Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Theses & dissertations (Interdisciplinary)


Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Jared A. Danielson


Previously I designed and built an interface with the purpose of augmenting decision making within a particular curricular decision making context. The present study explores the usability of the newly created cognitive tool through analyzing its impact upon facilitating decision making. The introduction discusses how different types of cognitive tools facilitate decision making from a cognitive perspective. The present study examines the newly created dashboard by first breaking it into its five constituent regions. The methods section discusses the hypothesized function and usage patterns of each region. The primary research question was whether these different regions would cause participants to exhibit different exploratory behaviors. Differences in usage patterns between regions, combined with the knowledge of how different cognitive tools function, allowed this study to classify the function of each region of the cognitive tool. This study also considered several secondary factors including participant experience with technology, experience with curricular decision making, spatial acuity, and performance. The primary contribution of this study is a technique that offers researchers increased capabilities to conduct unobtrusive research that quantitatively informs interface design. The next step for this research is to extend these methods to focus upon longer-term research questions.


Copyright Owner

Ryan Allen Kirk



File Format


File Size

81 pages