The relationship between national culture and the usability of an e-learning system
Blessing F. Adeoye, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . Awarded
e-learning is a fairly new domain, but there is evidence in the literature that its use is increasing. Since e-learning is a new medium of learning delivery whose use is expanding globally, knowledge about the relationship between culture and the usability of e-learning systems is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between national culture and the usability of an e-learning system. The relationships were identified, by investigating how individuals from different cultural background respond to the use of an e-learning system. The participants were observed while performing tasks and were given a questionnaire at the completion of the tasks.
The results of this study suggest that none of the correlations between national culture and the nine usability variables were significantly different from zero at the p = .05 level. This suggests that these cultural variables were not systematically related to any of the usability attributes. Although, the strength of the relationship between national culture and the usability variables were not shown to be significant, higher Individualism scores were correlated with greater levels of satisfaction with language. The results show that Uncertainty Avoidance was correlated with Learnability Time. Also, the overall frequency analysis among usability attributes and cultural dimensions shows that the majority of the participants (92%) were satisfied with the e-learning system.
The findings in this study signify that not everyone in a society fits the cultural dimensions precisely, but there is enough statistical regularity to identify trends and tendencies. These trends and tendencies should not be treated as defective or used to create negative stereotypes but recognized as different patterns of values and thought. Recommended further research to validate this study would include investigation of different types of e-learning systems and the use of larger sample groups to make the results more generalizable.
Adeoye, B.F. The relationship between national culture and the usability of an e-learning system. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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