Andrea Gregg, Ph.D., and Ronda Reid, PMP., examined the usability of a new learning management system at Penn State. They used the think-aloud method to watch and understand how users perceived and interacted with the system. Their study validates the benefits of using the think-aloud method in learning experience design. It also demonstrates the notion that designers are not the same as the users. In this episode, I speak with them both about the value of usability testing in general and the think-aloud method specifically, to improve learning design.
Andrea Gregg, PhD, is the Director of Online Pedagogy and an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering at Penn State University. Ronda Reid is an IT project manager with Penn State IT’s Project Management Office (PMO).
- Defining usability
- Usability issues in learning products
- Why there is more emphasis on usability for website design than learning design
- How a poor user experience affects learning
- How the think-aloud method works
- Benefits of using think-aloud to watch learners use the products you design
- Downside of the think-aloud method
- Guidance and guidelines for conducting think-aloud tests
TIME: 27 minutes
- Think-Aloud Observations to Improve Online Course Design: A Case Example and “How-to” Guide (Research discussed in this podcast)
- Don’t Make Me Think Revisited by Steve Krug
- Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug
- Learner and User Experience Research by Dr. Matthew Schmidt, Dr. Andrew Tawfik, Dr. Yvonne Earnshaw and Dr. Isa Jahnke
- Using the Think-Aloud Method to Test Usability of Learning Designs