Usability Evaluation of Online Learning Programs: A Sociological Standpoint

Usability Evaluation of Online Learning Programs: A Sociological Standpoint

Bernard Blandin (CESI-Online, France)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-105-6.ch017
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Abstract

“Usability” addresses the relationship between tools and their users. Such a relationship is generally considered as independent of any contextual, social or cultural aspects: Usability criteria relate to “human factors” taken as universal. But users do not live or act in an abstract world in which they are alone with the tool they are using. Users, as human beings, live and act in a world which is at the same time social and material. This paper provides some clues on how teacher’s or trainer’s epistemological stance, learner’s motivation, organisational learning culture and environmental factors interact to produce conditions determining the use of online learning programs. As a consequence, usability has to take into account the user’s social and material environment. This is why, according to the author, usability has to be “situated.”

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