A Theory-Based Integrated Design Process for Development and Evaluation of Web-Based Supplemental Learning Environments


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Virginia Tech


As an increasingly powerful, interactive, and dynamic medium for sharing information, the World Wide Web (Web) has found many educational applications. Because of educational benefits for both learners and educators, Web-based courses and programs have increasingly been developed and implemented by many academic institutions, organizations, and companies worldwide (Aggarwal & Brento, 2000). This study, however, asserts that many of the developmental approaches lack three important considerations to be used for implementing learning applications based on the Web: (1) integration of the human-computer interface design with instructional design, (2) development of the evaluation framework to improve the overall quality of Web-based learning support environments, and (3) development of an individualistic approach to the Web hosting of courses.

This study explored the three Web-based learning environment weaknesses while developing a user-centered, Web-based learning support environment for Global Positioning System (GPS) education: Web-based distance and distributed learning (WD2L) environment.

Research goals of the study were all concerned with the improvement of the design process and usability of the WD2L environment based on a theory-based Integrated Design Process (IDP) proposed in the study. Results indicated that the proposed IDP was effective in that the study showed (1) the WD2L environment's equivalence to traditional supplemental learning, especially as a Web-based supplemental learning program and (2) users' positive perceptions of WD2L environment resources. The study also confirmed that for an e-learning environment to be successful, various aspects of the learning environment as a Web-based supplemental learning program should be considered such as application domain knowledge (i.e., target subject field), conceptual learning theory, instructional design, human-computer interface design, and evaluation about the overall quality of the learning environment.



Usability Evaluation, e-Learning, Human-Computer Interaction