Ergonomics refers both to the field of study and its application whose purpose is to make our life easier. To be more precise, this discipline tries to understand and optimize, in human-system interrelations, the well-being and efficiency of humans as well as the performance of systems. Originally targeting the work environment, ergonomics now applies to virtually every aspect of human activity.
Let’s see briefly what role it plays in elearning and what research methods are used to analyze and improve it!
Its application in online training
Comfort, efficiency, and safety are the watchwords of ergonomics! Since it tends to be holistic or “global”, it takes into account the physical, cognitive, social, organizational and environmental factors that may be involved in a given case.
In the field of elearning, ergonomics primarily aims to improve the design of interfaces – often referred to, in this context, as usability – so that they are easier to use. The usability of the interface of online training is not a small detail; it has a considerable influence on the users’ learning as well as on their satisfaction with the experience offered by the training.
The evaluation of the usability of an online training interface focuses on the following 5 factors:
If the interfaces allow learners to perform basic tasks as soon as they are first used.
The speed with which learners interact with the interface once they become aware of how it works.
The ease with which learners interact again with the interface after they stop using it for a significant amount of time.
The amount and severity of errors produced by learners as well as the ease with which they manage to correct themselves on this interface.
The level of appreciation that learners feel when using the interface.
15 research methods
The usability research attempts to systematically identify problems encountered in this field and to provide appropriate solutions. As such, it uses a variety of methods. Here are 15 of them: