Rural Assistive Technology Hypermedia DSS

  • Field, William E.;
  • Freeman, Steven A.;
  • Jones, David D.


A prototype hypermedia decision support system for the selection and documentation of rural assistive technology (BNG DATA) was developed to aid professionals working with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers with physical disabilities. The hypermedia system (constructed using HyperCard, an environment that combines hypertext and database features) consists of a hypermedia database of rural assistive technology examples and an accompanying decision support system that helps users identify solution alternatives to meet the needs of their clientele. End user acceptance of BNG DATA was determined using an evaluation questionnaire. The end users evaluating the prototype considered BNG DATA to be easy to learn, easy to use, and unanimously considered BNGDATA to be a valuable resource that they would like to have for their own use. Using a statistical experiment in conjunction with the questionnaire, it was also concluded that BNGDATA significantly reduced the amount of time required by end users to find acceptable solution alternatives for their clientele (a = 0.01) and increased the end users- confidence in the solutions they obtained (a = 0.10). This article describes the development and testing of BNG DATA, focusing on the steps taken ensure end user acceptance.

This document is from Applied Engineering in Agriculture 10(6):823-830 (1994)

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