EVALUATION OF A VLE INTERFACE FOR WEB 2.0
Federal University of Santa Catarina (BRAZIL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Web 2.0 seeks to integrate different computational technologies to promote learning in a more meaningful way in Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). Thus, the teaching and learning method is more interactive because it aims to make the process of participation more frequent within the context of the student. Web 1.0 is based upon a presentation architecture similar to the traditional distance education; that is, it is essentially a model of content transmission.
Also according to Ruhe and Zumbo, to move from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 also causes the process of migrating from VLE 1.0 to VLE 2.0. That is, new information and communication technologies are generating a fundamental change from the presentation architecture towards a participation architecture. To Santarosa, Comforto and Basso two aspects characterize Web 2.0: the possibility of boosting the protagonism through online writing collaboration tools, and the principles of computational pervasiveness. In the research of these authors, a VLE implemented in line with the criteria of accessibility and usability throughout the process of development and validation was presented. According to Nielsen and Loranger 2007, usability is a quality attribute related to the ease of use of something.
The evaluation of this VLE interface considered the five dimensions of usability defined according to the standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9241. This standard covers the following aspects: ease of learning (EL); ease of memorizing (EM); Maximize productivity (MP); Minimize the error rate (ME); Maximize user satisfaction (MS).
The VLE 2.0 of this research is used on semipresential education in the discipline of Statistics by students of undergraduate Engineering courses from University X. Moreover, it is accessed by students doing their end of course research work, masters and doctoral degrees. This VLE is based on a model of meaningful learning, where the student has complete freedom to choose their learning paths according to their goals and interests.
In this VLE are communication tools that work both in synchronous and asynchronous way. There is also a module called theoretical evaluation where a tool with a list of questions about the content, addressed in different levels of learning, is presented. The whole VLE architecture aims, through a fuzzy agent, to promote student monitoring and to lead the student to a module that is more suited to their profile, according to their learning skills. Thus, the VLE encourages active student participation in the learning process, whenever possible.
This research involved a sample of 79 users who accessed the VLE in the last two years, where 84% had previous experience in other VLE. Furthermore, 57% of users were students taking a course on the environment and 43% used the VLE for their research. Thus, the results of this research show the perspective from the point of view of both students and researchers.
It was observed that there is a statistical difference in the EL and EM features, where the researchers assigned a higher usability adequation degree of the interface. It was also noted that there is a correlation between EL and MS, EM and ME when evaluated by the researchers. And there was a correlation between all the features in the case of students.
Keywords: Virtual Learning Environments, Web 2.0, Accessibility, Usability.