Developing and evaluating online learning resources

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Martin Bazley's Powerpoint slides used as part of E-Learning Overview at Herbert Gallery, Coventry on 29 Oct 09 for GEM Midlands

Martin Bazley's Powerpoint slides used as part of E-Learning Overview at Herbert Gallery, Coventry on 29 Oct 09 for GEM Midlands

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  • Instead of What will they do, used to say how will they useit: - nicer symmetry but too easy to dismiss using answer to What for question. Answering one question often helps clarify in respect of another, e.g. sometimes find multiple uses envisaged, which can lead to improved audience definition
  • Instead of What will they do, used to say how will they useit: - nicer symmetry but too easy to dismiss using answer to What for question. Answering one question often helps clarify in respect of another, e.g. sometimes find multiple uses envisaged, which can lead to improved audience definition
  • Instead of What will they do, used to say how will they useit: - nicer symmetry but too easy to dismiss using answer to What for question. Answering one question often helps clarify in respect of another, e.g. sometimes find multiple uses envisaged, which can lead to improved audience definition

Transcript

  • 1. Developing and evaluating online learning resources and understanding online audiences How to make content work for your users Herbert Gallery 29 Oct 2009 Martin Bazley Online experience consultant Martin Bazley & Associates
  • 2. Martin Bazley
    • Previously
    • Teaching (7 yrs)
    • Science Museum, London, Internet Projects (7yrs)
    • E-Learning Officer, MLA South East (3yrs)
    • Currently
    • Chair of E-Learning Group for Museums
    • Consultancy, websites, training, user testing, evaluation … Martin Bazley & Associates www.martinbazley.com
    • Slides and notes available afterwards
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5. www.martinbazley.com Note to self: check stats tomorrow to see if anyone looked up the website
  • 6.
    • Users don’t always ‘get’ what we are offering:
    • a real–world analogy
  • 7. Even a slight difference in viewpoints… … can cause real problems for users
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12. In a conflict between visual affordance … … and written instructions visual affordance almost always wins
  • 13.
    • So what is the point of all this?
  • 14.
    • The web is different
  • 15.
    • People use the web differently…
  • 16.
    • … from the way they use books, object labels, magazines, newspapers, information screens, etc
  • 17.
    • For most people the web is a predominantly visual medium
  • 18.  
  • 19.
    • We are all different and some people like to read all the text on a web page before deciding what to do next, even though a lot of it might be pretty redundant but most people – or at least most regular users of the web – scan ( as opposed to reading through them in detail) the web pages they are using, or at least the ones where they are still trying to work out where to go next
  • 20.  
  • 21.
    • Users won't read your text thoroughly word-by-word. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when browsing. Yes, some people will read more, but most won't.
  • 22.
    • The first two paragraphs must state the most important information . There's some hope that users will actually read this material – though they'll probably read more of the first paragraph than the second.
  • 23.
    • Start subheadings, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behaviour. They'll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words.
  • 24.
    • If they have to work at it for example if they cannot see what they are looking for, or if it doesn’t make sense to them at first glance then most people – or at least many people who do a lot of searching or browsing on the web just decide that this particular site is not for them, and anyway they have a long list of other search results or ideas to try and so they go elsewhere
  • 25.
    • Exercise: Make this web page better
  • 26.  
  • 27.
    • About website structure, ways people use the web and implications for writing for the web
  • 28.
    • Certain types of websites impose linear user journeys:
      • TheTrainline.com
      • Cinema ticket bookings
      • Self assessment tax return online
  • 29.  
  • 30.
    • In most websites, although there are some linear elements …
  • 31.  
  • 32.
    • … people like to have other pathways available to them…
  • 33.
    • … and most journeys are very non-linear
  • 34.
    • Also, most people reach your website via Google
    • Only 5% arrive at your website on the home page
  • 35.
    • Most of the other 95% may not have had your site in mind when searching
  • 36.
    • 30% of them go to home page to ‘try and work out what this site is about’
  • 37.
    • So each page on the site must quickly:
    • engage users and
    • give sense of what site is about – otherwise most will leave
  • 38.
    • ‘Writing for the web’ is not just about text…
  • 39.
