Client Stories

Evaluation of Selected Online and Blended MU Extension Courses — Technology-based and Pedagogical Usability

Time Frame:

Spring 2019

Method:

  • Expert review
  • Digital didactical design (DDD)
  • Interviews
  • SUS
  • Task-based usability test
  • Think-aloud
 
Client:
MU Extension (Dr. Jessica Gordon)

Goal:
to identify technology-related and pedagogical usability issues that learners encounter from enrollment to getting access to selected MU Extension online courses and during the courses; and to derive design recommendations for improving learner experience and performance.

Process:

The project involved the evaluation of four online and blended/hybrid courses. MU Extension offers online courses for a range of different learners, e.g., experienced firefighter instructors or gardening courses for older adults. In Fall 2018, the IE lab applied expert reviews to evaluate two MU Extension courses: (HAI) Resources for CIC Certification: Nursing Strategies to Decrease Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) and School Aged Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). In Spring 2019. IE lab evaluated another two courses: Master Gardener and Fire Service Instructor I. The IE Lab worked closely with the client and the instructors of the courses to design the instruments for interviews and task-based usability evaluation and recruit participants. The study checklist were developed from Nielsen Usability Heuristics (1999), Quality Matters, Instructional Design and others. The Digital Didactical Design (DDD) framework (Jahnke, 2015) was applied to evaluate the quality of the online courses support regarding meaningful online learning (alignment of learning goals, learning activities, assessment, support of social relationships and use of technologies).

Findings:
  1. Courses with acceptable “technical” usability do not guarantee that they support meaningful online learning.
  2. Lack of a roadmap of content causes user difficulty in course navigation, especially for older adult learners.
  3. Interactions in videos, if not well-designed, causes frustration instead of supporting the learner’s experience.

Report:
  • Pham, M., Baker, C., Sadanala, G., He, H., Riedel, N., & Jahnke, I. (2018). User Experience Evaluation of Selected MU Extension Courses: Resources for CIC Certification: Nursing Strategies to Decrease Healthcare Associated Infections and School Aged Social and Emotional Learning. Columbia, MO: IE Lab.
  • Pham, M., Singh, Kanupriya., Qazi, M., Sadanala, G., & Jahnke, I. (2019). User Experience Evaluation of Selected MU Extension Courses: Fire Service Instructor I. Columbia, MO: IE Lab.
  • Pham, M., Singh, K., Qazi, M., & Jahnke, I. (2019). User Experience Evaluation of Selected MU Extension Courses: Master Gardener. Columbia, MO: IE Lab.