March 31, 2011
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them
George Bernard Shaw
We have just finishing usability and user experience testing on www.mycareerjourneys.com a very interesting online software service that provides career coaching. This is a web based resource for career self-development and planning from Rational Careers.
Before testing, we always take some time to fully understand the product we are looking at and I had the opportunity to go through this programme on-line. This requires you to complete a variety of different exercises and to reflect about what is important to you in your career and your life. It is not difficult, and the sections are well thought out to guide you through a series of steps that eventually lead you towards a career plan. But it does take a bit of time to really think about where you think your skills lie and what is of value to you. Very thought provoking!
Here’s what John Costello, CTO of Rational Careers had to say about the whole experience of usability testing in NELL.
“For us Usability Testing with NCI was an input to a significant product redesign. We learned a lot about how users perceived our product, what they thought it was, what added value they got from it and what their expectations were. Also, being able to witness the testing was a rich learning experience and we got an excellent report at the end of the testing. We are currently in the middle of our redesign and the Usability Testing is a real help in guiding us.”
This research was funded by Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Voucher Initiative.
January 31, 2011
We were delighted that students of Ph.D. in Technology Enhanced Learning worked with Special Olympics Ireland to undertake user experience research on the Special Olympics website. The aim of the research was to find out if the website encourages users to donate to Special Olympics and/or become volunteers with the association.
Research involved a pre-test questionnaire, an ethnographical observation including eye-tracking and a post-test interview. Testing was conducted here in the National E-Learning Laboratory and took place Nov to Dec 2010.
We observed one very interesting pattern through data analysis. On the homepage of the website, there is a very prominent red ‘Donate Now’ Button, please see image below. However, eye-tracking data shows us that this button appeared to be somewhat “invisible” to testers. This is an interesting take on what Jacob Neilson calls banner blindness; that is that users don’t like looking at anything they think might be an advertisement, no matter how obvious it is.
All of us here in NCI congratulate the good folks at Special Olympics Ireland on the great job they are doing and wish them all best in the future!
For more information on this research please contact:
Bernie O’Driscoll, eMarketing Manager, Special Olympics Ireland. Bernie.O’Driscoll@specialolympics.ie
Special Olympics Ireland are delighted with the user experience research undertaken by the students of the Ph.D in Technology Enhanced Learning at the NCI. The results of this research have provided us with valuable insights into how users navigate on www.specialolympics.ie and will guide future developments on the website, with a special focus on fundraising and volunteer recruitment. As a charitable organisation, we appreciate the invaluable support of NCI & its fantastic National eLearning Laboratory.
Bernie O’Driscoll at Special Olympics Ireland
December 15, 2010
Our study will then produce a report detailing students’ behaviour and guidelines on which teaching practices will improve the learners’ experience.
Our objectives are:
- To identify a list of most common tasks currently performed by students in VLEs.
- To conduct user study on NCI’s VLE (Moodle) including eye-tracking, usage observation and interview.
- To produce a report on students’ experience, highlighting usability issues and suggesting areas of improvement.
- To produce a booklet with instructional guidelines for lecturers on how to improve the use Moodle in their teaching practices.
- To conduct development workshops for NCI facutly to advise them on how to integrate recommendations into current learning and teaching practices.
- Through research and practitioner networks, make results of this study (lessons learned) available to other interested stakeholders, other HEA institutions, VLE and Moodle Learning and Teaching Networks.
This research is funded by NAIRTL and will run from Nov 2010 to June 2011
August 5, 2010
Here in NELL we have just finished a really interesting usability research project working with IPSO Consulting. IPSO are developing a management training game via e-learning and commissioned testing to understand more about the users’ experience in this game.
While analysing data we looked at good practice in design of e-learning games. A recent study on the design and motivation of learners in e-learning games produced a scale highlighting the important areas to consider when designing games for e-learning (EGame Flow: A scale to measure learners’ enjoyment of e-learning, Fong-Ling, Rong-Chang & Sheng Chin 2009).
The EGame Flow Scale talks about 8 key factors to consider when analysing e-learning games. We found this scale very useful when analysing the players behaviour and experience during the game. Those 8 factors are identified as:
- Goal Clarity
- Social Interaction
- Knowledge Improvement
Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students http://pics.tech4learning.com/
July 19, 2010
Are you an experienced researcher in the area of technology enhanced learning/e-learning?
Would you like to develop your career through a 2 year Research Fellowship in the National College of Ireland?
P7: MARIE CURIE INTRA-EUROPEAN FELLOWSHIPS FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT (IEF) – (FP7-People-2010-IEF)
For more information on how to apply for this, check out the NCI Research website.
Deadline for submission of proposals: 17.00 Brussels time, 17 August 2010.
Improving the user experience in the National E-learning Lab (NELL):
NELL is a research facility specialising in usability testing for human computer interactions. We would like to hear from researchers who are interested in conducting research on how to improve the user experience in e-learning.
School of Computing
Adaptive e-Learning Systems, Quality of Experience, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, User Experience, Dialogue Systems, Blended Learning, Usability, Evaluation.