About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2950 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

DESIGNING STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS THAT WORK FOR STUDENTS - A CASE STUDY IN USABILITY

K. Wijekumar, M. Ladakos, N. Bruce, J. Benscoter, A. Boguszewski, S. Conklin, D. Gilliam

The Pennsylvania State University (UNITED STATES)
Student information systems at universities should support the students in their progress through their time at the university. Unfortunately, many lack the critical design features that would be common practice in commercial applications. This process was termed a degree audit within this student information system. In this presentation we will present a thorough research study on one component of the student information system designed to assist students with their course choices. We first conducted a Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selections (GOMS) and a hierarchical task analysis (HTA) to gather information about experts and novices use of the student information system for making course registration choices. A larger follow-up study was conducted using a web-bsaed survey.

The goal of the survey was to provide further insight on users’ knowledge and ability in regards to performing a degree audit.
Key questions the survey was interested in:
• Do students use the Degree Audit system?
• Do students use the Degree Audit system correctly?
• How do users find the usability of the system?

Results are summarized below:
• 50% of freshmen are likely to use the Degree Audit to help determine what courses they should take for their next semester.
• 75% of freshmen responded that they use the degree audit system 1-3 times a semester.

It would be expected that most of the users will not remember how to find and use a degree due to lack of use. The need for the system to be user-friendly is high.
• 40% of freshmen chose Course Planner, but it has no function that aids in determining which classes should be taken for a degree
• Some freshmen decided to choose “Course Checklist”, which does not exist

Survey also shows that although 50% of freshmen said they would use a Degree Audit to help make decisions about courses to register for their next semester, only 25% of them were able to do so correctly (after making errors).

Using a combination of the in-depth GOMS and HTA we were able to identify the expert steps to make course choices. We were also able to document typical novice errors in the use of the system. The survey verified these findings with a wider audience. Results from this shows that student information systems are not user friendly and require extensive training for users and also requires a re-design of the information system to make it usable to a wider audience.
@InProceedings{WIJEKUMAR2014DES,
author = {Wijekumar, K. and Ladakos, M. and Bruce, N. and Benscoter, J. and Boguszewski, A. and Conklin, S. and Gilliam, D.},
title = {DESIGNING STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS THAT WORK FOR STUDENTS - A CASE STUDY IN USABILITY},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2950}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Wijekumar AU - M. Ladakos AU - N. Bruce AU - J. Benscoter AU - A. Boguszewski AU - S. Conklin AU - D. Gilliam
TI - DESIGNING STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS THAT WORK FOR STUDENTS - A CASE STUDY IN USABILITY
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 2950
EP - 2950
ER -
K. Wijekumar, M. Ladakos, N. Bruce, J. Benscoter, A. Boguszewski, S. Conklin, D. Gilliam (2014) DESIGNING STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS THAT WORK FOR STUDENTS - A CASE STUDY IN USABILITY, INTED2014 Proceedings, p. 2950.
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