written by Youxin Zhang (2016 TCC Guest Blogger)
Ms. Munafo is one of the graduate students from UH Manoa LTEC (Learning Design and Technology) and COLT (Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching) program.
Ms. Munafo had dealt with e-learning over thousand of hours in the past. Her recent two-year long e-learning experience in this program inspired her to generate a great interest in simplified user-centered e-learning design, particularly access from different devices, platforms and locations.
Ms. Munafo’s presentation title was “Usability Study of a Simplified eLearning Design that Integrates Google@UH Apps and the Laulima LMS.” Ms. Munafo’s conference session was organized with 4 major themes (The Experience, The Design, Usability Process, Reflection). In general, Ms. Munafo shared us with the process in terms of how she developed a simplified user-centered design that integrated the use of the Google@UH services with the Laulima LMS, and how she came up with major revisions to the original prototype based on participant’s evaluations.
It was an engaging and interactive conference session that allowed me to generate a great deal of interest in this usability study and follow the presenter’s mind to look into this study with details, as well as understand what happened during the developing process. Ms. Munafo gave us a virtual orientation of her course at the very beginning of her speech. I felt like this strategy truly narrowed the physical distance between us although one of the primary obstacles in e-learning was the feeling of isolation reported by learners in studies. Ms. Munafo had an excellent speech and presentation skill to make you feel like you were sitting in her classroom and listening to her just like she was standing in front of you. Her moderate speed of talking and articulation gave you enough time to catch her each single word clearly which are important to online learners to a certain extent.
To me, the most interesting part was to hear about the findings and analysis results on user perception, efficiency and ease of use of this e-learning course design from learner’s perspective. Among all factors, Ms. Munafo found that learners like a simplified home page with minimal text, graphic links created with universal icons. A animated course “features” video was applicable to help student orient the course with a clear picture.
Another piece that interested me most was the conceptual framework part that Ms. Munafo highlighted in her lecture. There were six models (CASA, CRAP, Backwards Design, Intuitive Design Principles, Mobile Design Principles, Rapid Prototyping) that Ms. Munafo adopted to guide her study this time. Honestly speaking, I hardly knew most of them. I felt it was a worthwhile experience for me to get to know these new concepts through her presentation as a starting point. We might have been convinced by the principle “learning by doing” in our daily life, but I learned from her presentation that “learning by listening from others’ story” was another good source to construct our knowledge as well.
Presenter’s contact: Koran Munafo, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org