    • … but also choosing the right images
    • … layouts
    • … graphical look and feel
    • …website structure
    • etc etc
  • 40. Key point of paragraph/ section Image clearly related to text Broken into short paras
  • 41. Home page: key functions
    • Offer overview:
      • Show user what the site offers them
      • Show user what is in the site:
        • The structure at a glance
        • Content highlights or samples
    • Engagement:
      • make user want to continue browsing
  • 42. Article page: key functions
    • Engage the user – make them want to consume the article
    • Signposting:
      • Show user what else is nearby in the site
        • The structure at a glance
      • Show user what else the site offers them
      • www.mylearning.org/overview.asp?journeyid=73
      • www.manchestergalleries.org /
  • 43. Short video guides
    • http://www.mediabistro.com/guidelines-for-writing-online-12-ondemandvideo.html (sample)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoU2yANNxRs&eurl=http://inside.123-reg.co.uk/archives/video-writing-your-web-copy
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C3lDeY6uWc&feature=related (good advice but v slow)
    • Writing web headlines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBg7dJIfHM0
  • 44.  
  • 45.  
  • 46. Website users
  • 47. Website users
    • Who uses your website?
    • Why would they want to use it?
    • How would they find it?
    • What do they get out of it?
    • What do they dislike about it?
  • 48.  
  • 49.  
  • 50.  
  • 51.  
  • 52.  
  • 53.  
  • 54.  
  • 55.  
  • 56. How do you get it right for everyone?
    • Answer:
    • You can’t get it right for everyone.
    • You have to make choices, and stick to them:
    • Who is it for?
    • What..
    • How…
  • 57. Who for…? What for? How will they use it?
  • 58. Who for what for ...
    • Who for? (audience)
      • Need to be clear from start
        • mum + 2 children looking for something to do this weekend
        • teachers of yr5/6 in local area with whiteboards
        • men interested in gadgets
  • 59. Who for what for ...
    • What ‘real-world’ outcomes?
      • What will they do as a result of using the site?
        • make a donation
        • plan a visit to a museum
        • buy a train ticket
        • think differently about learning disability
  • 60. Who for what for ...
    • How will they use it? (user experience)
      • What do they actually do on the site?
        • browse and read articles
        • working alone or in pairs? (learning resources)
        • lean forward or sit back?
        • Browsing, following, searching…
    • Also Where, When and Why ?
  • 61. Who for what for ...
    • Website appraisal
      • For each example note first impressions
    • Who is it for?
    • What does it offer them?
    • How will they use it?
  • 62. Using whiteboards
    • http:// www.teachers.tv/ict/whiteboardtips
    • http:// smarttech.com/trainingcenter/tutorials.asp #
    • http:// www.prometheanplanet.com
  • 63. Roles of IWB
    • … at different points in the lesson / learning cycle
      • Starter
      • Main
      • Plenary
  • 64. Interactive ” means
    • “ lots of things moving on screen, clickable, automatic response, quizzes etc
    • interaction between students, teacher and screen – activities, conversation, cognitive engagement, etc
    • first meaning used mainly by companies trying to market whiteboards, software etc as ‘interactive’
    • second used mainly by educators
  • 65. Resources for use on whiteboards - examples
    • Ford Madox Brown MAG
    • Tate Tools
    • Museum Network Artworks
    • Museum Network Myths
    • National Portrait Gallery Mary Seacole
    • National Gallery
    • Museum of London Fire of London
  • 66. Resources for use on whiteboards - examples
    • Britons at War
    • Wartime in Bedford
    • http://www.movinghere.org.uk/schools/default.htm
    • www.mylearning.org/overview.asp?journeyid =409
    • www.mylearning.org/overview.asp?journeyid =441
  • 67.
    • Devise a whiteboard resource
    • Choose one or two images, and think of how they might be used on a IWB
    • Decide how/where teachers would find this
    • 3. Caption
    • 4. Key question(s)
    • What else will the teacher need?
    • What else will the pupils need?
    • Don’t worry too much about accuracy – just get something on screen
  • 68. Websites for different audiences
  • 69. Websites for different audiences
    • The following tips are based on
    • numerous evaluation sessions
    • numerous user testing sessions
    • talking to other people who use websites
    • talking to other people who make websites
  • 70. ‘General users’
    • There is no such thing as a general user
    • Are you a general user?
  • 71. Adults/families with general interest
    • What does the site tell me at a glance?
    • genuine enthusiasts = interested whatever the website looks like, and will spend some time looking around it or phone up for more information if required.
  • 72. Adults/families with general interest
    • But most will not bother unless something engages them within a few seconds
    • The questions people might like answered within a few seconds of arriving on a museum site probably include:
  • 73. Adults/families with general interest
    • Where is it? Further down the home page it says ‘alongside Middle Wallop airfield’ but I have no idea where that is.
