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Journal ArticleDOI

Enhancing Learning Management Systems Utility for Blind Students: A Task-Oriented, User-Centered, Multi-Method Evaluation Technique.

01 Jan 2013-Vol. 12, Iss: 1, pp 1-32

TL;DR: It is demonstrated how TUME can be used to identify the unique problems and challenges of specific user types in using Web-based applications and suggests po-tential solutions.

AbstractThis paper presents a novel task-oriented, user-centered, multi-method evaluation (TUME) tech-nique and shows how it is useful in providing a more complete, practical and solution-oriented assessment of the accessibility and usability of Learning Management Systems (LMS) for blind and visually impaired (BVI) students. Novel components of TUME include a purposeful integra-tion of a multi-theoretic foundation and multiple methods to accurately identify users’ accessibil-ity and usability problems in Web interaction and identify design problems and solutions to en-sure technical feasibility of recommendations. The problems identified by TUME remain hidden from extant evaluation methods - therefore, these problems remain in Web-based applications. As a result, evaluation of Web-based applications remains confounded by users’ Web interaction challenges; their utility for specific user types remains unclear. Without appropriate evaluation of users’ problems and challenges in using Web-based applications, we cannot begin to solve these problems and challenges. This paper demonstrates how TUME can be used to identify the unique problems and challenges of specific user types in using Web-based applications and suggests po-tential solutions. The outcome is an accurate understanding of specific design elements that pre-sent roadblocks and challenges for the user in interacting with the Web-based application and feasible design modifications to potentially improve the utility of these applications for specific user types.

Topics: Web modeling (63%), Web engineering (63%), Usability (57%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings of this study show that the experimental group encountered fewer number of help-seeking situations than the control group when interacting with the experimental and baseline versions of a DL.
Abstract: Blind and visually impaired (BVI) users experience vulnerabilities in digital library (DL) environments largely due to limitations in DL design that prevent them from effectively interacting with DL content and features. Existing research has not adequately examined how BVI users interact with DLs, nor the typical problems encountered during interactions. This is the first study conducted to test whether implementing help features corresponding to BVI users’ needs can reduce five critical help-seeking situations they typically encounter, with the goal to further enhance usability of DLs. Multiple data collection methods including pre-questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, transaction logs, and pre and post search interviews, were employed in an experimental design. Forty subjects were divided into two groups with similar demographic data based on data generated from pre-questionnaires. The findings of this study show that the experimental group encountered fewer number of help-seeking situations than the control group when interacting with the experimental and baseline versions of a DL. Moreover, the experimental group outperformed the control group on perceived usefulness of the DL features, ease of use of the DL, and DL satisfaction. This study provides theoretical and practical contributions to the field of library and information science. Theoretically, this study frames vulnerabilities of BVI users within the social model of disability in which improper DL design impairs their ability to effectively access and use DLs. Practically, this study takes into account BVI users’ critical help-seeking situations and further translates these into the design of help features to improve the usability of DLs.

15 citations


Cites background from "Enhancing Learning Management Syste..."

  • ...Prior research (Babu & Singh, 2013; Clark, 2006; Di Blas et al., 2004; Leuthold, Bargas-Avila & Opwis, 2008) has consistently shown that while these supports are necessary for technical accessibility, they do not fully account for the differing abilities, needs, and challenges of BVI users in…...

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Dissertation
01 Sep 2017
TL;DR: This research aims to provide a further understanding of the problems blind users have on the web by comparing and contrasting problems between blind and sighted users and testing how design solutions to prevalent problems benefit blind users’ experience.
Abstract: The web is an eminently visual medium. However, not everyone accesses web content visually. Research shows that using the web is challenging for blind users. To create a good user experience for blind users on the web, we need a comprehensive understanding of the users’ problems. Currently, there is little knowledge about the problem differences between blind and sighted users, which makes it difficult to suggest and test design solutions that address these problems. This research aims to provide a further understanding of the problems blind users have on the web by comparing and contrasting problems between blind and sighted users and testing how design solutions to prevalent problems benefit blind users’ experience. The first study draws together the research literature into a common unified definition of web accessibility that was used to operationalise studies. The second study compared which verbal protocol (concurrent or retrospective) is better in user-based studies. The results showed that retrospective verbal protocol is a better option for eliciting problems on the web for blind and sighted users. Then, an empirical study compared the problems between blind and sighted users on the web. The results showed that the problems the two user groups encounter largely differ. There are specific problem types distinct to blind users, but also the characteristics of the problem types that had instances by both user groups were very different. Moreover, many problems blind users encounter were in relation to the search and browse features of the websites. A further investigation by two studies with blind users of how specific design solutions to prevalent problems users had (poor page structure, lack of feedback and excessive effort) in this specific design aspect showed that simple design solutions improve specific aspects of users’ experience. Although, for major improvements in the overall user experience a combination of design solutions is needed.

