Web-Based Learning Objects in School Education

Pedagogical Usability Issues
  • Said HadjerrouitEmail author


The added value of Web-based learning objects (WBLOs) lies in supporting learners to acquire the right knowledge and skills in order to function as active and collaborative learners. To realize this, WBLOs must be both technically and pedagogically usable. Technical usability in itself is not sufficient. To support the learning process, the usability concept must be extended to include pedagogical considerations. The importance of pedagogical usability in education has been recognized, but not sufficiently researched. In addition, little research has been done to evaluate the pedagogical value of WBLOs. The main goal of this paper is to show how to foster pedagogically usable WBLOs in school education. The article also reports on students’ perceptions of WBLOs by means of survey questionnaires


Learning theory Pedagogical usability Technical usability Web-based learning objects WBLO 


  1. Belland, B. R. (2009). Using the theory of habitus to move beyond the study of barriers to technology integration. Computers & Education, 52, 353–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brinck, T., Gergle, D., & Wood, S. D. (2002). Usability for the web: Designing web sites that work. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman.Google Scholar
  3. Bowler, L., Large, A., Beheshti, J., & Nesset, V. (2005). Children and adults working together in the zone of proximal development: A concept for user-centered design. Proceedings of Annual CAIS/ACSI conference 2005. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from
  4. Elliott, G.J., Jones, E., & Barker, P. (2002). A grounded approach to modeling learnability of hypermedia authoring tools. Interacting with Computers, 14, 547–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Erstad, O. (2006). A new direction? Digital literacy, student participation and curriculum reform in Norway. Education and Information Technologies, 11, 415–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gadanidis, G., & Schindler, K. (2006). Learning objects, Type II Applications, and embedded pedagogical models. Computers in the Schools, 21(1), 19–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ingram, A. (2003). Usability of alternative web course structures. Computer in the Schools, 19(3), 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ITU Monitor (2009). The digital state of affairs in norwegian schools. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from
  9. Jamieson-proctor, R., Watson, G., Finger, G., Grimbek, G., & Burnett, P. C. (2007). Measuring the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the classroom. Computers in the Schools, 21(1), 167–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. John, P., & Sutherland, R. (2009). Teaching and learning with ICT: New technology, new pedagogy? Education, Communication & Information, 4(1), 101–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kay, R., & Petrarca, D. (2009). Exploring teachers perceptions of web-based learning tools. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 5, 27–50.Google Scholar
  12. Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L. (2004). Usability and pedagogical design: Are language learning web sites special? Proceedings of ED-MEDIA (World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications), Lugano, Switzerland, June 21–26, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2009, from, 4235–4242.
  13. Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leacock, T. L., & Nesbit, J. C. (2007). A framework for the quality of multimedia resources. Educational Technology & Society, 10(2), 44–59.Google Scholar
  15. Li, H., Sun, X., & Zhang, K. (2007). Culture-centered design: Cultural factors in interface usability and usability tests. Proceedings of IEEE Societie’s ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking, and Parallel/Distribute Computing 1084–1088, Washington, DC, IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
  16. Liu, L., & Johnson, D. L. (2005). Web-based resources and applications. Computer in the Schools, 21(3), 31–147.Google Scholar
  17. Maddux, C. D. (2005). The web in K-12 education. Computers in the Schools, 21(3), 149–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martinidale, T., Cates, W. M., & Qian, Y. (2005). Analysis of recognized web-based educational resources. Computers in the Schools, 21(3), 101–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mayes, J. T., & Fowler, C. J. (1999). Learning technology and usability: A framework for understanding courseware. Interacting with Computers, 11(5), 485–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nam, C. S., & Smith-Jackson, T. L. (2007). Web-based learning environment: A theory-based design process for development and evaluation. Journal of Information Technology Education, 6, 23–44. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from Google Scholar
  21. Nokelainen, P. (2006). An empirical assessment of pedagogical usability criteria for digital learning material with elementary school students. Educational Technology & Society, 9(2), 178–197.Google Scholar
  22. Nielsen, J. (2000). Designing web usability: The practice of simplicity. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Nielsen, J. (1993). Usability engineering. Boston: Academic.Google Scholar
  24. Sedig, K., Klawe, M., & Westrom, M. (2001). Role of interface manipulation style and scaffolding on cognition and concept learning in learnware. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 8(1), 34–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Squires, D., & Preece, J. (1999). Predicting quality in educational software: Evaluating for learning, usability and the synergy between them. Interacting with Computers, 11, 467–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tselios, N., Avouris, N., & Komis, V. (2008). The effective combination of hybrid usability methods in evaluating educational applications of ICT: Issues and challenges. Education and Information Technologies, 13, 55–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AgderKristiansandNorway

Personalised recommendations