Usability is defined as the ease with which people can utilize a specific tool to get a specific goal. The usability of an object is determined by the extent to which an object is easily usable by the users. The basic point is that if a user can utilize a tool to perform its defined task without much trouble then it is usable. However, there are different degrees of usability for various tools.
Interface of any object makes it usable. Interface is the term used for the medium through which a user interacts with or uses an object to perform specific tasks. For instance, the user interface of a cell phone includes the display screen and keys. The usability of interface is determined by its design. A complex interface design that does not convey the accurate function of each of its element can scare off the user even before using the object. Therefore, it is essential for designers to keep the interface design brief so that the usability of the object can be increased.
How do usability and interface design affect e-learning?
E-learning is the abbreviation of electronic learning. The term is used for learning through an electronic media, or the combination of different electronic media such as the web, computer, and other technologies. Certainly, it needs an interface between the learner and the technology to provide proper learning. The ease with which learners can learn their selected subject without being lost in how to use the technology determines the usability of any e-learning program, and this usability is determined by the interface design of the e-learning process. We can say that the usability and interface design of an e-learning course can make or ruin its success.
Key to a better interface design in e-learning
After knowing the importance of a usable interface design in e-learning plans, the focus on building a better user interface is the next step. The basic user interface includes:
- Orientation. Orientation tells the learners about the part of the course they are being accessed, and the point where they stand within the course. An accurate orientation lets the learners to have an overview of how much has been learnt, and how much still remains. In this way, the motivation of the learner in the program keeps intact.
- Navigation. Navigation includes the keys and links that let the learners to access related information easily. Because it characterizes the agility with which a user can navigate through the information contained in the course material.
- Metaphors. Creating metaphors contains the decision of the premise of the whole program. Depending upon what type of course it supports, any theme can be selected. For instance, an educative program can use various backgrounds, names of the components of menu, and colors etc. The curiosity of learners can be kindled by creating a consistency throughout the course.
Testing the designed user interface on the end users makes it more convenient and user-friendly as areas that learners find difficult to use can be corrected and any suggestions by learners can be integrated. However, interface design should be finalized after testing it on the target audience to measure its actual usability.
Badly designed user interface and low usability of an e-learning program cannot be held responsible for its failure. Remember that a good user interface design helps in improving the usability of a program, and also motivate and encourage learners to follow the program till its completion.
Creating an educational design
A logo is an outstanding identity item of a business. It contains almost all important factors, items, and materials. The purpose of these logo designs is to give best market identification of a business to clients or customers. A logo is a sample of name, product, and company. Generally, it is used to put everywhere to correspond or interact with a prospective or existing customer.
Usage of educational design
There are a number of places where educational design can be used. Some of them are as follows:
- Website and online media
- Merchandise items such as uniforms, T-shirts, bags, caps, and gift items
- On tags and stationery
- In presentation via Power Point
- On signals and professional display, interface, etc.
- In print media such as flyers, posters, brochures, folders, newsletters, direct mailers, etc.
Everything whether it is a logo, stationary designing, website designing, or template has some specific principles for designing them. Different types of articles are used for different purposes; therefore, they are designed in accordance with the particular pattern.
Here are some of the most important principles of an educational identity design, with the help of which you can easily design an educational identity logo, stationary, etc.
- The first and foremost principle to design an educational identity logo is symmetry and simplicity. Symmetry assists in making the design easy-to-understand, whereas simplicity makes the design easy to identify products, purposes and above all, it makes logo easy to remember by its customers.
- Unlike complex form of design, a good logo and stationary design takes only 1/4th of the time to understand by the audience. However, it can be made unique and identifiable by using interface sensibly.
- Use of color scheme in design is also an important principle of educational identity design as it really counts for its appreciation by the customers, clients, parents, and children. Sensible use of colors in design makes it wonderful and outstanding. The use of most attributed colors to the company is best.
Keep in mind that all components of the visual identity such as business cards, letter head, package, website, tags, bags, etc. should have colors that are complimented to the company or organization.
- The educational identity design should be flexible in different aspects. For example, it should be recreated by single-colored and multi-colored. It should be flexible enough to look perfect in all ideal sizes whether it is on small sector or on broadband level.
- A well designed logo and stationary design has the quality that they tell customers or clients about everything concerned to your business whether your business is associated to education or something else. You can also send a specific message through your logo, however it should be ensured.
Following the above mentioned principles will help you in becoming an excellent designer and will enable you to create effective logos and stationary designs incorporated all essential aspects and components.
Lesson planning helps teachers to make their lesson effective and comprehendible. It also assists teachers to teach with confidence. Due to lesson planning, they are more focused on what they are going to deliver and want to teach their students. Proper lesson planning makes your lesson more structured and knowledgeable as you know in advance what major and relevant topics about your subject must be discussed during class session. To plan lessons effectively, here are some tips if considered will definitely prove beneficial in order to give you confidence and will make your lesson more structured. Considerations in this regard are:
- You should always consider having one or two alternative activities if you think that material that you have collected to deliver would not enough to take all the time. Hence, activities should be there to manage extra time that will left after delivering your lesson. Considering their subject related activities in this regard will be more valuable for you and your students as they will have an opportunity to revise their currently delivered lesson. You can set a question/answer session to make them engage.
- To better support your lesson, you can rely on building your own library of material. You can find several ideas by considering real world examples in order to put proof of a problem solution in front of students. Doing this will appeal students toward your lessons. Real world examples will better assist students to understand lesson.
- If you are going to teach practical as well as challenging subject, you should choose activities that are relatively easy to do. Considerations in regard of activities could be fill-in-the-blank exercises or guided discussion questions. Similarly, if your content is simple, you can consider adding challenging activities for instance role plays or problem-solving.
- You should also consider a key point which you may have often ignored that you should keep the focus on learners by minimizing time you spend talking as a teacher. Doing this will result in interactive lesson as you will be more focused on communication and interaction with students.
- You should also periodically consider taking time to think through your particular learner’s needs. You can ask students what they would like to learn by finding out any cultural factors along with language deficiencies if any, doing this will help you prioritize what you choose to study.
- You can plan your lesson on preceding material that once you have covered. It might be possible to teach similar theme in further session. Here, previously covered material will help you in order to ingrain vocabulary and concepts.
- After completion of each class, keeping a brief record of what you did will provides you with lots of benefits. This will assist you including notes about what worked didn’t with ideas for improvement. Note in your log about specific page numbers you covered in syllabus book.
It is hopped by reading above provided material; you have got a fair idea about benefits of lesson planning. These tips definitely will help you if adopted and will make your lesson plan more effective and structured. To keep comprehensive record of your lessons covered on daily basis in tabular form, format can be followed from Lesson Plan Template.