24. Usability Testing

Usability testing – Explanation

For the usability testing, I reached out to an outside stakeholder who is in the education field but has not used Schoology as frequently as my colleagues. I would say that I was able to get the right person to perform the test. This course targets any educator who wants to learn about Blended Learning and implement it in their context. I have already shared the course with other colleagues at school and they will also review it in order to provide more feedback related to the pacing of the content I included. Having the feedback from those educators who are in my context and those with different teaching experiences will help me refine the course so that it meets the needs of more educators. 

Usability testing: Stakeholders were able to navigate into all of the course divisions according to the feedback provided by the participants. The process took them two hours per folder (Start Here & Module 1). I asked the participant to follow the instructions in the start here folder and module 1. After that, the participant provided general feedback and items they would like to see in the course to make it better. The participant used two ways in order to report back. She typed up her comments and feedback in a task-based document and then she recorded herself showing the course and the specific feedback she had for the course.

Stakeholder Usability Test Report

The following document has the stakeholder comments and feedback – Usability test:

The stakeholder who tested the course has not used Schoology so much. I met with the stakeholder and walked her through the process of getting her registered in the course. Once I made sure that had happened, I provided a 2-minute overview of how the system worked. Based on her feedback, the LMS is intuitive and allows participants to learn it through the course. The stakeholder really liked how the system had different ways in which answers could be provided: video recording/audio or text. The platform is user-friendly and helps the participants feel comfortable with the system while navigating the course. 

The feedback the stakeholder provided helped me in different ways. 

I am the one who is creating the course and the links worked for me as I was editing it. However, running the usability test showed me that what I am able to see as editor of the course might not be the same as the participants. Next time, I will register myself with a different account and go through the course as if I were a participant to be able to identify these mistakes that might discourage participants from learning through the course. 

Discussions: As I am the one writing the course, the sequence of assignments makes sense to me. However, I need to put myself in the shoes of the participants to see if what I want to convey is clear. For example, providing clear instructions for each discussion board in addition to specific criteria for the comments made by the participants.

Standards: Again, this is because I am not thinking through the perspective of the stakeholder who will be navigating the course. In order to fix this, I will include a short paragraph stating what the ISTE Standards are and how they are linked to my course.

I took the feedback from the stakeholder and made the following modifications:

ISTE Standards: I added a statement describing how the ISTE standards relate to the work of this Blended Learning Course.

In the announcements folder, I added a page with instructions on how to join GroupMe. By doing this, all participants will be collaborating before they start diving into the content of the course.

The broken links were fixed. I registered in the course using a different account and checked the links were active.

I added a clear statement describing the tasks. I realized I have the idea in my head but did not convey it accurately and clearly.

The goal of usability testing is to understand how real users interact with the online course I developed and make changes based on the results. The usability test allowed me to gather the data needed to identify usability issues and improve my course. This process has allowed me to get an accurate interpretation of the user’s thoughts. Such valuable feedback from experienced & qualified user testing participants allowed me to engage in a refinement process which will definitely result in a better experience for each one of the stakeholders. If the course has flaws, participants might get discouraged which is the opposite of what I want to instill in them. 

The usability testing affected a couple of activities but did not affect the outcomes of the assessment. One of the comments the stakeholder made was that the outcome from each one of the participants will look very different due to the different levels of comfort when implementing, the needs of the students, and the needs of the teachers (participants). This tells me that the way the course is sequenced allows participants to build upon previous knowledge to be able to implement blended learning through a lesson or even a course. 

In this usability test, I frontloaded the support by meeting the stakeholder and walking her through the registration process. I also provided a short overview describing how to use the Learning Management System.

The development and feedback process allowed me to learn and contribute to my community. Click HERE to read about my contributions to my learning community.

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