Development and Usability of a Samoan Vocabulary Mobile App

Session Description
There were 143 Samoan students taking courses at the University of Hawaii at Manoa during last year Fall 2016 semester. Some of these students were also enrolled in Samoan classes. The courses were taught in the traditional way. The students taking these courses learned the Samoan culture and language through textbooks, articles and old folklores or legendary shared by the instructor. However, these lessons may not be engaging enough for some students to learn the Samoan culture or the language. Although the students have a variety of resources available to them, and a few mobile applications previously developed, the researcher decided to design an effective and engaging mobile application to enhance Samoan language classes.

To assist students in their Samoan language learning, a mobile language learning application, “Samoan Vocabulary App,” was developed and a usability study conducted. The purpose of this usability study was to develop and evaluate the ease of use of a Samoan vocabulary app for beginner-intermediate Samoan students at a large university in Hawaii. The study included two rounds of usability testing and examined the usefulness and effectiveness of the mobile application. A pre-survey, usability protocol script, post-survey and an observational/interview guide helped to identify the issues in the mobile application. They also helped with improvements to the app. The changes were made after each round of testing. Its use is recommended to help students who are struggling or want to learn the Samoan language to using the mobile application.

  • Raisa Ongosia, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Aiea, Hawaii, USA
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