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Usability Heuristics Evaluation for Child E-learning Applications

Author(s): Asmaa A. Alsumait | Asma Al-Osaimi

Journal: Journal of Software
ISSN 1796-217X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 654;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: E-learning | Human Computer Interaction | Usability Evaluation

Selecting usability evaluation methods (UEMs) to expose usability problems in e-learning programs is influenced by time, cost, ease of application, and efficiency. Heuristic evaluation has become a widely accepted method of usability evaluation in software development. This paper introduces Heuristic Evaluation for Child E-learning applications (HECE), a comprehensive set of heuristics for child e-learning along with a detailed explanation for the usability experts on how to apply them. These sets of heuristics are based on Nielsen’s original ten heuristics developed for software. Nielsen heuristics are basically generic, and might not encompass usability attributes specific to children or e-learning. The new HECE set would overcome these shortcomings. The validity and effectiveness of these heuristics were evaluated against two developed e-learning programs designed by ReDSOFT for KG-2 and special need students. The results indicated that HECE identified qualitative similarities and differences with user testing, and that HECE is best suited for evaluating general and child usability. Combined with user testing, HECE offers a new track that can assist in guiding the child e-learning industry to design applications that are both educational and pleasurable for children.
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