Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Today's Daily Links from elearningpost contains one from eLearn Magazine. The article Usability-Tested E-learning? Not Until the Market Requires It discusses the issue of usability and e-learning:
The idea of e-learning usability is still so new it’s barely on the market’s radar screen. Usability testing traditionally offers a way to ensure a product or a piece of software “works”--that is, that most people can make sense of it and use it with ease. But here’s the rub: Established sets of principles of what “works” for online learning, based on research findings or industry best practices, do not yet exist. “There are very few tests that show e-learning is doing anything,” says Jay Cross, founder of the Internet Time Group, a consulting firm. “There’s no way for most buyers to make any evaluation except to say it looks pretty.”
I suspect that the question of "usability", or lack thereof, will ultimately be huge issue for developers and consumers of online education products and services.

You can be sure that consumers of these products and services will become more discriminating with time. You can also be sure that vendors will move to address the usability issue to be better able to overcome the objections of potential consumers as well as to gain and leverage competitive advantages in the marketplace.

Given the huge amounts of money up for grabs, you can be sure that the players in this market will seek out any and all competitive advantages to be had.

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