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A Learner-Centered Design, Implementation, and Evaluation Approach of Learning Environments to Foster Acceptance

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Author(s): Daniel Mueller | Volker Zimmermann

Journal: International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC)
ISSN 1867-5565

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 50;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: design | characteristics | hci | personal | portals | tam3

ABSTRACT
Most organizations don’t focus on what learners really do with their learning environments. Changing the perspective to the learner shows that they enlarge the organizational ones with their own technology-enhanced learning world, using a broad spectrum of technologies: company- and/or higher education-owned Learning Management Systems, social network platforms such as Facebook, mySpace, or Ning, search engines, open web services in the internet like blogs or wikis, and a lot more other applications. In this context, one of the challenges for today’s organizations is how to create well-accepted and used learning environments that drive learners’ success. As errors in requirements specifications have been identified as a major contributor to costly software project failures. Hence it may be highly beneficial if the designers and/or developers of learning environments could verify requirements by predicting learners’ acceptance and usage based on evaluations during the earliest stages of the learning environment development phase. Previous findings of such an approach in the field of CRM software implementation showed that pre-prototype user acceptance tests did have almost equal informational value than their prototype counterparts that ensure hands-on experience with the system. More concrete, we focus on interventions of specific design features during the pre-implementation phase of learning environments. They may help minimizing learners’ initial resistance by providing a realistic preview of the system to enable potential learners to develop accurate perceptions and find out how the system may help them to improve their learning process. The paper proposes a solution by examining the influence of specific design features of learning environments on user acceptance, particularly on the antecedents of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. We want to extrapolate the influence of specific design features on specific aspects of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use in order to enhance designers’ and/or developers ability to identify and improve design features during learning environment implementation to enhance critical determinants. The goal of the current work is the improvement of design science in the topic of technology-enhanced learning. To ensure cross-organizational applicability, the approach suggests an application within higher education institutions as well as corporate organizations.

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