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Usability Testing for E-Learning

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Usability Testing for E-Learning by Shailesh Shilwant & Amy Haggarty from CLOmedia. Great ‘hands on’ article to combine learning design principles with usability priciples to to trigger the motivational factors.
To quote –

One often-forgotten piece of usability is usefulness. The product not only must be easy to use, but it also should serve a purpose. In the development of e-learning courses, usefulness is measured as part of the needs assessment for the course—a step that often is rushed because of time and budget constraints. These constraints commonly create a tight relationship between the people conducting the needs assessment and those managing the design and development of an e-learning course.

Learnability is defined as the ease and speed with which users can figure out how to use a product. For example, if learnability is high, users can intuitively learn to use a product without training or manuals. In the world of e-learning, the definition of learnability should be expanded to include the ability of users to effectively learn and retain the skills and knowledge. The level of learnability in a course is most often associated with the strengths and weaknesses of the instructional design.

Focusing the user interface and instructional design of training on motivational principles can help achieve built-in motivation that engages learners with the content from beginning to end. Targeted usability testing allows for a better understanding of learners, creating a learning culture made up of intrinsically motivated users who will seek out future educational opportunities on their own.

Building usability into the design of e-learning includes:

  • Utilizing knowledge gained during the needs assessment to ensure usefulness.
  • Employing interface design principles to achieve ease-of-use.
  • Using instructional design principles to attain learnability

Written by anol

August 10th, 2005 at 7:00 am

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