    • a schematic map on every page, or at least on the home page and visit info, would really help in attracting visitors who don’t know the area
  • 74. Adults/families with general interest
    • What’s the rough cost and roughly how long might I/we want to spend there? This would give me an idea of whether to view it as a place to pop into on the way somewhere or combine it with another attraction; or whether it requires more serious investment of time or money
  • 75. Adults/families with general interest
    • What kind of experience will I get? I know there will be ‘displays’ – it is a museum!
    • but will there be people around to help bring the place alive for me, my spouse, my children or friends?
    • – or are there events, or things to do like dressing up in a pilot’s uniform, or games to play, etc?
  • 76. Websites for schools
    • ‘ Serve the National Curriculum’ or ‘extend or enhance’?
    • ‘ enhance’ sounds good but most teachers want :
    • curriculum specific – by all means cross-curricular but with one scheme of work or topic as ‘headline’ (think ‘product byline’)
    • ready-to-use – teachers may want to adapt to their own situation (esp second time round), but most will not have time – offer at least one ready to use version
    • minimal preparation and with time commitment (preparation time and class time) clearly specified
    • flexible/adaptable/extensible where possible
  • 77. Foundation and KS1 (3-7yrs)
    • Production of materials for this age range is particularly tricky:
    • aim at teachers not children, so…
    • good bank of images, videos or other mainly visual assets
    • think of interactive whiteboards
  • 78. Key Stage 2 ( 7 to 11 years old)
    • keep no of words on each page to a minimum, say 50 in total
    • illustrate key ideas visually as well as verbally and use audio if possible
    • do not assume that the teacher can be over their shoulder at all points – so keep the instructions and processes simple
    • try to use language, images, ideas, and settings that will appeal to the target audience
  • 79. Key Stage 3 ( 11 to 14 years old)
    • For KS2 a cross-curricular approach is OK (for example they may use the same site for Geography and Science) but:
    • At KS3 cater for a single subject (and scheme of work)
    • (Can offer suggestions for cross-curricular working, but remember generally each teacher teachers only one subject each.)
  • 80. ‘ Lifelong learners’
    • for (non-specialist) interest level think of 12 yr olds
    • Identify a particular audience with specific interests/motivations for using your site
    • then focus on constraints to allow successful design to proceed. (In a formal learning setting constraints often implicit in the course, physical set up etc.)
  • 81. Specialist researchers
    • Fact-oriented, less graphics and design, more text and specifically relevant images, with good search facility
    • Examples of specialist researchers:
      • HE students and staff
      • experts or enthusiasts in this subject area
  • 82. Accessibility tips
    • http://www.w3.org/WAI/
    • Images & animations : Use the alt attribute to describe the function of each visual.
    • Image maps. Use the client-side map and text for hotspots .
    • Multimedia. Provide captioning and transcripts of audio , and descriptions of video .
    • Hypertext links . Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid "click here."
    • Frames. Use the noframes element and meaningful titles .
    • Etc, etc. Also:
    • http://diveintoaccessibility.org
    • Illustrates real life implications e.g. Javascript
  • 83.
    • Accessibility
    • A website can achieve AAA level accessibility (www.w3.org/WAI/ ) based on automated tests, and yet be almost unusable by many users
  • 84.
    • Improving general usability for a wide range of user types yields the best results.
    • City University audit (2005):
    • 4 out of 8 technical checkpoints that cause the majority of web access problems for disabled users relate to writing and laying out textual content .
  • 85.
    • To improve accessibility:
    • 1. divide blocks of information into more manageable units
    • 2. provide a text equivalent for every non-text element
    • 3. clearly identify the target of each link
    • 4. use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for the site’s content
    • (from enableUK – accessibility specialist)
  • 86.
    • Search Engine Optimisation
    • - article
  • 87. Short video guides
    • http://www.mediabistro.com/guidelines-for-writing-online-12-ondemandvideo.html (sample)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoU2yANNxRs&eurl=http://inside.123-reg.co.uk/archives/video-writing-your-web-copy
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C3lDeY6uWc&feature=related (good advice but v slow)
    • Writing web headlines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBg7dJIfHM0
  • 88. Whiteboard resource exercise
    • We are using Powerpoint (or Word if you prefer) just to summarise your ideas on the board.
    • Don’t spend too long formatting / designing – just focus on
      • what items, text and links would be on screen, and
      • What teacher / pupils would do with them
  • 89. ‘templates’
    • The following slide (Britons at War) is a sample web page – think about how people would get to your whiteboard page(s)
    • The next slide is an outline template for a whiteboard page – edit or ignore this completely.
