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Assess technology

Example: Usability testing protocol

  1. Thank the participant for participation in the study
  2. Briefly explain what they are asked to do.
    1. They are going to look at the CTL IAR (Instructional Assessment Resources) site. IAR is intended to provide information for instructional assessment and program evaluation.
    2. Instructional assessment is conducted when instructors (or somebody else) want to assess their teaching effectiveness. Program evaluation is conducted when one wants to evaluate how effectively and efficiently a program is operating.
    3. Testers will look at the IAR site to find certain information, and write short responses. What we are interested in is how well the IAR site is made, and not how skillful testers are in finding information. Therefore, if testers cannot find certain information easily, that gives us important information about the usability of the site. Also, there is no right or wrong method for finding information. Choose the path that makes the most sense.
    4. Before and after performing tasks, we will ask the tester to fill out questionnaires. The first questionnaire they fill out before the tasks is backbround information about the testers. The second questionnaire they fill out after the tasks is about how testers in general felt about the site.
    5. We will observe them while using it, and have them tell us anything they notice or feel about the site, while they use the site. Tell them that their think-around will be recorded. Those comments will be our important data as well. Also what they do on the computer is recorded, but they do not have to worry about it. We just want them to use the site in the way they would usually do.
  3. Ask them to fill out the pre-usability test survey. (Set up the computer while the tester is doing this).
  4. Present the task form and ask them to begin the tasks. Ask them to think aloud as much as possible, especially when they encounter some difficulties. While testers performing the tasks, take observation notes (and write down their comments).
  5. After the tester is done with the tasks, ask the tester to fill out the post-usability test survey.
  6. Thank them for participation.

Materials to prepare for the testing:

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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