Does usability engineering matters for STEM education?

Sahama, Tony R., Kushniruk, Andre, & Borycki, Elizabeth (2014) Does usability engineering matters for STEM education? In Nashon, Samson (Ed.) STEM Education and Our Planet : Making Connections Across Contexts, 12 - 15 July 2014, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada.

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Abstract

Technological maturity and the exponential growth of digital applications are contributing to lifestyle changes worldwide. Consequently, learning and teaching is demanding more effective sociotechnical interactions involving emerging technologies, as opposed to traditional, conventional face-to-face learning and teaching approaches. In this context, usability engineering is making significant contributions for improving computer and distance-based learning, both for learners and instructors, which have often been ignored when designing online learning and teaching applications. Usability testing is a central part of the human centered learning approach for developing sustainable STEM education from the socio-technological perspective.

Our experiences with usability engineering and the impact of teaching low-cost rapid usability testing methods on knowledge translation from undergraduate to graduate courses to real-world practice (i.e. getting the methods out there in real use) are diverse and multi-modal. Our sample space has been hundreds of trained students who have learned how to do effective usability engineering in real-world situations at higher levels of realism (i.e. fidelity) and at a much lower cost than using traditional fixed usability labs. Furthermore, this low-cost rapid approach to usability engineering has been adopted by many of our graduates who are now managers, CIOs etc and who are using the methods routinely in their organizations in real world applications and scenarios. This knowledge has been used to improve design and implementation of a wide range of applications, including applications designed for teaching and learning.

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ID Code: 72287
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Usability Engineering, Usability Testing, Human Centered-Learning, Life Critical Scenarios, Distance-based Learning, Technological Trajectories, Teaching and Learning, Real-World, STEM, HERN
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 01 Jun 2014 22:55
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2014 07:18

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