A usability study was conducted with one hundred and eighty five community college students, 106 males and 79 females, between the ages of 17 and 54 (M = 22.38; SD = 7.09). Participants were community college students enrolled in Computer Program Technology (CPT) 101 courses. Students were provided a desktop computer and a set of headphones. Each study was conducted in a computer lab. Participants were provided a disclaimer at the beginning of the study and participation was voluntary.
Students were provided with similar imaged desktop machines running the latest version of Windows 10 operating system. Keyboard and mouse were used as input devices from the participant and headphones were provided to isolate interruptions. A paper slip with authentication credentials was provided to each participant, so that, individuals would have unique course assignments.
The researcher greeted the participant and provided him or her with a brief overview of the study. The participant was asked to read and sign an informed consent form and to complete a pre-test questionnaire addressing basic demographic information and experience with the Internet. The participant subsequently completed the course. The participant then completed the computer system usability questionnaire (CSUQ) (Lewis, 1995) and questions pertaining to the concerns with the online learning platform. The time required to complete the entire experiment was approximately 60 minutes.
The metrics analyzed to judge the usability of the system included the scores from the IBM – Computer Systems Usability Questionnaire (CSUQ) scales and comments provided by the participants. The participants ranked each metric using a 7-point Likert scale on the IBM CSUQ scale, ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). Finally, the questionnaire contained a section for written comments. The findings from the usability study are provided below.