5th International Instructional Technologies & Teacher Education Symposium Logo

A Study On The Usability Of A Mooc's Course On Coursera Through The Methods Of Eye Tracking

Hasan Tanış

[email protected], Turkish State Railways

Arif Akçay

[email protected], Kastamonu University, Education Faculty, Computer Education and Instructional Technology Department

Nursel Yılmaz

[email protected], Middle East Technical University, Education Faculty, Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Mehmet Fatih Yiğit

[email protected], Hakkari University, Education Faculty, Computer Education and Instructional Technology Department

Hakan Tüzün

[email protected], Hacettepe University, Education Faculty, Computer Education and Instructional Technology Department

MOOCs provide different courses in which a huge number of learners could learn and communicate with each other in a free way without any time restriction.According to the Class Central, there is a significant increase in the number of online learners on Moocs between 2012 and 2016. However, the dropout rates of Moocs are still high due to different reasons. Therefore, the research on usability issues on Mooc learning environments could provide some improvements to decrease dropout rates. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the usability of a Mooc in terms of user experience and provide possible design solutions for usability problems expected to emerge after the research.The main objectives of the research are: (1) to collect data with authentic tasks by screen recording and eye tracking method, (2) to identify usability problems, (3) to provide some recommendations  to improve  usability of the system.

Usability test method was used for the research. A course on Coursera called `Effective Speaking` is selected for the research to conduct usability test. Nine authentic tasks were determined by the researchers to determine usability problems of Coursera. Following this, data of task completion success and task completion duration  were collected by a screen recorder during performances considering ISO 9241-11 standards.  In addition to this, three open ended questions were asked to the participants in order to get their ideas about usability problems of the system and possible solutions for those problems. Lastly, Tobii T120 which is a desktop eye tracking device was used to collect eye tracking data from three participants to validate preliminary findings. One of the research finding shows that an office worker rarely focused on search bar, which has an important role to find courses. Therefore, it is recommended that Coursera system should change the design of search bar so that online learners can easily find what they look for. Additionally, one of the participants took too much time for unenrolling from the course. Eye tracking findings indicate that unenrolling from the course on Coursera is presented as a three dot menu, which has not any affordance as the user did not gaze the menu. Furthering this, the participants said that coursera system does not provide good enough language support. In other words, the participants selected Turkish as the system language during taking the course but Coursera did not completely turn into Turkish because most part of the system were still in English.  Overall, Coursera system has a good design for usability considering research findings but some usability issues such as complication of finding a course on search bar, inadequate design of unenrolling from any course and lack of language support could be addressed to improve usability of Coursera.


usability, moocs, coursea, eye tracking