Asee peer logo

User Research for the Instructional Module Development (IMOD) System

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1315.1 - 24.1315.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Odesma Onika Dalrymple Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

visit author page

Dr. Odesma Dalrymple is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Engineering and Computing Systems at Arizona State University. She conducts research on tools and techniques that can be readily applied in real engineering learning environments to improve student learning and teaching. In this respect her two prominent research contributions are with: 1) artefact-inspired discovery–based pedagogy, i.e., learning activities where students’ exploration of STEM knowledge is self-directed and motivated by interactions or manipulations of artefacts; and 2) the development of faculty expertise in outcomes-based course design through the use of the Instructional Module Development (IMOD) system, a self-guided web-based training tool.

visit author page


Srividya Kona Bansal Arizona State University

visit author page

Dr. Srividya Bansal is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Engineering and Computing Systems at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on semantics-based approaches for Web service description, discovery & composition, use of semantic technologies to perform effective searches and information processing in various application areas such as handling heterogeneity in Big Data, representation of knowledge around outcome-based instruction design in STEM education, and semantic tagging in a collaborative bookmarking environment.

visit author page


Ashraf Gaffar

visit author page

Dr. Gaffar is an Assistant Professor at ASU. He earned his PhD in Software Engineering/HCI, and specializes in UCD (User Centered Design).
He worked for several years as a Senior Design Expert at SAP, where he led the research and design work of several SAP applications and helped develop the official Mobile Application Guidelines at SAP as well as new formative usability testing methods for validating research findings. Dr. Gaffar is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and applies the project management principles in conjunction with UCD to help effectively plan and deliver all results within scope, time and budget.

visit author page


Randi Michelle Taylor

visit author page

Randi Taylor is an undergraduate engineering student at Arizona State University majoring in Engineering. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Linguistics from Rice University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Title: User Research for the Instructional Module Development (IMODTM) SystemDivision: NSF Grantees Poster Session AbstractA team of researchers are engaging in a User-Centered Design (UCD) approach to develop theInstructional Module Development System (IMODTM), i.e., a software program that facilitatescourse design. The IMODTM system will be an open-source web-based tool that will guideindividual or collaborating STEM educators, step-by-step, through an outcome-based educationprocess as they define learning objectives, select content to be covered, develop an instructionand assessment plan, and define the learning environment and context for their course(s). It willalso contains a repository of current best pedagogical and assessment practices, and based onselections the user makes when defining the learning objectives of the course, the IMODTMsystem will present options for assessment and instruction that align with the type/level ofstudent learning desired. While one of the key deliverables of the project is the software tool, theprimary focus of this initiative is to advance the development of faculty expertise in coursedesign for undergraduate STEM education. To this end, the project addresses the following tworesearch goals: 1. Identify deficiencies in user interactions with existing course design tools. 2. Obtain consensus opinion on a representation of the required knowledge (learning taxonomies, help data and pedagogical and assessment strategies) for designing a course or learning environment.To address the research objectives and facilitate the development of the software tool, the UCDmethodology was employed. This approach starts by understanding the actual user needs first-hand before focusing on any development environment, selecting any specific technology oreven defining a specific -constricting solution. Due to the subjectivity of most human domains,the high expectations of humans towards any software, as well as the inherent complexity ofmost applications, the goal of identifying “actual user needs” is an iterative process of capturingthe perspective of potential users and validating them through careful conceptual analysis andsynthesis. To facilitate this process the following tools and strategies were used: a) Brainstorming/Focus Groups: This strategy allowed the team of researchers to extract from participants (i.e., potential stakeholders) their ideas on key or desired features of a course design tool. b) Ethnographic Observations / Interviews: This strategy provided targeted insight on how potential users conduct course design activities. This strategy was divided into an ethnographic-style observation of a participant (STEM instructor) engaged in course design activities followed by an interview that probed their demonstrated actions through open-ended questions. c) Surveys: This strategy was used for collecting large amounts of data to further validate the findings attained from the brainstorming sessions and interviews.This poster describes the results of the focus groups, user interviews, and surveys facilitated toelicit feedback from potential users on the features and usability of the IMODTM system.

Dalrymple, O. O., & Bansal, S. K., & Gaffar, A., & Taylor, R. M. (2014, June), User Research for the Instructional Module Development (IMOD) System Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23248

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: © 2014 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