Usability Study on a Website Integrating Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) and Google Apps for Education (GAFE)

Session Description
This usability project was created in order to test a website designed for teachers to implement the pedagogical approach, Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), designed by Sugata Mitra, and the technology suite, Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Mitra’s School in the Cloud website, which facilitates SOLE sessions, lacks the ability to easily share and save student presentations. Adding this functionality was the primary reason for developing the website for this project. Google Sites was used to develop the website, taking into account design features which aid in a simple and effective user experience (Krug, 2010). Educators from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and teachers from the University Laboratory School volunteered to test the website’s usability. Each participant was asked to go through a series of scenarios, resulting in revisions to further aid the usability of the website. After collecting the data, it was clear that certain features and wording needed to be changed to make the website more accessible, but the main features were easily understood once located, and users were able to successfully complete the tasks they were presented with. Through observations and interviews, the ability to run inquiry-based lessons and participate in a global community of students and teachers was clearly desired. The conclusion reached through this usability study is to further develop the primary features tested, with the aim to integrate more seamless communication and sharing between users.
  • Matthew Baylor
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