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Making it personal: Understanding the online learning experience to enable design of an inclusive, integrated e-learning solution for students

Dacko, Andrei and Leung, Lester and Mohad, Mazhar and Vandeloo, Mariel (2015) Making it personal: Understanding the online learning experience to enable design of an inclusive, integrated e-learning solution for students. eLearning Papers, 42 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1887-1542

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Abstract

Despite the availability of online learning applications and management systems used to deliver, house and organize e-learning content, students learning online continue to struggle with barriers that create an unnecessary disconnect between themselves and their peers, professors, the learning material and their parents (where applicable). Barriers personally experienced through participation in a synchronous online university-level graduate class, and documented barriers experienced by other students in similar distance learning environments, served as the primary narrative and driving incentive for this study. In addition to an extensive literature review, an in-depth study of a distance learning environment was conducted using an adaptation of Smart Design�s 6 Real People approach which included 5 persona�s, based on 5 real participants; a high school special needs class, a Masters of Inclusive Design Class, the Director of Education for Special Needs, A University Professor of Distance Learning, and a Visually Impaired User (Blind Participant). The users� experiences were documented through means of ethnographic observations, direct observations, and detailed interviews. Findings from these revealed many barriers and disruptions, including psychological, emotional, social, gender-related, environmental and cultural issues that were detrimental to class involvement and student success. These findings were then synthesized and applied to create a prototype, called inClass, developed to address these barriers and provide a model for a more cohesive, unified and accessible e-learning solution. Although this paper does not refer directly to design patterns, and does not claim to follow a pattern-based methodology it demonstrates some effective user-centred design techniques which pattern scouts and authors should consider as powerful tools for mining, elaborating and validating patterns.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inclusive design, e-learning, information architecture, narrative, distance learning, personalization, design
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2016 22:43
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2017 06:40
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1244

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