COACH tracks user experience for individual steps in tasks, called learnable units. When a user encounter's a task that COACH has information for, COACH decides whether to automatically display help or wait for a help request from the user. When COACH shows help, it chooses from up to four levels of help information based upon the user's experience. COACH is made up of a Help Database, Recognizer, Guide Engine, User Model, Blackboard, and Presenter.
COACH's 'Recognizer' watches user's activities to determine what part of a task the user is performing. Steps in a task are called 'learnable units'. The Recognizer signals COACH's 'Guide Engine' that the learnable unit has been detected. The Guide Engine keeps track of active sets of learnable units.
Now that COACH knows what the user is doing, it updates it's 'User Model' to reflect the new user activity.
Next, the 'Blackboard' decides what information to display, based upon the current 'User Model' and the help available for this learnable unit.
The Blackboard signals the 'Presenter' to show the information that it has chosen.
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Mike Wirth - Manager USERSoft (User System Ergonomics Research Software)
650 Harry Road
San Jose, CA 95120-6099
Last updated: September 30, 1996.