Using Learning Styles to Differentiate: A Usability Study of a Teacher Resource Website [4/18/2017] by Jennifer Smith (Featured LTEC Master Student)

written by Mae Dorado (TCC 2017 guest blogger, Online LTEC Master Student)

New to the TCC experience and not knowing what to expect… it was interesting to attend the Master student project sessions. One presenter whose topic really captured my attention was Jennifer Smith’s topic on differentiation of learning styles in a usability study.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 13.26.43

Her passionate and enthusiasm for this topic was obvious as she greeted everyone with a warm and friendly “Aloha” and started with a fun and engaging poll to learn more about her audience. The poll gave the audience the opportunity to learn about what everyone’s favorite subject was in school and how we preferred to learn. Using the blackboard collaborate pen tool, we discovered that the audience’s favorite subjects were math, art, science, physical education and social studies; 5 out of 6 of the subjects were selected, and the majority of the audience valued seeing and doing as preferred methods of learning over writing.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 13.26.57

Based on this activity, and what captured my attention, was her explanation with the slide to the right; she was able to deduce that “Everyone prefers different subjects and has different ways of learning” and “Each person has a learning style as individual as a signature.”
As a fellow educator, I could relate to her reasoning for implementing this topic as her Masters Project. As she elaborated, the problem started because teachers were highly encouraged to differentiate instruction; without the adequate time to plan and develop the instruction. I agreed with her deduction that “time is a commodity for every educator.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 13.27.08

She went on to explain in her web design, as captured on the left, that it should include “aesthetically pleasing, clear and engaging images to most effectively engage users.” Her target audience included K-12 and home educators, and I was impressed by her display of primary tools used, such as, Pow Toon, Shutterstock and Google to mention a few.
In covering her site content, it should be “self-evident, obvious, and self-explanatory to users.” She included information about the different learning styles, learning style assessment, and specific teaching strategies for each learning style.
Her analysis of her usability results helped her to identify and prioritize problems and issues and how to fix the problems.
Overall her presentation was excellent. It was short and sweet, with particular focus on the design and methods of improvement to her design.
Jennifer was extremely helpful to learn from. As a new Masters Student, it is challenging to decide which direction I want to take for my own Masters project; however, Jennifer’s presentation simplified the process and gave students wonderful ideals to help with their project focus. It truly was a worthwhile experience to attend especially if a student considers a usability study.
The take home message from this session, as Jennifer pointed out in the end, was “What makes sense to a designer, doesn’t always make sense to the user.” Keep your audience in mind when building your instructional design.

Jennifer Smith can be reached at

Posted in Guest contributor, TCC 2017 | Leave a comment

TCC 2017 : Call for Participation

Join us for the TCC 2017 Worldwide Online Conference, April 18-20: Changing to Learn, Learning to Change

Enjoy keynote and special regional sessions by:

Drs. Malcolm Brown & Veronica Diaz, Educause Learning Initiative, USA
Dr. Hannah Gerber, Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA
Dr. Kumiko Aoki, Open University of Japan, Tokyo
Dr. Peter Leong, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA
Dr. Mikhail Fominykh, Molde University College, Norway

TCC is a three-day, entirely online conference for post-secondary faculty and staff worldwide with over 100 sessions that cover a wide-range of topics related to distance learning and emerging technologies for teaching and learning.

To register:

Individuals participate in real-time sessions from the comfort of their workplace or home using a web browser to connect to individual sessions. All sessions are recorded for on-demand viewing.

For the current schedule of presentations and descriptions, see:

We look forward to seeing you at TCC 2017.

# # # # #

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TCC 2017 Pre-conference: New Way of Looking at Apps

Ahead of this year’s main conference, TCC 2017 is hosting a FREE special webinar featuring Lucy MacDonald.

A New Way of Looking at Apps

Lucy MacDonald will share experience gained through a MOOC delivered from Ireland to 3000 individuals. She learned about the pedagogy of using apps to benefit student learning. In this session, Lucy will show how the application, GeoSpike, was presented as a future way of looking at apps.

Date & time
March 15, 2:00 PM HAST

Other times

Register now for this FREE session!
If you wish to participate in this special event, please RSVP. Access information will be sent to you a few days before this event. This online session will be held in Blackboard Collaborate. Deadline to register, March 9.

More info


Lucy MacDonald portrait


Lucy MacDonald
Technology Institute for Developmental Educators (TIDE), Texas State, San Marcos
Fellow of the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA)

REGISTER ALSO for the main conference!
TCC 2017 Online Conference, 22nd edition
April 18-20, 2017

Registration and information available.

– Bert Kimura, Curtis Ho & Sharon Fowler
TCC 2016 Online Conference coordinators

# # # # #

— Join our mailing list —

Posted in TCC 2017, TCC Pre-Con, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TCC 2017 : Proposal submission deadline extended


Happy Holidays!

We have extended the deadline for TCC 2017 (April 18-20) proposal submissions to January 5, 2017.

Registration details to be announced in February. Stay tuned!

Full details available at:

Best wishes for the New Year from the TCC conference team!

Keep informed about this event by joining our mailing list.

# # # # #

Posted in TCC 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TCC 2017 : Call for Proposals

22nd Annual
TCC Worldwide Online Conference
April 18-20, 2017

Changing to Learn, Learning to Change
EXTENDED Submission deadline
January 5, 2017
December 27, 2016

Call for Proposals
Please consider submitting a proposal for a paper or general session related to all aspects of learning, design, and technology including but not limited to e-learning, online learning communities, collaborative learning, social media, mobile learning, emerging technologies, international education, and professional development.

Suggested topics & full details

Proposal submission

Participate in this event entirely online. We deliver all sessions online in real-time. Sessions will also be recorded for later viewing.

More info
Bert Kimura <> or Curtis Ho <>

TCC Hawaii, LearningTimes, & the Learning Design and Technology Department, College of Education, UH-Manoa collaborate to produce this event. Numerous volunteer faculty and staff worldwide provide additional support.

Keep informed about this event by joining our mailing list.

# # # # #

Posted in TCC 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Join TCCfx 2016, a free mini-conference

TCCfx 2016 is a complimentary 1-day online conference that serves as a platform for the growing educational technology community. This online conference aims to connect, collaborate, create, and improve teaching and learning in the 21st century by empowering current and prospective educational technology students and others to prepare for success in their graduate programs and their future professions.


  • Prepare masters students for their projects
  • Ph.D. research & technology
  • Educational technology directions
  • Careers in educational technology
  • International research and collaboration
  • Technology tools

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2016

Time: 1:30 pm-6:00 pm HST
For event times in other timezones, see:

Location: Online (Collaborate Ultra). Conference site will open at 1:30 pm HST (LINK to website and schedule to be distributed by email to registered participants.


Registration deadline: November 4, 2016

# # # # #

Posted in TCCfx | Leave a comment

Usability Study of a Simplified eLearning Design that Integrates Google@UH Apps and the Laulima LMS by Koran Munafo (Featured Learning Design & Technology Master Student)

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.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.24.56 AM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.10.35 PM

Presenter’s contact: Koran Munafo, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, USA,

Posted in TCC 2016 | Leave a comment