Author Ang, James S. K.
Title Proposing an EPSS framework for the semiconductor industry.
Institute Thesis (M.A.) (Instructional Design and Technology) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Year 2001
Supervisor Looi, Chee Kit
Call no. HF5549.5.T7 Ang
We are in time when information 'grows' exponentially, where knowledge workers increasingly find it difficult to manage the information at the workplace. This is true in industry where technology advances rapidly, such that 'lifelong learning' has become a way of life. The advent of the Web has also brought new challenges - organizing information so that it can maximize the value of an organization, helping its people to innovate and adapt in the face of change.

In a knowledge economy if an organization is to stay competitive and learn from the vast ocean of knowledge, there must be a systematic way for its people to manage and use the information.

At the same time, the training philosophy at the workplace is also fast changing. Instead of sending workers to upgrade their skills, the paradigm has shifted to make training available to the workers at the workplace at the time they need it. Many large companies have since embarked on electronic performance support systems (EPSS), some times dubbed 'just-in-time' learning which embed performance aids in a computer system.

Electronic performance support systems are a way to deliver instruction to personnel in a highly computerized work environment. With on-line references, automated decision support , and just -in-time training, employees can access information on-demand to meet their task requirements.

This dissertation studies the implementation of EPSS in a semiconductor industry. Using a method known as rapid prototyping technique, it proposes a framework upon which the EPSS may be built for practitioners of the semiconductor industry. Due to reasons of confidentiality, in particular those that relate to work practices, which may not be divulged for commercial reasons, the company upon which this study was based declined to be named.

The dissertation is organized into five parts.

Part 1 outlines the rationale for choosing the industry of study. It further examines the performance problems that re typical of a semiconductor company. The focus is on identifying performance problems that will lend themselves to EPSS solutions.

Part 2 is a literature review of EPSS that covers definitions, evaluation, design architecture, tools and models.

Part 3 describes the data collection method, the front-end analysis, and examines the workflow of the chosen performance problem.

Part 4 proposes a frame upon which the EPSS may be developed. A case scenario for the semiconductor company highlights the salient features of the framework.

Part 5 concludes by evaluating the framework, and discusses the difficulties encountered in this study. It further suggests future directions from which this study may be continued.