Course Overview



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Video Transcript

This MOOC is broken up into five separate units that collectively seek to help you answer one big question: How do I design, develop, and evaluate usable digital environments?

In order to help you answer this question, this course has five guiding learning outcomes centered around your ability to:

  1. Apply usability principles.
  2. Apply user-centered design.
  3. Apply ADDIE systems design process.
  4. Develop a highly usable website
  5. Articulate history and emerging trends in web design and usability.

The five units are designed so that you can take each independently of the others, but collectively they are sequenced to build on one another. The five units are:

  • Unit 1: Usability
  • Unit 2: User-Centered Design
  • Unit 3: ADDIE Systems Design And Development Process
  • Unit 4: Empirical and Non-Empirical Usability Evaluation and Testing
  • Unit 5: History of the Web and Usability

Unit 1 will go over how usability is relevant in your day-to-day life and all around you in every day. We will also go into the formal definitions of usability, the process for designing it into your web spaces and/or products and services, and how to validly-test it so that you have a continuous improvement cycle in place. We also define the basics behind information, information-seeking behavior, and information architecture that helps facilitate efficient access and ease of use for users.

[In] Unit 2 we’ll explore the core concept of user-centered design and delve into differences in [how] adults, youth, and children seek and prefer and consume information on the web.

Unit 3 covers the ADDIE systems design process, which stands for assess, analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate, and is where we move from the conceptual to the practical, roll up our sleeves, and design a highly usable website from the ground up.

Unit 4 covers both empirical and non-empirical usability evaluation and testing, and we’ll test our websites both with users and without users.

And, finally, Unit 5 covers the growing history of the web and usability and asks you to help us project what Web 30 does and may continue to look like in the future.

As an educational psychologist in instructional technologies, each unit is designed to introduce and have you apply the concepts as well as discuss them in a learning community. In addition, we are using gamification principles in that all quizzes and unit tests will have a point system and leaderboard associated with them.

As far as progressing through this course, view the presentation for each section and then immediately take the review session while it is fresh in your mind. The readings, discussion questions, and hands-on activity are the final aspects of each section. We also have put together a case-study video so you take a look at how we follow the pervasive usability process and evolve users throughout the development of this MOOC.

Let me provide a quick overview of each.

The review sessions. Each section will have a short review session that covers the major aspects. They’re mastery based, which means you can take them as many times as you like. Mastery for this MOOC is scoring over 90 percent, which in this case means you need to get all of the five questions correct. From a learning standpoint, engaging with the material will help you learn the concepts and skills at a higher level.

The discussions. Discussions and dialogue around your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with others is critical in forming a more complex and precise picture of the concepts we are covering in this MOOC. Is your perspective shared by others? What are the experiences of other people? Using threaded discussion, answer the questions posed in each section and see what others have to say.

  1. These will be supplemental readings that cover what we discussed at a much deeper and more precise level. They’re optional, but recommended for future reading.

Hands-on activities. It is said you remember over 90 percent of what you do and only 10 percent of what you read and 20 percent of what you read and hear. It is essential that you do the hands-on activities that will allow you to apply the skills we are discussing.

The case studies. The case studies will show you our process for developing the MOOC step by step and include images and video from both the designers, developer, and user groups that help guide us through this process.

In each section, I’ll present the material via video as well as provide you with a full-text transcript if you just prefer to read instead. You do not have to follow the sequence we have laid out for you and are free to move to any part of the MOOC at any time. I do, however, recommend you follow the recommended sequence. View the presentation, answer the review questions, discuss on the discussion board, and then do the hands-on activity. Each unit is based on the previous and will culminate with you developing your own website using pervasive usability methodology.

I am so delighted that you have decided to join me in this journey and look forward to guiding you through our MOOC: Web Design and Usability. Are you ready? Let’s begin.