Academic journal article Informatica Economica

A Multi-Dimensional Assessment Model to Evaluate Web Based Learning Systems

Academic journal article Informatica Economica

A Multi-Dimensional Assessment Model to Evaluate Web Based Learning Systems

Article excerpt

Introduction

In recent times the most important innovation that has changed the face of educational technology is web-based education. This has been possible due to tremendous advancement in the field of computer networks and communication technology. There are two ways in which web based learning may be implemented. The primitive form of this type of learning is Electronic Learning (E-Learning). E-Learning is a general term that is used for learning from any electronic device such as radio, television, computer and all other devices that may be invented in the near future that are electronic in nature [8]. A major disadvantage of this form of learning is lack of ubiquity and idle time utilization. The advancement in the field of mobile communications in late 90's gave birth to Mobile Learning (M-Learning). Mobility added to E-Learning is M-Learning. M-learning enables learning independently of place and time as is ubiquitous through the use of wireless networks and mobile devices [21]. The effectiveness of web based learning is enhanced when several learners attempt to learn something together. In this form of learning, learners can capitalize on one another's resources and skills. Thus Collaborative learning (C-Learning) [7],[12] techniques may be used in E-Learning and M-Learning environments to increase their efficacy.

Web learning systems are multidisciplinary in nature. They are used by learners from various domains who have varied experiences of using these systems. The design goals of these systems are thus highly dependent on the nature of the application and the knowledge of the learner. Efficient design of web learning systems is also dependent on the quality of the instructors, administrators and system designers. Thus there are several factors upon which the success of a web learning system depends. The aim of this study is to develop a multi-dimension model to evaluate web learning systems. It is to be noted that this assessment model is not general in nature. It has been derived on the basis of a survey performed to assess the web learning systems developed by author [2],[3],[4].

Various methods have been employed by the researchers for assessing web based learning systems. A method typically used by several researchers is to develop a set of quality metrics for this purpose. Gafani [13] has used the ISO/IEC 9126 model to propose a set of quality metrics for evaluating Mobile Learning Systems. These metrics were defined and empirically validated for mobile wireless systems. Parsons et al. [24] proposed an assessment of mobile learning quality in terms of learner experience. A conceptual frame work for a mobile learning application was constructed and quality metrics were developed for this purpose. Wang [26] developed a comprehensive model and instrument for measuring learner satisfaction with asynchronous e-learning systems. This study performed different reliability and validity tests for analyzing data from a sample of 116 respondents of a survey. The norms of the evaluation instrument were developed from these. In a slightly different vein, Hwang et al. [17] developed a computer assisted website evaluation system for evaluating educational websites. Soft computing techniques like fuzzy theory, grey systems and group decision methods like Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) have been used for this purpose. It has been found that the developed system is capable of selecting proper criteria for evaluating websites. Alkhalaf et al. [5] has performed a survey on students of two different universities of Saudi Arabia to find the impact of e-learning systems on the learners. Statistical analysis employed on this survey data found that e-learning systems show positive impact on student learning.

In light of the above discussion the organization of this paper is as follows: The following section gives a brief description of the web learning systems developed by the authors and the items used to evaluate these systems. …

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