Usabililty In Online Courses

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Usabililty In Online Courses

  1. 1. How Usable is Your Course?<br />Presentation for online instructorsDistance Education and Educational Technology, Central Texas College<br />
  2. 2. “Visible” reading<br />Attention depends on purpose <br />novels vs. textbooks<br />Reading = [too much] = Automatic<br />disrupt automatic reading<br />Boldface terms<br />Capitalization <br />Titles<br />Specific phrases<br />Hierarchy <br />
  3. 3. Enhance Remembering <br />Chunking <br />Break into manageable steps<br />Primacy and recency<br />“Seven plus/minus two” rule of working memory <br />
  4. 4. Beware: Web vs. Print<br />Adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits<br />Promotional writing won’t be read<br />Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold, italics or different color will be skipped <br />Exaggerated language will be ignored<br />
  5. 5. Visible Language<br />The concept was introduced by Aaron Marcus in papers on effective visual communication<br />“visible language”— is the content users see/read on a screen<br />3 principles were stated<br />
  6. 6. User behavior on the web<br />Users appreciatequality and credibility<br />Web users areimpatient and insist oninstant gratification.Very simple principle: the higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the page.<br />
  7. 7. 3. Users don’t read, they scan in the “F” pattern<br />
  8. 8. 4. Users don’t make optimal choices<br />Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information. Neither do they scan web-page in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one.<br />Instead users satisfice-they choose the first reasonable option. <br />Optimizing is hard and it takes a long time <br />Satisficing is more efficient. <br />
  9. 9. Auditory memory<br />Enhances visual <br />Appeals to auditory learners<br />Wimba Voice Tools<br />Length – 3-5 min <br />Need transcripts for ADA<br />Video<br />
  10. 10. What can we adapt from web design principles?<br />Be obvious - don’t make users think or search for information<br />Be user-centric - strive for simplicity<br />Users are impatient – intuitive design flow<br />Conventions are our friends:<br />Only links are underlined<br />Menu on left<br />
  11. 11. What can we adapt from web design principles? – cont’d<br />Use “white” space generously<br />reduces the cognitive load for the learners<br />makes it possible to perceive the information presented on the screen<br />Break the monotony: blank lines, bullets, etc<br />Test with peers – creators are not suited to test their own courses – need fresh perspective <br />

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