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User-Centered Innovation: A Model for "Early Usability Testing."


National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology,


The goal of this study is to show how some concepts and techniques from disciplines outside Instructional Systems Development (ISD) have the potential to extend and enhance the traditional view of ISD practice when they are employed very early in the ISD process. The concepts and techniques employed were user-centered in design and usability, and the context was an instructional development project, Indiana University Center for Excellence in Education's (CEE) Virtual Textbook, in the earliest stages of design. One component of the Virtual Textbook is an interactive whiteboard which students will use during groupwork activities. The major goal for the interactive whiteboard study was to understand how representative virtual textbook users, high school students, would interact with the whiteboard with the fewest possible imposed restrictions of an established interface. Five groups of students were videotaped as they constructed a timeline depicting the history of rock and roll music. Findings from sessions and results from discussions with designers are discussed. Each student group employed common strategies and tactics to manipulate either a picture or text item on the simulated shared space. Each group also expressed similar social characteristics in order to manage and complete the timeline. Common strategies and tactics include types of moves; command language; students' language; shared space maintenance; item maintenance; and shared space navigation. Common social aspects include common ownership; turn-taking; strategy discussions; limited collaborative skills; and need to consult at close range. Designers had four major types of reactions to the findings and viewing of videotaped sessions: (1) proposing new and revised features; (2) reconsidering assumptions about students using the whiteboard; (3) questioning the design of the usability sessions; and (4) posing questions to be answered in future usability sessions. (Contains 11 references.) (MAS)


Sugar, W.A. & Boling, E. (1995). User-Centered Innovation: A Model for "Early Usability Testing.". Presented at National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1995. Retrieved October 23, 2019 from .

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