Asee peer logo

Online Learning Environment Design: A Heuristic Evaluation

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Online Learning

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

23.945.1 - 23.945.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22330

Download Count

269

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Emily A Hildebrand Arizona State University

author page

Jennifer M Bekki Arizona State University

author page

Bianca L. Bernstein Arizona State University

author page

Caroline J Harrison Arizona State University

Download Paper |

Abstract

Online Learning Environment Design: A Heuristic EvaluationThe increasing use of and variety of formats for online learning both demonstrate its value andunderscore the fact that its use is increasingly necessary in order to meet the demands of today’slearners. Given their widespread use, the quality of the online learning environments (OLEs) isof great interest. One metric that could be used to evaluate the quality of an online learningenvironment is the effectiveness of the sites themselves, which can be highly variable in terms ofaccessibility, formatting, and levels of user control.The purpose of this study was to evaluate the design of an existing OLE and begin identifyingpotential usability problems and human factors engineering issues. CareerWISE is an OLEdesigned to provide resilience training to women doctoral students in the fields of Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) (http://careerwise.asu.edu). The goals of thestudy were to create a baseline of potential human factors issues related to user interaction withthe CareerWISE website and to provide some preliminary design recommendations. Toaccomplish these goals, a heuristic evaluation of the website was conducted. A heuristicevaluation involves applying a usability checklist to a user interface in order to identify potentialusability problems that may result in users not finding the information they need or not beingable to execute their desired task. The checklist for this study consisted of ten general designcriteria, or “rules-of-thumb,” that should be followed when designing a product or process tooptimize the user experience.Five expert raters completed the evaluation, finding 91 heuristic violations across 50 uniqueusability problems. There were three top heuristics (Match, Consistency, Aesthetics), whichaccounted for 66% of the violations, suggesting potential usability problems may be largelyrelated to a mismatch between the existing interface and the underlying information architectureexpected by users. The findings will be discussed in further detail and implications for futureresearch in the optimization of online learning environments will be proposed.

Hildebrand, E. A., & Bekki, J. M., & Bernstein, B. L., & Harrison, C. J. (2013, June), Online Learning Environment Design: A Heuristic Evaluation Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22330

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015