Performance support software is a category of computer software that is used to support the staff and students of large organizations.

Advantages

Manage Workload 

Performance support software helps these individuals manage their workload, track progress, make better assessments, and communicate lessons back to users. The curricula typically include tasks that are easy for administrators or teachers to create or share with students so they can improve their critical thinking skills or work on specific skills recommended by educators. 

Access to remote tutors

Performance support software also offers access to remote tutors when needed or an automated test proctoring system which gives the user added security. The goal of performance support software is to help individuals complete their tasks, regardless of the effort required.

Performance support software 

Performance support software is used by a variety of industries including: education, government, professional services, healthcare and technology. Performance support software is often used when the subject matter is complex and the skills required are broad or varied. The most common applications of performance support software include training employees in technical software products and assisting individuals with customer service problems.

An example would be an organization where the staff members may have received minimal training or even no training at all on how to use a certain software package and are having difficulty troubleshooting the problem or accessing the application. These individuals turn to performance support software in an attempt to overcome their lack of experience in using the application. These applications contain generic, step-by-step instructions on how to perform a certain task, which can be broken down into steps that are easy for the novice user to understand.

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Types of Performance Support software

There are a wide range of performance support software packages available and these vary in their level of sophistication and price tag. The most basic levels of performance support software consist of content management systems (CMS) that allow users to create new sites or manage existing sites easily with drag and drop functionality. The simplest of performance support software enables the users to create their own training material, complete with graphics and embedded videos, which they can then tailor to their audiences. The output can be in a variety of formats including PDF files, Flash or MS Powerpoint presentations.

More advanced performance support software allows the users to present tests in varying levels of complexity and length, depending on the test results. This level also allows administrators to track student progress with reports that are easily accessible by simply clicking on a button or identifying a username or class code. One advantage is that these packages will typically allow students to take practice tests at different levels of difficulty before taking the real test or quiz.

As performance support software allows the users to take practice tests and track their progress, it is important to understand that this form of software is not a replacement for classroom training. The information covered in each training session is typically more in depth, covering all aspects of the subject matter and will also point out areas where students need further learning. In addition to this level of detailed learning, performance support software does not provide the same level of personalized instruction that a classroom instructor can offer.

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An example would be when a student walks into their local public library looking for knowledge about taxes. They are unable to locate the right books because the library does not have any performance support software in place. Instead, they decide to turn to the Internet to find information on how to prepare their taxes. However, they may be misled as some of the information found on the Internet is not factual, could be misleading and even contains mistakes. In this situation, a performance support software package would have been more helpful if it could have pointed out areas of improvement and provided tips for this young adult’s specific situation.

Wrapping up

More advanced performance support software allows the users to present exams in varying levels of complexity and length, depending on the test results. This level also allows administrators to track student progress with reports that are easily accessible by simply clicking on a button or identifying a username or class code.

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