, I have learnt French on-demand during my last trip to France as well as some programming lanaguages and libraries whenever I have needed them.

3. what do people have to know to be able to learn on demand?

I guess it depends on what you are trying to learn. Based on my experiences, I would say that for certain systems it is necessary that you have some basic knowledge about the system before you embark on an on-demand learning experience. However, for other systems you may know absolutely nothing and still do a good job at on-demand learning. Overall I would say that it matters a lot if you know the right place to find the answer to your questions.

4. why should one "learn on demand" instead of relying on "use on demand"?

I feel that use-on-demand is not a practical method in most cases and that learn-on-demand is a natural fit for human needs. Learning everything completely before using it would drag down performance and delay completion of many tasks. Moreover, one would waste a lot of time in learning features that he does not need to solve his problem.

It is difficult to enumerate beforehand all such situations. A friend who was once taking a language certification test told me that his knowledge of that language has really improved through practice despite the fact that he had to learn almost everything about the language during the test preparation. I think that things learnt through practice are things learnt best.

5. which computer systems have you encountered which

5.1. have a User Modeling Component?

5.2. supported learning on demand?

Most of the software made for the Windows platfrom has a user modeling component in the form of help elements (tool tips, help menus, status info). The Windows OS itself is also supportive of learning-on-demand. The applications that instantly come to mind are all MS-Office applications, Visual Studio, Source Insight etc.

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