Instructional design/User testing of e-learning courses

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<< Instructional Design

Module Overview

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One of the good practices of instructional design is the tryout of learning experiences prior to full deployment to the target audience. Yet, with tight schedules, global distribution of learners, nonaccessibility of the target audience, and other barriers, training designers often skip or minimize this critical quality assurance step. Furthermore, with e-learning solutions, designers not only need to assess the efficacy of their instruction, but also the quality and performance of the systems that deliver the instruction.

When conducting a formative evaluation of e-learning solutions, training designers must be able to generate a plan that blends instructional objectives, user testing, software quality assurance, and the overall user experience. In other words, designers must incorporate the good practices from the instructional field and the good practices from the software field to ensure the quality of their solutions.

This module will introduce the concept of formative evaluations and why conducting them is a good practice when designing e-learning. “Formative” means to shape or transform and formative evaluations should be conducted at regular review intervals during the development cycle.

“User Testing” is a specific type of formative evaluation that occurs at the end of the development cycle. Building on the “what and why” of formative evaluation, the instruction will provide information on how to develop an evaluation plan for “User Testing,” as well as how to set up and conduct the evaluation plan.

Finally, guidance on how to analyze the results of a User Test will be provided.

Module Goal

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Upon completion of this module, instructional designers or other training professionals who have designed an e-learning module or lesson will be able to conduct a formative evaluation (in the form of User Testing) of the learning experience. The result shall be a list of recommendations for enhancing and improving the learning experience.

(Please note that for the purposes of this module, “e-learning” is limited to web-based, self-paced, asynchronous instruction.)

Module Objectives

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Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the role formative evaluation plays in the ADDIE model
  • Describe the role user testing plays in the instructional design development process
  • Create a user testing plan for the e-learning course
  • Conduct user testing on the e-learning course
  • Analyze qualitative results, given the findings of a user test of an e-learning course

Module Lessons

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To go to a lesson, click its title below:

  1. Formative Evaluation Overview
  2. Review Evaluation Plan
  3. Conducting User Testing
  4. Analyzing the Results
  5. Module Summary


Click Next to go to the first lesson in this module.