Instructional design/User testing of e-learning courses/Evaluation Tips

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Back to Topic: Instructional Design > User Testing of E-Learning Courses > Conducting User Testing

The following tips have been adopted from the article, "Virtual Formative Evaluation: Twelve Tips for E-Learning" by Peter Honebein and Darryl Sink (2006). The artle is specific to the virtual observation but the concepts are helpful in conducting user test of an e-learning course.

The Tips

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  • Record the test

  • Focus on a single subject per person

Make sure each tester has their own computer and when possible, observe one tester at a time.

  • Describe the learning scenario
  1. Always communicate the goals of the test. For user testing, the goal is to assess the course usability and learner attitudes while completing the instruction. It’s important to assure them they are not being tested, the instruction.
  2. Don’t provide too much detail or commentary about the course because it should be self explanatory. If the tester runs into problems, that’s a sign there’s something wrong with the instruction.
  3. Ask the tester to talk out loud while performing the testing. Not only the steps they’re taking but also what they’re thinking about the course itself and various parts such as activities, images, etc. If the test is self-paced, encourage them to write down their comments.
  • Listen for triggers via words, body language, and mouse mania.

If an observer is not present, a background program such as WebTrends can report how many times a user clicks on a certain page within the course or runs a particular interface element.

  • Prioritize learning activities.

  • Perform On-The-Fly updates if possible

Testers have a more positive evaluation experience if they can see their suggestions implemented while they’re testing.

  • Provide Feedback and Subsequent Engagement

Provide additional feedback tools as links within the course they’re testing. This feedback can be submitted directly to a database or via email to the designer.

Are you ready to put all of this together and perform a user test on an e-learning Wikiversity page?

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Back to Topic: Instructional Design > User Testing of E-Learning Courses > Conducting User Testing