Developing and Creating Interactive e-Tutorials

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  • Developing and Creating Interactive

    e-Tutorials to support Blended

    Learning in Selected Modules in the

    School of Information and Library

    Studies

    University College Dublin

    This capstone report is submitted in partial fulfilment of the

    requirements for the degree of Master in Library and Information

    Studies.

    Dr. Crystal Fulton & Dr. Claire McGuinness

    August 2014

    Adrian Dunne, Robert Fagan, Fiona Farrelly,

    Jennifer Finnerty, Chelsea Holland, and

    Mark McLoughlin

  • ii

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    We would like to acknowledge the guidance of our supervisors, Dr. Crystal

    Fulton and Dr. Claire McGuinness. Their considered input and assistance at

    every stage successfully steered us through this process; we are extremely

    grateful for this.

    We would also like to thank the SILS administrative staff, Claire Nolan and

    Lisa Gaffney, for their attentive assistance during the project and the academic

    year. We appreciate the collective support and attention received from SILS

    academic staff during the year.

    We recognize the time and effort of our participants who graciously agreed to

    take part in our usability testing. Without their input, the e-Tutorials would not

    have reached their current standard.

    Finally, we would like to thank our families for their constant support and

    encouragement. Their patience during this process was unending, and

    strengthened our persistence.

