Usability Testing with Online Research Panels: A Case Study from the Field of Instructional Design
Shahron Williams van Rooij, George Mason University, United States
International Journal on E-Learning Volume 12, Number 4, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
One of the challenges experienced by students of instructional design is eliciting user participation when designing and developing products for course or program projects, particularly over multiple cycles of evaluation. Student projects do not normally have budgets to engage recruitment companies or provide participant incentives. This paper describes the value of using online research panels in the context of a prototype development project in a graduate-level instructional design program in a U.S. institution in the mid-Atlantic region. Using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, the student design team collected qualitative as well as quantitative data from a fixed panel of participants during the formative evaluation of the working prototype of a new website. Data collection methods and use of test results were consistent with what the literature identifies as essential elements in user-centered design. Results of the case study indicate that fixed participant panels are a viable approach to the recruitment and retention of participants who are representative of the product’s target audience, providing designers with a continuous source of user research for iterative evaluations throughout the design and development process.
Williams van Rooij, S. (2013). Usability Testing with Online Research Panels: A Case Study from the Field of Instructional Design. International Journal on E-Learning, 12(4), 403-423. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2013 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)