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6. A competent scholar with a working knowledge of:
(b) Theories of learning and human development

Word Processing Report to Academic Computing Committee

Presentation for Academic Computing Committee
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
By David Heise

Contents

  1. The Rumors
  2. What does “supported” mean?
  3. How did WordPerfect come to Andrews?
  4. What is the status of WordPerfect at Andrews now?
  5. Future
  6. Training
  7. Data Analysis
    1. Number of Installations
    2. Influence of Years Employed on Word Processor Preference
    3. Willingness to Change
  8. Recommendations

1. The Rumors

There have been rumors circulating around campus that ITS has terminated support for WordPerfect.

Firstly, the rumors, are untrue.  Support continues at the same level as it has for a number of years.  We are installing and supporting version 9 Service Pack 4 on pre-Windows XP machines, and are now installing version 10 on Windows XP machines.

But what do we mean by the term "support"?

2. What does “supported” mean?

3. How did WordPerfect come to Andrews?

4. What is the status of WordPerfect at Andrews now?

5. Future

6. Training

The recently completed Word Processing Survey will help us determine the following:

Dan Widner is analyzing the WP Survey data to put together seminars addressing the needs expressed in the free text responses as well as suggested training topics that were checked.  In addition, from the 205 who responded to the survey, we have sufficient interest to fill about two Level 1 and three Level 2 Word full day training workshops.  We are making arrangements with a training company called New Horizons and have shared these survey results and have suggested we may want to run 9 or 10 on-site 1-day courses.  ITS will subsidize the cost of attendance at the Word workshops so that the cost per person will be only $25.

7. Data Analysis

When the survey closed on Friday, September 20, 2002, 205 responses had been recorded.

7.1 Number of Installations

Of the 205 respondents, 166 (81%) have Word on their computers, and 157 (77%) have WordPerfect.  A total of 119 of these computers have both office suites installed.  Thirty-eight have WordPerfect only, 47 have Word only.

Total Word
166
81%
Total WordPerfect
157
77%
Both installed
119
58%
Word only
47
23%
WordPerfect only
38
19%
Neither
1
0%
Grand Total
205
100%

More than half the computers in the group that responded to the survey have both wordprocessors installed.  The cost to purchase, install, and support both packages represents burden that could be difficult to justify in many cases.

7.2 Influence of Years Employed on Word Processor Preference

I grouped the WP++ and WP+ (strong and moderate preferences for WordPerfect) together, and did the same for the Word++ and Word+ responses.  The percentage of the 205 respondents expressing a preference for WordPerfect is 50% compared to 38% preferring Word.  For the group of employees who have up to two years of service, the percentages reflect the changes in the market place favoring Word (71%) when compared to WordPerfect (19%).

This table and graph summarize answers to the following question:

6. Please rate your degree of preference for WordPerfect or Microsoft Word,
where the responses were chosen from WP++, WP+, Equal, Word+, and Word++.

Years Worked
All WP
No Pref
All Word
All WP
No Pref
All Word
up to 2
4
2
15
19%
10%
71%
2 up to 6
16
9
14
41%
23%
36%
6 up to 12
17
4
13
50%
12%
38%
12 or more
66
12
33
59%
11%
30%
All Years
103
27
75
50%
13%
37%
Excluding > 12
37
15
42
39%
16%
45%
Excluding > 6
20
11
29
33%
18%
48%
Excluding > 2
4
2
15
19%
10%
71%

Explanation of terms:
Column Headings
All WP All those with a moderate or strong preference for WordPerfect. (WP++ or WP+)
No Pref Those who checked the Equal button in Question 6.
All Word All those with a moderate or strong preference for Microsoft. (Word++ or Word+)
Row Headings
up to 2 Those with up to 2 years of service
2 up to 6 Those with 2 or more but less than 6 years of service
6 up to 12 Those with 6 or more but less than 12 years of service
12 or more Those with 12 or more years of service
All Years All respondents, regardless of years of service
Excluding > 12 All respondents excluding those with 12 or more years of service
Excluding > 6 All respondents excluding those with 6 or more years of service
Excluding > 2 All respondents excluding those with 2 or more years of service

The graph makes it clear that the preference for WordPerfect diminishes as the number of years worked decreases, and also that the preference for Microsoft Word is increasing among more junior employees.

7.3 Willingness to Change

We were very gratified with the number and quality of free text responses that were recorded in the survey, and anticipate being able to make good use of the comments that were made as we prepare targeted workshops and seminars.  Something I noticed as I read through a compilation of the comments was a willingness to change from WordPerfect to Word, even among respondents who reported a strong preference for WordPerfect (although I have not done an exhaustive analysis of the responses to quantify this impression).  Often, the attitiude of comfort and experience with WordPerfect and frustration with Word is balanced with a desire to learn Word and a plea for training to help ease the transition process.  Most WordPerfect users seem to accept that a change to Word is inevitable, and that we should help them to get on with it.

8. Recommendations

  1. Formally adopt Microsoft Office as the standard office productivity suite for Andrews University.
  2. Communicate the new policy to the campus via voicemail, email, posters and flyers, departmental announcements.
  3. Effective December 2, terminate the sale and installation by ITS of new copies of WordPerfect.
  4. Over a 6-month period, phase out the use of WordPerfect for standard document creation.  Move towards using Microsoft Word for all new document creation.  At the end of this 6-month period, ITS will cease providing support for WordPerfect.
  5. Offer training seminars and workshops to meet the needs indicated in the Word Processing survey.
  6. Do a similar survey for other office software training needs (spreadsheets, personal databases, presentations, etc)

Return to 6b2 Application to a real life case study

Created: Sunday, September 22, 2002 06:01 PM
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 9:30 AM