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A Conceptual Framework for Using and Evaluating Web-Based Learning Resources in School Education

, University of Agder, Norway

JITE-Research Volume 9, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


Web-based learning resources (WBLRs) have provided teachers with a wide range of new teaching experiences that are not possible in traditional classroom. However, little research has been done as to which approach to WBLRs is suitable to address issues that are pertinent to learning. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to explore the design and evaluation of WBLRs in school education. The paper also examines the way in which the framework is used to evaluate students’ and teachers’ perceptions of WBLRs by means of survey questionnaires. Before developing the framework, a literature review is undertaken to report on the state of research in the field of WBLRs. The literature review reveals a lack of design and evaluation of WBLRs in educational settings. Then, the framework is developed in three steps. First, the concept of WBLR is defined as a learning object that exists at the intersection of content, pedagogy, and technology. Second, concepts of usability are analyzed, and a definition of technical and pedagogical usability is proposed. Technical usability is a self-evident requirement, but it is not sufficient for designing pedagogically usable WBLRs. The usability concept must be extended to capture issues that are fundamental to learning. Nevertheless, technical and pedagogical usability cannot be considered as separate, disjointed activities. Finally, the context of use and evaluation is specified. The context is the totality of relationships between students and surrounding elements within a teaching and learning situation. The WBLR can be considered as an element of the context, and as such, it becomes a source of learning, by means of interaction with the students. To investigate the value of the framework, a case study is undertaken in three classes. To this end, the framework was used to inform the study, and the findings of the study were mapped back onto the framework in order to identify additional features found in classroom settings and points in the conceptual framework that did not significantly impact the case study. The main factor that impacted the design and evaluation of WBLRs was the pedagogical usability. While students and teachers globally agreed about technical usability, the findings indicate that they differed in their perceptions of pedagogical usability. In addition, the conceptual framework and the findings of the case study differed to a certain degree regarding the connectedness of some pedagogical usability criteria. The findings also revealed the existence of cultural values connected to students’ preferred choices. This factor has not been explicitly anticipated from the conceptual framework. The findings cannot be generalized due to the limited nature of the study. However, the article proposes elements of a future research work that should be taken forward to generate a more complete picture of usability issues and what constitutes WBLRs in school education.


Hadjerrouit, S. (2010). A Conceptual Framework for Using and Evaluating Web-Based Learning Resources in School Education. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 9(1), 53-79. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved July 27, 2021 from .



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