Evaluation Methods for E-Learning Applications in Terms of User Satisfaction and Interface Usability

Evaluation Methods for E-Learning Applications in Terms of User Satisfaction and Interface Usability

Nouzha Harrati (University of Souk Ahras, Algeria), Imed Bouchrika (University of Souk Ahras, Algeria), Zohra Mahfouf (University of Souk Ahras, Algeria) and Ammar Ladjailia (University of Souk Ahras, Algeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1851-8.ch018
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Abstract

The use of online technology has become ubiquitous and integral part of our daily life from education to entertainment. Because of the ubiquity of e-learning and vital influence for engineering the educational process, it is no surprise that many research studies are conducted to explore different aspects covering the use of e-learning in higher education. The assessment and evaluation aspects are considered arguably the most influential part for measuring the success and effectiveness of e-learning experience. As more and more universities worldwide have opted to use online technology for their course delivery, research in e-learning systems have attracted considerable interest in order to apprehend how effective and usable e-learning systems in terms of principles related to human computer interaction.
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Introduction

In a modern society, the use of online technology has become ubiquitous and integral part of our daily life from education to entertainment. This is mainly due to the proliferation of the use of computers and smart devices combined with the availability and affordance of internet connectivity in most places. In fact, digital networks and modern communication have greatly transformed and reshaped the way we live and work in such a contemporary era yielding a tremendous effect on the necessity and opportunity to learn (Garrison, 2011). Although, there are advocates in the academic community who prefer traditional teaching methods which include face-to-face communication, considerable efforts are being devoted to promoting e-learning and the use of new technology for course delivery and teaching. The learning paradigm is shifting from lecturer-centered to student-centered as it can be undertaken anywhere, from classrooms to homes. In fact, several scholars described the growth rate of e-learning as unprecedented and explosive as the adoption of e-learning went beyond academic institutions to be considered seriously in corporate companies and public administrations as part of their employee training programs. Because of the ubiquity of e-learning and vital influence for engineering the educational process, it is no surprise that many research studies are conducted to explore different aspects covering the use of e-learning in higher education. This includes for instance the learning models, software interactivity and human behaviors. The assessment and evaluation aspects are considered arguably the most influential part for measuring the success and effectiveness of e-learning experience (Anderson, 2008). Evaluation for e-learning goes beyond assessing the learner performance. The evaluation of the delivery procedure for e-learning is as critically important to understand and harvest a meaningful and fruitful learning experience (Granić, 2008; Harrati, Bouchrika, Tari, & Ladjailia, 2016). In fact, considerable criticism regarding the quality of existing e-learning systems are being cited by a number of studies (Chua & Dyson, 2004) in addition to further issues including low performance, poor usability and customizability. Furthermore, online education has been further criticized as not supporting a student-centred learning but replicating the traditional face-to-face teaching paradigm.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Usability: Is the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

Micro-Learning: Is a new form of learning based on the design of micro or lighter activities through micro-steps in digital environments. These learning activities are made part of the learner's daily routines.

E-Learning: Is the learning process facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology.

Assessment: Is used usually to refer to the role in formal education of judging the students’ attainment of educational objectives for a specific course.

Blended Learning: Refers to the teaching process where computer-based learning are integrated in tandem with face-to-face classical teaching activities.

Learning Management System: Is a software system developed for the purpose of managing online courses including the administration, documentation, reporting and delivery of educational content.

M-Learning: Is defined as the portable and lightweight learning process where the learner can engage in learning or training activity without having any geographical constraint via the use of their mobile machine in a portable and mobile fashion.

Evaluation: Refers to the process of comparing or measuring a unit, course, program or other elements of e-learning against some set of performance or outcome criteria.

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