Usability Testing

to Improve Online Learning Platforms

Brian E. Bennett | @bennettscience
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Online Learning

32% of college students are taking at least one online class

Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. Sloan Consortium. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950.

The 21st Century Classroom

Cover photo creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by Neo_II: http://flickr.com/photos/neo_ii/7483010074

Challenges with Online Learning

  • Technical Debt
  • Inconsistent Design
  • Buried Content

What does this mean?

Difficulty with online platforms may have an adverse affect on learning.

For more information on Cognitive Load Theory, see:


  • Ayers, P. (2006). Impact of reducing intrinsic cognitive load on learning in a mathematical domain. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 20, 287-298.
  • Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments. Educational psychologist, 38(1), 1-4.
  • Sweller, J, Merrienboer, J, Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and instructional design. Educational Psychology Review. 10-3, 251-296.
  • Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and instruction, 4(4), 295-312.

How would you do?

What can we do?

Mobile Testing

dScout

Set up missions, recruit scouts to test your pages in their normal workflow.

Cover photo creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by pamhule: http://flickr.com/photos/pamhule/5709324762

Browser-based testing

Open Hallway

Browser-based usability testing with remote testing capability

Optimizely

A/B testing built from an existing page.

Cover photo creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by teezeh: http://flickr.com/photos/teezeh/5771850041

Research

TechSmith Morae

Research-grade usability software.

Cover image creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by Unhindered by Talent: http://flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/2217375343

The Point

We need to know more about how students interact with online learning systems.

Brian E. Bennett

TechSmith Corp.


Web | @bennettscience

http://dev.ohheybrian.com/usability


Grab this session from GitHub