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The knowledge required for database software use

International Journal of Educational Research Volume 37, Number 1, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The research described in this chapter draws upon theories of situated cognition to examine the kinds of knowledge used by motel front office personnel to manipulate computer software as a tool for everyday data work tasks. Participants’ use of computer software was recorded directly from the computer terminal to videotape by means of a conversion device (Genlock). Simultaneously, a sound recording of the workplace “event” occurring was placed on the videotape. In addition, a video recording was made of the broader workplace episodes. The results suggest that although generic competencies could be identified, many of the competencies were context-specific. At a more concrete level of operation, little commonality was found in the strategies used across sites in undertaking what appeared to be the same activity. Drawing on cognitive theory, the findings are taken to support the view that generic knowledge may be impossible to apply if the user is unable to inter-relate this knowledge with the domain-specificity of the knowledge that is actually used in practice in work sites.


Beven, F. (2002). The knowledge required for database software use. International Journal of Educational Research, 37(1), 43-65. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 24, 2023 from .

This record was imported from International Journal of Educational Research on January 29, 2019. International Journal of Educational Research is a publication of Elsevier.

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