Author: Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences, Germany Managing Director of Budakov Films Ltd
The tremendous growth in e-learning has resulted in a major shift in education from an instructor-centred to a learner-centred focus and it is giving powerful impact on the LMS that have been developing – designers, developers, educators and students have to work in a close conjunction in order to provide students with the best possible learning experience (Budakov 2017). Throughout the course of the researcher professional experience, a few problems concerning the Learning Management Systems (LMS) user interfaces in several EU countries have been identified:
- Most of the LMS feature confusing user interfaces which leads students to disengagement.
- LMS can be inaccessible from wide range of devices and browsers which means its design is not responsive.
- LMS is unable to integrate a third-party tool.
- Students have to deal with numerous bugs and glitches, featured by the LMS.
It is interesting to point out some best practice-proven approaches and recommendations which will help colleges and universities across Europe to establish and develop their effective LMS platforms by significantly improving their user experience (UX).
The very first thing is to determine precisely your users and their learning habits by executing thorough-research which consists of several aspects, such as: observations, interviews with students, faculties and administrations and user surveys.
However, it is a common practice that one of the main challenges that higher institutions face is closely related to the development of blended or e-learning that suits the needs of a varied target market. Therefore, once the required data is collected, the so-called “user-persona” is advisable to be developed.
Challenges and Solutions
However, in order to design the best possible learning-experience, educators are expected to consider the following challenges and their related solutions:
- Increase the number of the learners and the time they spend into your LMS.
Solution: By employing the right UI/UX design approach, the online campus will be easy to use. This factor reflects learner’s self-confidence for achieving particular performances and dealing with some daily assignments. Moreover, student’s self-efficacy is highly dependent from the students self-regulated learning behaviors. (Schunk 2005).
- High level of user satisfaction.
Solution: The LMS interface should increase learner confidence by enabling them to get an easy access and find the information they within maximum of 3 clicks. It refers to achieve at least 95% of browsing satisfaction during the UX tests.
- Allow learners to get easily oriented into their training course.
Solution: By creating an efficient layout, as well as making UI patterns that give your learners some grounds of familiarity to consume the training content effectively.
- Enable learners to have access to the your LMS from smartphones and tablets.
Solution: In order to assure smooth interaction through a dynamic change to the appearance of the LMS pages on a variety of screen types and gadgets, a responsive web design (RWD) has to be employed.
- Reduce learner anxiety during exams.
Solution: The assessment strategy should break the conventional stereotype of assessment and instead of using score method, the results could be illustrated through some catchy animated persons whose attitude and facial expression announce whether the learner passes the query correctly or not. (Furo P. 2015).
Conclusion and recommendations
Enhancing the UX of learning management system is an evolving process that needs to be updated over the time, since the user habits and their learning behaviours also change. Those adjustments have to be implemented gradually, based on recently executed user experience tests and observations that lead educators to modify even some minor details that significantly improve the LMS usability and assure high level of responsiveness, accessibility and student engagement. Now more than ever, it is necessary to pay attention to means that can facilitate e-, remote and blended learning, such as LMS and moodle-based courses.
- Budakov, P. (2017) Establishment and maintenance of E-learning Campus for the needs of the Bachelor programme “Visual Communication and Graphic design, language: English, Original research: Science Journal of Department “Cinema, advertising and show business”, New Bulgarian University, Sofia (2017).
- Furo P. (2015) Students perception of examination malpractice in rivers state university of education port Harcourt, American Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research©,Science Huβ, http://www.scihub.org/AJSIR, ISSN: 2153-649X, doi:10.5251/ajsir.2015.6.1.5.11
- Schunk, D.H. (2005) Self-regulated learning: the educational legacy of Paul R. Pintrich. Educational Psychologist 40, 85–94.