Google Apps for Education offers many new technologies that are not only changing the way we teach but also the way we collaborate and plan. Google Calendar in particular can allow for cloud based storage of lesson plans that can be organized and set to be readily available on any given day, year after year. Yet even the small amount of time and practice it may take to learn how to use a new technology can create a large chasm between digital natives, comfortable with exploring a new product, and those not ready to leave the comforts of familiarity and migrate to the digital world. This usability study aimed to evaluate the usability and intuitiveness of a module prototype, designed to teach educators how to use Google Calendar as a cloud-based lesson planner, in order to determine how to make the module more approachable to new learners. Participants were asked to “think aloud” as they performed a series of tasks and explored the module in an effort to gain an understanding of how users might perceive the learning module and any potential areas that might inhibit learning. Data were gathered on participants as they interacted with the module, on any frustrations, confusions, and overall impressions. The results of the study highlighted areas of concern, frustration or confusion which helped further shape the design of the module and provide possible implications or generalizations that may be made when designing future training modules.
Dana Ishii, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA