Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Promoting Higher Order Thinking Skills Via IPTEACES E-Learning Framework in the Learning of Information Systems Units

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Promoting Higher Order Thinking Skills Via IPTEACES E-Learning Framework in the Learning of Information Systems Units

Article excerpt


To date, many devices have been developed to meet various types of user needs and satisfaction requirements globally and locally. These devices range from the supercomputer to the iPod Mini. To ensure that these devices are efficient, effective and easy to use, designers and developers must consider Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Usability factors in the design process. HCI is about designing a computer system or interface which will enable users to carry out their activities effectively and securely. Furthermore, recent studies (Isomursu, Ervasti, Kinnula, & Isomursu, 2011; Maceli & Atwood, 2011; Sigelman & Rider, 2012) indicate that HCI plays a major and important role in developing devices as well websites to develop interactional techniques and identify the situations where the use of techniques and technologies can be maximized.

Several researchers (Sexton, Miller, & Dietsch, 2011; Te'eni, Carey, & Zhang, 2007; Zheng & Rajapakse, 2007) maintain that a good user interface or device enables users to: 1) perform tasks with less need of control and maintenance by other personnel; 2) use the technology with less training time, fewer skills and less support from others; and 3) complete their job if reliability, availability, security and data integrity are available in the interface or device. Moreover, the interface and device must have integration, consistency and portability.

On the other hand, Usability refers to the quality of the interaction between users and interface in terms of performing tasks in less time with fewer errors, performance, functionality, users' satisfaction and retention time (Borges, Morales, & Rodriguez, n.d.; Cowan & Jack, 2011; Davis & Shipman, 2011; Issa and turk 2012; Kanis, 2011).

Therefore, the integration and assimilation of these concepts in the developer's design, in particular of devices, interfaces and websites, will increase sales, reduce costs and boost labor productivity and require less training of personnel. Furthermore, the development, maintenance and support costs will be decreased and users will have a more gratifying experience when working with these devices. By the same token, Flavian, Guinaliu & Gurrea (2006, p.2) declared that "Website usability is a very important part of the store's image and ... it can influence shopping behavior in a similar way to those aspects of traditional establishments".

To introduce to students the concepts of HCI and Usability, and other concepts (such as evaluation, task analysis, color, navigation, prototyping etc.) which are related to devices and interface development, the second researcher designed a new unit called IS6 based on her PhD research and results. This unit is a core unit for the Master degree in her School, and the same unit is now offered for the same purpose in Portugal--a unit called WSPD. The researchers used an extensive range of assessments to encourage students to critically examine various aspects of HCI and Usability, and to enhance their communication skills. To enhance students' knowledge of HCI and Usability, the researchers adopted the IPTEACES e-learning framework, comprising seven stages, with each stage focusing on specific tasks to be carried out by students to help them understand the concepts and the aims behind IS6 and WSPD.

This study aims to raise postgraduate students' awareness of HCI, Usability and other concepts, since these are necessary for designers and developers, especially in the 21st century. Currently, most devices are developed without designers giving due consideration to these concepts (Issa 2008; Issa and Turk 2012; Lazar, Bessiere, Ceaparu, Robinson, & Shneiderman, 2003; Tuzovic, 2010), and this can lead to user frustration. Therefore, this study is significant as its contribution is both theoretical and practical; it shows the relevance and importance of teaching HCI and Usability in the higher education sector, and identifies the assessments which are required to understand these concepts, by using IPTEACES framework. …

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