    • Make sure you have at least something to show on screen
  • 90. Search Adv search Britons at War banner Home Topics Resources Schools area Ways to use this site About this site Search BaW logo Home | About | Links | Contact | Sitemap an online resource for schools NMPFT logo link to home YFA logo link to home Topic: Bombing Thumbnails of photos + films, etc for this topic Link to Photo pages Bombing Rationing Local life Home Guard Women and children Evacuation Guy Fawkes Day 1944 Prisoners of War Whit Sunday in Hyde Park VE Day Brief introduction to Topic: Bombing Asfd Asdf sadf
  • 91. About this image (caption, copyright, etc) Also key question? Title / heading if needed – otherwise delete this box.
  • 92.
    • How can we get a sense of who our online visitors are and what they do with our online content?  
    • How do we gather data to help us improve what we do?
    • How do we measure success from the user's point of view, and against our own objectives and constraints?
    • For example, how justify investment (or lack of it) in social networks etc?
  • 93. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 94. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 95. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 96. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 97. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 98. Define audience research goal Analyse data Collect data Use results to guide changes Plan methodology
  • 99. Reasons for doing audience research: Evaluation
    • Did your project/product/service do what you wanted it to do?
    • Provide information for stakeholders
    • Gauge audience satisfaction
  • 100. Reasons for doing audience research: Promotion
    • Improve your offer for your target audiences
    • Increase usage
    • Widen access
  • 101. Reasons for doing audience research: Planning
    • Inform development of a new product/service
    • Inform business planning
    • Prove interest in a related activity
  • 102. Tools available
    • Qualitative – focus groups, “free text” questions in surveys, interviews
    • Quantitative – web statistics, “multiple choice” questions in surveys, visitor tracking
    • Observational – user testing, ethnographic
  • 103. When to evaluate or test and why
    • Before funding approval – project planning
    • Post-funding - project development
    • Post-project – summative evaluation
  • 104. Testing is an iterative process
    • Testing isn’t something you do once
    • Make something
    • => test it
    • => refine it
    • => test it again
  • 105. Before funding – project planning
    • *Evaluation of other websites
      • Who for? What for? How use it? etc
      • awareness raising: issues, opportunities
      • contributes to market research
      • possible elements, graphic feel etc
    • *Concept testing
      • check idea makes sense with audience
      • reshape project based on user feedback
    Focus group Research
  • 106.  
  • 107. Post-funding - project development
    • *Concept testing
      • refine project outcomes based on feedback from intended users
    • Refine website structure
      • does it work for users?
    • *Evaluate initial look and feel
      • graphics,navigation etc
    Focus group Focus group One-to-one tasks
  • 108.  
  • 109.  
  • 110.  
  • 111.  
  • 112. Post-funding - project development 2
    • *Full evaluation of a draft working version
      • usability AND content: do activities work, how engaging is it, what else could be offered, etc
    Observation of actual use of website by intended users , using it for intended purpose , in intended context – workplace, classroom, library, home, etc
  • 113.  
  • 114.  
  • 115.  
  • 116.  
  • 117.  
  • 118.  
  • 119.  
  • 120.
    • Video clips Moving Here key ideas not lesson plans etc
  • 121.  
  • 122.  
  • 123.  
  • 124.  
  • 125. Post-funding - project development 3
    • Acceptance testing of ‘finished’ website
      • last minute check, minor corrections only
      • often offered by web developers
    • Summative evaluation
      • report for funders, etc
      • learn lessons at project level for next time
  • 126. Website evaluation and testing
    • Need to think ahead a bit:
      • what are you trying to find out?
      • how do you intend to test it?
      • why? what will do you do as a result ?
      • The Why? should drive this process
  • 127. User test early
    • Testing one user early on in the project…
    • … is better than testing 50 near the end
  • 128. Two usability testing techniques
    • “ Get it” testing
    • - do they understand the purpose, how it works, etc
    • Key task testing
    • ask the user to do something, watch how well they do
    • Ideally, do a bit of each, in that order
  • 129.  
  • 130. User testing – who should do it?
    • The worst person to conduct (or interpret) user testing of your own site is…
      • you!
    • Beware of hearing what you want to hear…
    • Useful to have an external viewpoint
    • First 5mins in a genuine setting tells you 80% of what’s wrong with the site
  • 131. Understanding online audiences
    • Study conducted for London Museums Hub
  • 132. Geffrye Museum web stats linked with events etc
  • 133.  
  • 134.  
