User oriented techniques to support interaction and decision making with large educational databases
Computers & Education Volume 48, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Information Technology is developing rapidly and providing policy/decision makers with large amounts of information that require processing and analysis. Decision support systems (DSS) aim to provide tools that not only help such analyses, but enable the decision maker to experiment and simulate the effects of different policies and selection strategies. The specific context of this research, set in Saudi Arabia, is administrative decision making using large educational databases.A decision support system (DEMASS) developed to enable systematic exploration of the educational database, allows users to identify variables of interest and to actively change the attribute values (weightings) of these attributes thus revealing the consequences of these decisions on policies and selection processes. Further refinements allow users to introduce conditional rules which take into account other variables required by, for example, local circumstances. An active Document Manager, used in conjunction with DEMASS, allows decision makers to manipulate the structure of the document in which the decision making interactions have been placed. Two initial validation studies were undertaken with realistic tasks using regional decision/policy makers and their educational databases. These demonstrated the benefits of the support facilities in enabling policy/decision making to be more differentiated, responsive to local requirements, and open to collaborative working.
Hartley, R. & Almuhaidib, S.M.Y. (2007). User oriented techniques to support interaction and decision making with large educational databases. Computers & Education, 48(2), 268-284. Elsevier Ltd.