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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/239

Title: Investigation of the connections between adult student success, satisfaction, and learning preferences and usable interface design of web-based educational resources (An)
Authors: Rollins, Jason
Keywords: Adult education students;Internet in education;User interfaces (Computer systems)
Issue Date: 4-Dec-2003
Abstract: Whether used as a tool to enhance a traditional classroom, or as the delivery mechanism for Web-based distance learning, the recent impact of the Internet on adult higher education has been substantial. From this, one of the most important emerging challenges to educators is harnessing and adapting the power of these technologies to suit a broad range of adult learners. With the goal of addressing this challenge, this dissertation examined the connections among adult student’s use of Web-based educational resources, the visual design and usability of these applications, student satisfaction, and learning preferences. In this mixed method study of adult learners, 50 volunteer subjects were tested interacting with several different Web sites. Student learning preferences, interface usability, and student self-efficacy and satisfaction with their use of the Web were observed and measured to determine the significance and scope of these associations. Test results were also subjected to linear regression analysis using SAS software. Investigation findings validated the research hypotheses and provided evidence that in many cases, adult students interact differently, and have varying levels of success and satisfaction, with Web-based learning environments depending on both their specific learning style and the visual design of these resources. Test subjects with different learning style strengths had unique preferences for individual interface elements and navigation designs but most perceived Web sites with clearly organized navigation menus, effective search features, and lists of content choices to be the most attractive and effective in facilitating learning. The most significant quantitative connections proved to be between learners with strong preferences on the Visual-Verbal dimension of The Felder / Silverman Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) and correspondingly higher use of either graphic (for visual learners) or text (for verbal learners) interface elements. As well, the connection between higher computer self-efficacy as scored on the Eachus / Cassidy instrument and general subjective satisfaction with the test sites was supported. Also, general design recommendations were made for developing Web-based learning resources based on research findings. Results from this study may be useful to instructors, designers, and researchers working with Web-based educational applications.
URI: http://dspace.library.drexel.edu/handle/1860/239
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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