  • iii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    List of Tables vi

    List of Figures vi

    Abstract viii

    1. Introduction 1

    2. Literature Review 5

    2.1 Introduction to e-Learning 5

    2.1.1 Pedagogy. 5

    2.1.2 Learning behaviours in higher education. 8

    2.1.3 Current theory on e-learning. 10

    2.2 The Use of e-Tutorials 11

    2.2.1 Online versus face-to-face learning. 11

    2.2.2 Distance learning. 15

    2.2.3 Using e-tutorials in UCD. 17

    2.2.4 e-Learning and assessment. 18

    2.3 e-Tutorial Creation and Design 21

    2.3.1 Engaging students in e-learning. 22

    2.3.2 e-Tutorial presentation. 23

    2.3.3 Bowels-Terry et al.s best practices for e-Tutorial

    creation. 24

    2.3.4 e-Tutorial design and accessibility. 25

    2.4 Summary of e-Tutorial Design and Creation Best Practices 28

    2.4.1 Content. 28

    2.4.2 Visual. 28

    2.4.3 Audio. 28

    2.4.4 Pace. 29

    2.4.5 Engagement. 29

  • iv

    Page

    2.4.6 Accessibility 29

    3. Method 30

    3.1 Research Design 30

    3.1.1 Competitive Product Survey: Background and

    Justification. 31

    3.1.2 Think aloud. 34

    3.1.3 Eye-tracker. 35

    3.1.4 Semi-structured interview. 37

    3.2 Ethics 38

    3.3 Selection of Participants 39

    3.4 Participant Profile 40

    3.5 Data Analysis Procedure 43

    4. Results 44

    4.1 e-Tutorials: Created and Redeveloped 44

    4.1.1 Created. 44

    4.1.2 Redeveloped. 46

    4.2 Key Results from Usability Testing 48

    4.2.1 Previous experience of e-tutorials. 48

    4.2.2 Layout. 49

    4.2.3 Visual. 50

    4.2.4 Audio. 53

    4.2.4 Quiz. 55

    4.2.5 Content. 56

    4.2.6 Eye-tracker. 57

    5. Discussion 58

    5.1 Competitive Product Survey 59

    5.2 e-Tutorial Development 60

    5.3 Usability Testing 61

  • v

    Page

    5.4 Interactive Assessment 62

    5.5 Textual, Visual, and Auditory Elements 63

    5.5.1 Textual. 65

    5.5.2 Visual. 66

    5.5.3 Auditory. 66

    5.6 Eye-Tracker Analysis 67

    6. Conclusion 68

    7. Recommendations 69

    8. References 72

    9. Appendices

    Appendix A Human Subjects Exemption from Full Ethical Review

    Form

    Appendix B UCD Insurance Policy

    Appendix C Competitive Product Survey

    Appendix D Wireframes

    Appendix E Letter of Information

    Appendix F Consent Form

    Appendix G Interview Protocol

    Appendix H Interview Questions

    Appendix I Group Reflection

  • vi

    LIST OF TABLES

    Page

    Table 1 Summary of Competitive Product Survey findings 60

    Table 2 Best Practice Guide for Creating an e-Tutorial 70

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Page

    Figure 1 Gender of Participants 41

    Figure 2 Age Range of Participants 41

    Figure 3 Nationality of Participants 42

    Figure 4 Native Language of Participants 42

    Figure 5 Digital Footprint and Online Management 45

    Figure 6 ProQuest Flow 46

    Figure 7 How to Find an Article 47

    Figure 8 Evaluating Digital Information 48

    Figure 9 Previous Use of e-Tutorials 49

    Figure 10 e-Tutorial Layout 49

    Figure 11 e-Tutorial Layout Breakdown 50

    Figure 12 e-Tutorial Colour Scheme 51

    Figure 13 e-Tutorial Colour Scheme Positive Comments Breakdown 51

    Figure 14 Visual Elements Size 52

    Figure 15 Visual Elements Size Breakdown 52

    Figure 16 Audio Clarity 53

    Figure 17 Audio Clarity Breakdown 54

    Figure 18 Narration Pace 55

    Figure 19 Interactive Quiz Questions 56

    Figure 20 Participant Time Focused on Screen 57

    Figure 21 Evaluating Digital Information e-Tutorial Iteration Process 61

  • vii

    Figure 22 Digital Information and Online Reputation Management 64

    Figure 23 Evaluating Digital Information 65

    Figure 24 Example of Eye-Tracker Data 67

  • viii

    Abstract

    This project focused on e-Tutorial development using a mixed methods

    research approach to improve two existing e-Tutorials (How to find an Article

    and Evaluating Digital Information), and create two new e-Tutorials (Digital

    Footprint and Online Reputation Management and Flow) for the School of

    Information and Library Studies (SILS) in University College Dublin (UCD). The

    process also culminated in the formation of a best practice guide for future e-

    Tutorial creation in SILS. The literature review explored the role of e-Learning

    and the implementation of digital learning objects in third level education. The

    competitive product survey a form of benchmarking rather than a traditional

    survey established a knowledge base on the most effective e-Tutorial design

    currently being used by educational institutions. Interviews conducted with SILS

    administrative staff focused on the practical aspect of incorporating SILS

    branding within the e-Tutorials. Once the four e-Tutorials were complete, usability

    testing was conducted with the voluntary participation of a total of 20 SILS

    students, i.e. each e-Tutorial was tested by a different set of 5 students.

    Participants were asked to complete one randomly selected e-Tutorial each while

    voicing any related opinions or thoughts. Additionally, eye-tracking software

    recorded the eye-movements of participants as they watched the e-Tutorial. The

    quantitative data recorded by the eye-tracker was used to verify and enhance the

    information gathered during the think alouds and semi-structured interviews. The

    information gathered in the usability testing was combined to finalise the

    structure of the e-Tutorials in the final stages of the project. The data collected

    throughout the project has highlighted several wider implications in the field of e-

    Learning, such as the process of e-Tutorial creation, and accessible e-Tutorial

    design.

  • 1

    1. Introduction

    The main goal in this project was to create interactive e-Tutorials for

    implementation as part of the blended learning format of selected modules in

    the School of Information and Library Studies (SILS). The stakeholders (SILS)

    have been using the blended learning format in selected modules for quite

    some time. Concannon, Flynn, and Campbell (2005, p. 502) describe blended

    learning as a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials with web-

    based course content. Information portrayed in digital learning objects often

    needs to be updated as terminology and theories evolve over time. The

    projects stakeholders had reached this point.

    In order to produce efficient, up-to-date e-Tutorials, the best ways to

    research e-Tutorial creation, to create e-Tutorials using Articulate software, to

    perform usability testing, and to analyse data collected from the usability

    testing had to be found. Before the project could officially begin, the e-

    Tutorials that needed to be created and those to be redeveloped had to be

    established. The research design was formulated at the beginning of the

    project because, as Kanuka and Kelland (2008, p. 61) have written, failing to

    establish goals results in a lack of direction in the research and a failure to

    provide meaningful results.

    In consultation with our project supervisors, Dr. Crystal Fulton and Dr.

    Claire McGuinness, it was established that the general layout and d