10 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...…2004; Lazar et al., 2012; Ramayah, Jaafar, & Yatim, 2013; Yoon, Newberry, Hulscher, & Dols, 2013), non-descriptive links (AbuDoush et al., 2013; R. Babu & Singh, 2013a; Brebner & Parkinson, 2006; Byerley & Beth Chambers, 2002; Disability Rights Commission, 2004; Federici et al., 2005; André…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper raises awareness of design choices that can unintentionally bar blind information seekers from DL access, and further suggests solutions to reduce these design problems for blind users.
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore design issues hampering the accessibility of digital libraries (DLs) for first-time blind users. Design/methodology/approach A combination of questionnaire, pre-interview, think-aloud and post-interview methods was used to collect data on non-visual interaction experiences with American Memory Digital Collection (AMDC) from 15 blind participants. Qualitative analysis via open coding revealed recurring themes on design problems and consequent difficulties for blind users in accessing DLs. Findings It was found that AMDC is not blind-friendly. Five categories of design problems were identified. Participants faced difficulty perceiving, operating and understanding content and controls needed for information retrieval. Research limitations/implications This paper does not offer a comprehensive set of design issues prevalent across DL design models, instead it focuses on design problems observed in a publicly available DL. Practical implications This paper raises awareness of design choices that can unintentionally bar blind information seekers from DL access, and further suggests solutions to reduce these design problems for blind users. Originality/value The paper’s originality is its identification of unique design problems that prevent blind users from effectively interacting with DLs.

8 citations


Cites background from "Enhancing Learning Management Syste..."

  • ...The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (W3C, 2005) addressed Web page interoperability with the SR. WCAG compliance is necessary but not sufficient to create a blind-friendly digital environment (Babu and Singh, 2013)....

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  • ...The sight-centred design of digital resources presents challenges in SR-mediated interaction (Babu and Singh, 2013)....

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  • ...WCAG compliance is necessary but not sufficient to create a blind-friendly digital environment (Babu and Singh, 2013)....

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  • ...However, many users prefer listening to the page in chunks, rather than this continuous audio stream (Babu and Singh, 2013)....

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DOI
23 Jan 2014
TL;DR: It shows how blind users think, act and perceive in performing common social media functions non-visually, and has implications for the design of non-visual user interfaces to access social media through ‘Internet of Things’ and in multi-tasking situations.
Abstract: Social media allow people to communicate, collaborate and socialize for personal and professional matters. However, their sight-centered design can present access and usability problems for the blind. Existing quantitative approaches to usability testing do not provide in-depth assessment of the problem. This paper presents a qualitative approach to test social media usability, and illustrates its application to evaluate Facebook for the blind. Think-aloud observation of six blind participants generated verbal evidence of their Facebook interaction experiences. Verbal protocol analysis explained the nature of interaction challenges in performing common Facebook functions. Design standards analysis explained design errors in Facebook interface. It helped identify remedial measures to potentially improve Facebook usability. Findings demonstrate the utility of the qualitative approach to feasibly evaluate social media usability for blind users. It shows how blind users think, act and perceive in performing common social media functions non-visually. This has implications for the design of non-visual user interfaces to access social media through ‘Internet of Things’ and in multi-tasking situations.

8 citations


Cites background or methods from "Enhancing Learning Management Syste..."

  • ...Its hallmark is a combination user-centered and task-based approach, [15] with verbal protocol analysis, [5] an integrated problemsolving framework [11] and design standards analysis [12] for an in-depth, contextually-situated and experiential understanding of the problem....

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  • ...Design standard analysis [12] identified design errors responsible and potential remedial measures....

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  • ...Babu and Singh [12] employed design standards analysis to determine the accessibility and usability character of an interaction challenge....

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  • ...[5] Babu, Singh and Ganesh [15] adapted VPA for a closer examination of blind users’ actions in completing online tasks....

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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: Results show that locating Friend's profile and Timeline, reading, writing, and posting messages were significantly challenging, and participants needed additional time and effort to perform these basic SNS functions that are integral parts of informal learning activities.
Abstract: Social Networking Sites (SNS) are increasingly used in academia to facilitate informal learning, knowledge co-creation, and collaborative problem-solving. Deriving these pedagogic benefits requires SNS usability for all. This paper reports results of an early investigation into SNS usability for blind students. Think-aloud observations generated verbal evidence of six participants' Facebook interaction experiences. Verbal protocol analysis revealed where and how challenges arose in online social interactions. Design standards analysis identified responsible interface elements and potential remedial measures. Results show that locating Friend's profile and Timeline, reading, writing, and posting messages were significantly challenging. Participants needed additional time and effort, and occasionally sighted help, to perform these basic SNS functions that are integral parts of informal learning activities. Feasible design improvements are proposed that merit further investigation. Implications for educators, learning technologists, cognitive scientists, and usability experts are discussed.

