Throughout a school year, important information must be communicated between schools and families of elementary students. Despite communication via newsletters, emails, and flyers, some information is lost in the transition from the classroom to home. A school website allows parents and family members to access important, current information about their child’s school. But to be effective, it must be easy to navigate and use. The purpose of this usability study was to evaluate the content and organization of a school website to enable developers to improve its effectiveness for parents and families. The study was conducted with six parents. Data were collected using screencasting software to record the computer screen activity and participants were asked to talk aloud during navigation of the website while being audio recorded. In addition, field notes were taken and participants completed a final survey. Analysis included qualitative coding of field notes, screencasts and audio transcripts and descriptive statistical analysis of survey data. Five out of the six participants were able to complete all four tasks in the study. Feedback from participants indicated that they found the website organized and up to date, but lacking some features such as testing scores, pictures of students, and a grading portal to name a few.
Christine Kotomori, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA