n South African Computer Journal - Effectiveness of heuristic evaluation in usability evaluation of e-learning applications in higher education : research article




The Internet, World Wide Web (WWW) and e-learning are contributing to new forms of teaching and learning. Such environments should be designed and evaluated in effective ways, considering both usability- and pedagogical issues. The selection of usability evaluation methods (UEMs) is influenced by the cost of a methods and its effectiveness in addressing users' issues. The issue of usability is vital in e-learning, where students cannot begin to learn unless they can first use the application. Heuristic evaluation (HE) remains the most widely-used usability evaluation method. This paper describes meta-evaluation research that investigated an HE of a web-based learning (WBL) application. The evaluations were based on a synthesised framework of criteria, related to usability and learning within WBL environments. HE was found to be effective in terms of the number and nature of problems identified in the target application by a complementary team of experienced experts. The findings correspond closely with those of a survey among learners.


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