8 citations


References
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Book
01 Jan 1997
Abstract: Albert Bandura and the Exercise of Self-Efficacy Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control Albert Bandura. New York: W. H. Freeman (www.whfreeman.com). 1997, 604 pp., $46.00 (hardcover). Enter the term "self-efficacy" in the on-line PSYCLIT database and you will find over 2500 articles, all of which stem from the seminal contributions of Albert Bandura. It is difficult to do justice to the immense importance of this research for our theories, our practice, and indeed for human welfare. Self-efficacy (SE) has proven to be a fruitful construct in spheres ranging from phobias (Bandura, Jeffery, & Gajdos, 1975) and depression (Holahan & Holahan, 1987) to career choice behavior (Betz & Hackett, 1986) and managerial functioning (Jenkins, 1994). Bandura's Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control is the best attempt so far at organizing, summarizing, and distilling meaning from this vast and diverse literature. Self-Efficacy may prove to be Bandura's magnum opus. Dr. Bandura has done an impressive job of summarizing over 1800 studies and papers, integrating these results into a coherent framework, and detailing implications for theory and practice. While incorporating prior works such as Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) and "Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency" (Bandura, 1982), Self-Efficacy extends these works by describing results of diverse new research, clarifying and extending social cognitive theory, and fleshing out implications of the theory for groups, organizations, political bodies, and societies. Along the way, Dr. Bandura masterfully contrasts social cognitive theory with many other theories of human behavior and helps chart a course for future research. Throughout, B andura' s clear, firm, and self-confident writing serves as the perfect vehicle for the theory he espouses. Self-Efficacy begins with the most detailed and clear explication of social cognitive theory that I have yet seen, and proceeds to delineate the nature and sources of SE, the well-known processes via which SE mediates human behavior, and the development of SE over the life span. After laying this theoretical groundwork, subsequent chapters delineate the relevance of SE to human endeavor in a variety of specific content areas including cognitive and intellectual functioning; health; clinical problems including anxiety, phobias, depression, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and drug abuse; athletics and exercise activity; organizations; politics; and societal change. In Bandura's words, "Perceived self-efficacy refers to beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments" (p. 3). People's SE beliefs have a greater effect on their motivation, emotions, and actions than what is objectively true (e.g., actual skill level). Therefore, SE beliefs are immensely important in choice of behaviors (including occupations, social relationships, and a host of day-to-day behaviors), effort expenditure, perseverance in pursuit of goals, resilience to setbacks and problems, stress level and affect, and indeed in our ways of thinking about ourselves and others. Bandura affirms many times that humans are proactive and free as well as determined: They are "at least partial architects of their own destinies" (p. 8). Because SE beliefs powerfully affect human behaviors, they are a key factor in human purposive activity or agency; that is, in human freedom. Because humans shape their environment even as they are shaped by it, SE beliefs are also pivotal in the construction of our social and physical environments. Bandura details over two decades of research confirming that SE is modifiable via mastery experiences, vicarious learning, verbal persuasion, and interpretation of physiological states, and that modified SE strongly and consistently predicts outcomes. SE beliefs, then, are central to human self-determination. STRENGTHS One major strength of Self-Efficacy is Bandura's ability to deftly dance from forest to trees and back again to forest, using specific, human examples and concrete situations to highlight his major theoretical premises, to which he then returns. …

44,457 citations



Book
01 Jan 1998
Abstract: This book explores the philosophical underpinnings, history and key elements of five qualitative inquiry traditions: biography, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography and case study. John W Creswell relates research designs to each of the traditions of inquiry and compares each of the research strategies for theoretical frameworks, writing introduction to studies, collecting data, analyzing data, writing the narrative, and employing standards of quality and verifying results. Five journal articles in the appendix offer fascinating reading as well as examples of the five different qualitative designs.

22,576 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This publication contains reprint articles for which IEEE does not hold copyright and which are likely to be copyrighted.
Abstract: Social network sites SNSs are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles in this special section and conclude with considerations for future research

14,041 citations


Book
01 Jan 1993
TL;DR: This guide to the methods of usability engineering provides cost-effective methods that will help developers improve their user interfaces immediately and shows you how to avoid the four most frequently listed reasons for delay in software projects.
Abstract: From the Publisher: Written by the author of the best-selling HyperText & HyperMedia, this book provides an excellent guide to the methods of usability engineering. Special features: emphasizes cost-effective methods that will help developers improve their user interfaces immediately, shows you how to avoid the four most frequently listed reasons for delay in software projects, provides step-by-step information about which methods to use at various stages during the development life cycle, and offers information on the unique issues relating to informational usability. You do not need to have previous knowledge of usability to implement the methods provided, yet all of the latest research is covered.

11,649 citations


"Enhancing Learning Management Syste..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...Violation of Satisfaction principle: This principle (Nielsen, 1993) highlights the importance of user satisfaction with the system and its function....

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  • ...We also adopted usability principles/heuristics for BVI users (Nielsen, 1993); Principles of Good Design (Norman, 2002); and Golden Rules of Interface Design (Shneiderman & Plaisant, 2004)....

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  • ...Violation of the Learnability and Efficiency principles: These principles of usability discussed in Nielsen (1993) are interrelated....

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