Are Language Learning Websites Special? Towards a Research Agenda for Discipline-Specific Usability
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Shield, L. & Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2006). Are Language Learning Websites Special? Towards a Research Agenda for Discipline-Specific Usability. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 15(3), 349-369. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/6316.
Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia
Volume 15, Issue 3, July 2006
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Chesapeake, VA
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With the intention of defining an initial research agenda for discipline-specific factors in the usability of e-learning websites, this article focuses on the example of foreign language learning. First, general notions and concepts of usability are analyzed, and the term "pedagogical usability" is proposed as a means of focusing on the close relationship between usability and pedagogical design. Then, to address the key issue of whether there are aspects of pedagogical usability that are discipline-specific, the article examines how language learning and teaching, in particular Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL), has approached usability when developing technology-enhanced learning materials. Three elements of a research agenda are identified: (a) pedagogical usability, (b) intercultural usability, and (c)website evaluation. In conclusion, it is suggested that, just as language learning websites may require a discipline-specific approach, other disciplines pedagogical usability may also need to be considered in relation to the specific requirements of the discipline, and that a debate around these issues is timely.
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