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Monday, November 09, 2009

Defining Quality in Learning for Virtual Worlds, Mobile Devices and Online Modules

What is the definition of the world "Quality"?

There are five ways to consider "quality" in terms of e-learning, virtual worlds or mobile learning:

Functionality. The first and most basic form of quality is "does it work." This is a baseline of quality. Do the links work properly, do the SCORM elements transfer to the LMS properly, the avatars don't freeze or the mobile device doesn't drop the learning nugget. This level of quality does not separate excellent e-learning from good e-learning, however, without functionality, the learning is not of a high quality.

Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation. The basics of the language must be in place. If there are glaring errors in spelling, grammar and use of punctuation, the quality of the learning is not high. These basic elements are a baseline requirement along with Functionality.

Usability. How easy is it for the e-learning, virtual world or mobile lesson to be navigated and used by the learner? Does the learner understand how to move from one screen to another, what items are "clickable" and which are not? How does the learning know to find all of the information within a module. This is where the use of Usability Labs can come into play for determining eye movement on the screen, level of learner frustration and how much time a learner spends on each screen or in each unit of learning.

Content. Is the content accurate, correct and easy to follow. If the content is not correct, it doesn't matter how usable, or error free the material happens to be, the information must be correct. The learner has to be learning the right stuff. Valid content is critical to quality learning in any format.

Learning. This is the most important element. Learning must actually occur for it to be considered high quality e-learning., virtual world learning or mobile learning. If no learning occurs, then the quality is poor. High quality is a result of applying instructional strategies and designing the instruction appropriately.

Is something missing? Did I cover all the issues related to high quality? Tell me what you think?


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Mark Copeman said...

Can something be deemed to be quality without a feedback mechanism for the users to determine whether it's quality or not? So howabout #6 being something around Feedback?

=th said...

To help you to meet some of these outcomes in mobile learning, check out my recent presentation at:

Vinod Varma said...

When we talk about quality, definition that is closest to my heart is ‘value to someone’ from Dr. Gerald M. Weinberg. It is closest to my heart because I find it easy to apply into a business context.

I believe all dimensions (FURPS+) require attention. Reliability, Performance and Supportability of the solution is as important as Functionality and Usability.

Karl Kapp said...

Thanks for the comments and links about quality learning in the mobile space and as it relates to FURPS+ and Mark, I agree that feedback from the customer, internal and external is critical to determining quality.