The evaluation of human computer interface design of learning management systems: problems and perspectives

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With increasing demand for integrating learning management systems (LMS) into teaching and learning, a well-designed LMS is crucial. User interface evaluation has become a critical quality of interactive LMS intended to meet the requirements of users. This article investigates the effect of the interaction on the user and assesses the extent of system functionality. It further seeks to evaluate the interface’s success within the framework of fundamental human computer interface principles under a constructivist learning approach. Using an LMS assumes that when learners are engaged in a social learning context they actively construct knowledge; therefore, the resource is considered a tool to support learning and not an end in itself. The research investigates use of the LMS by two sets of users: staff members (module creators) and learners (module consumers), using semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. The research indicates that use of an LMS supports collaborative and authentic activities in learning, serving as an intrinsic motivation to most users. Some problems/concerns that were highlighted included; attention should be given to the tools and elements that should be added to the system, for example the image management tools; some users expressed the desire for more autonomy in terms of the peer review window. It is also recommended that the use of graphics should have a purpose that is either purely functional or contributes more subtly to the page content. Finally, there were requests for more customization of the themes, colors and icons in the design of LMS.

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    • Figure 1. Designing by constructivism model created by the author intended for this research
    • Figure 2. Proposed model for designing by constructivism, generated from research findings
    • Table 1. Percentage (rounded) frequencies of users’ responses to design descriptions
    • Table 2. A percentage (rounded) frequency scores of users’ responses to statements regarding the learning resource attributes and elements
    • Table 3. Percentage (rounded) frequency scores of users’ responses to statements regarding the learning resource attributes and elements
    • Table 4. Users’ responses to statements regarding the overall LMS design
    • Table 5. Tools and elements that users appreciated, and their contribution towards learning
    • Table 6. Various tools and elements that users suggested should be added