Towards Guidelines for Usability of e-Learning Applications

Abstract

One present goal of researchers and developers is to design software tools that make learning materials available online in an educationally effective manner. We face the twofold challenge of implementing advanced e-learning functionalities, though designing their interface so as to provide an easy interaction grasping the students’ interest. A poorly designed interface makes students spend more time in learning it than in mastering the provided knowledge, so becoming a barrier to effective learning. In this context, both User-Centered Design (UCD) and Learner-Centered Design (LCD) guidelines are needed; it is also important to devise suited evaluation tools, able to help in identifying usability, and, more in general, accessibility flaws. Such tools must be designed bearing in mind the specific characteristics of e-learning applications. Traditional heuristic evaluation appears too general and subjective. In this paper, we propose a set of guidelines and criteria for elearning platforms (containers) and for educational modules (contents), to be used within the SUE (Systematic Usability Evaluation) inspection. We point out that human factors experts can primarily evaluate “syntactic” aspects of applications. Experts of education science and domain experts are to be involved for a more comprehensive evaluation.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-30111-0_16

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Ardito2004TowardsGF, title={Towards Guidelines for Usability of e-Learning Applications}, author={Carmelo Ardito and Maria Francesca Costabile and Marilena De Marsico and Rosa Lanzilotti and Stefano Levialdi and Paola Plantamura and Teresa Roselli and Veronica Rossano and Manuela Tersigni}, booktitle={User Interfaces for All}, year={2004} }