  • 135. EM Online collections research by MHM
  • 136.  
  • 137.  
  • 138.  
  • 139.  
  • 140. What we found out
    • Link between websites and physical visits
      • Majority of web use is for planning visits
      • Only about half use the website before visiting the museum
      • Some websites failing to create appropriate impressions of the physical museums, so failing to attract undecided visitors >N
      • Confusion re difference between stored and displayed collections
  • 141. What we found out
    • Very little use of websites other than for planning the visit, except:
      • Teachers – looking for teaching materials and ideas
      • Families – looking for online games, homework etc
      • Comment re online collection browsing: researching/searching, following, browsing ( MHM)
  • 142. What we found out
    • Very little interest in ‘user generated content’, but…
      • … this may be because most do not yet understand the possibilities, partly because trends moving so quickly. More research required, based on specific proposals
  • 143.
    • Strengths and weaknesses of different data gathering techniques
  • 144.  
  • 145.  
  • 146.  
  • 147.  
  • 148. Data gathering techniques
    • User testing - early in development and again near end
    • Online questionnaires – emailed to people or linked from website
    • Focus groups - best near beginning of project, or at redevelopment stage
    • Visitor surveys - link online and real visits
    • Web stats - useful for long term trends /events etc
  • 149.
    • Need to distinguish between:
    • Diagnostics – making a project or service better
    • Reporting
    • – to funders, or for advocacy
  • 150. Online questionnaires
    • (+) once set up they gather numerical and qualitative data with no further effort – given time can build up large datasets
    • (+) the datasets can be easily exported and manipulated, can be sampled at various times, and structured queries can yield useful results
    • (–) respondents are self-selected and this will skew results – best to compare with similar data from other sources, like visitor surveys
    • (–) the number and nature of responses may depend on how the online questionnaire is displayed and promoted on the website
  • 151. Focus groups
    • (+) can explore specific issues in more depth, yielding rich feedback
    • (+) possible to control participant composition to ensure representative
    • (–) comparatively time-consuming (expensive) to organise and analyse
    • (–) yield qualitative data only - small numbers mean numerical comparisons are unreliable
  • 152. Visitor surveys
    • (+) possible to control participant composition to ensure representative
    • (–) comparatively time-consuming (expensive) to organise and analyse
    • (–) responses can be affected by various factors including interviewer, weather on the day, day of the week, etc, reducing validity of numerical comparisons between museums
  • 153. Web stats
    • (+) Easy to gather data – can decide what to do with it later
    • (+) Person-independent data generated - it is the interpretation, rather than the data themselves, which is subjective. This means others can review the same data and verify or amend initial conclusions reached
  • 154. Web stats
    • (–) Different systems generate different data for the same web activity – for example no of unique visits measured via Google Analytics is generally lower than that derived via server log files
    • (–) Metrics are complicated and require specialist knowledge to appreciate them fully
  • 155. Web stats
    • (–) As the amount of off-website web activity increases (e.g. Web 2.0 style interactions) the validity of website stats decreases, especially for reporting purposes, but also for diagnostics
    • (–) Agreeing a common format for presentation of data and analysis requires collaborative working to be meaningful
  • 156.
    • What is Web 2.0?
  • 157. Web 2.0 …
    • Web 2.0 is a vague label
    • refers to recent trends in attitudes and ways of using the web , not specific technical developments.
  • 158. Web 2.0 is …
    • A continually evolving spectrum of approaches, embodying
      • User focus
      • Agile development
      • ‘always Beta’
      • Social trust
      • User generated content ‘ by and for users of a particular group’
  • 159. Web 2.0 is …
    • A continually evolving raft of technologies (distributed services)
      • Blogs, podcasts, RSS events etc
      • Wikis – collaborative workspaces
      • Mash ups – live data, filtered/combined
      • Social networking (Facebook, Bebo, Linked In etc)
      • Social bookmarking (del.icio.us)
      • social tagging
  • 160. Web 2.0 is …
    • A continually evolving set of companies including
      • Google
      • Yahoo
      • Flickr
      • YouTube
      • del.icio.us
      • Twitter
      • Upcoming
      • etc
  • 161. Web 2.0 examples
    • Google – various apps
    • TripAdvisor – wisdom of crowds / social reviewing Flickr example
    • YouTube example
    • Events, other information – wouldn’t it be great if you could just note your information once, and it would appear anywhere on the web where people might want it? => RSS and aggregated databases
  • 162.
    • Martin Bazley
    • 0780 3580 737
    • www.martinbazley.com
    More information / advice / ideas