[j48] N. Tselios, N. Avouris, V. Komis, The Effective Combination of Hybrid Usability Methods in Evaluating Educational Applications of ICT: Issues and challenges, Education and Information Technologies Journal , vol. 13 (1), pp. 55-76, March 2008.
Abstract This paper focuses on usability evaluation of Information and Communication Technologies applications in Education (ICTE applications). Various classes of teaching and learning systems are discussed in terms of technologies used and pedagogical approaches. Their usability is analyzed according to various dimensions and the impact of system usability on the learning effectiveness is studied. We argue that various classes of ICTE applications such as multimedia / hypermedia applications, open educational environments and CSCL environments, based on different theoretical perspectives, require fundamentally different approaches in evaluating their usability. The paper is structured as follows: an overview of different usability evaluation approaches is presented first, followed by a discussion on applicability of these techniques in various categories of teaching and learning computer systems. Typical case studies that engage both usability experts and users themselves (students and teachers) are also discussed. The objective is to describe both the methods, and the way to apply them effectively in order to certify the usability of an ICTE application with respect to its teaching and learning objectives.