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27-08-2020 | Issue 1/2021

Journal of Computers in Education 1/2021

Integrating heuristics and think-aloud approach to evaluate the usability of game-based learning material

Journal:
Journal of Computers in Education > Issue 1/2021
Authors:
Chi-Cheng Chang, Tristan Johnson
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability of a game-based learning material. The heuristics and think-aloud approach were employed to determine the usability of the learning material. Four experts used the learning material independently and completed a heuristic evaluation questionnaire based on a design and use perspective. Forty-five university students used the learning material independently and completed a heuristic evaluation questionnaire based on their experiences. The heuristic evaluation questionnaire was comprised of six constructs with a total of twelve heuristic evaluation criteria. The experts and students provided data about usability problems while using the learning material. The usability problems that were found included: (a) inconsistent interface styles on different learning units (i.e., game scenes) that affected the learnability, memorability and operation of interfaces; (b) inadequate operational efficiency and guidance could be improved; (c) small games and instructional videos could probably increase learning times and loads; (d) different guidance and supports for errors and inconsistent display styles of error messages for each learning units; and (e) inappropriate feedback on errors and inadequate interaction on instructional videos. The usability problems were identified and improved with the usability evaluation methods. Educational implication and research recommendation are discussed.

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