Development Of Usability Criteria For E-Learning Content Development Software

Serkan ÇELIK

Revolutionary advancements have been observed in e-learning technologies though an amalgamated evaluation methodology for new generation e-learning content development tools is not available. The evaluation of educational software for online use must consider its usability and as well as its pedagogic effectiveness. This study is a first step towards the definition of criteria for evaluating e-learning tools. A preliminary user study involving a group of pre-service instructional designers, observed during their interaction with e-learning tools, is reported. Throughout the study, specific usability attributes of these e-learning tools were identified. Participants were assigned to rate the importance of functional and pedagogical competences proposed during the criteria development phase. The findings of the study revealed 31 evaluation criteria under the headings of technical, media, and assessment competences. Among the groups of benchmarks proposed and rated by the users, assessment was considered as the most important one while technical and media features were even.The following step was actual implemention of the usability criteria into evaluation of fifteen leading software used in e-learning across the world. Mostly, tools were observed as having limitations in terms of capabilities. Comparing to the other software, Captivate, Softchalk, and Lectora were regarded as outstanding tools by the participants. Following the discussion on the limitations of the study, some implications for further research were proposed.

KEYWORDS: Usability, Pedagogic Usability, Web Based Learning, Content Development Tools