The Impact of Findability on Student Perceptions of Online Courses

by David Robins, Ph.D., Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., and Valerie Kelly, MS
presented by David Robins, Ph.D.
July 15, 2013

Dr. Robins will introduce the UXConnect speaker series and its partners. Following the overview, he will present the results of his study. This study proposed to investigate whether “findability,” an aspect of usability, is an important component in student perceptions of/satisfaction with online courses and, as such, should be considered more heavily in online course design.  Using standard usability testing measures, such as eye-tracking, time-on-task, and think-alouds, participants were asked to find essential course components in either a course with high findability or a modified version of the course with low findability, in order to determine the impact on student perceptions of course quality and experience. Participants rated those courses with high findability as a better overall experience (based on five dimensions). The researchers believe this study to be the first in a series of studies that will eventually lead to determining if findability and/or usability have a direct impact on student learning outcomes and, if so, what are the standards in these areas that should be set forth for online courses.

View the presentation slides.

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