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Abstract

The purpose of the study is to examine the pedagogical usability of interactive e-learning materials for foreign language practice. It is based upon two studies of the expected between-group and within-group differences among participants in the educational process. The sample consists of two groups - lecturers and students, a total of 100 participants, each evaluating four materials specifically prepared for this study. Two consecutive repeated measures ANOVA were conducted in which the gender/age, the position of the participants in the educational process, and usability dimensions were the independent variables. Results indicated that all independent variables and their interactions have a significant effects on the evaluations of the pedagogical usability. Women tend to assign higher values than men. Age groups generally differ in their evaluations, although there is a tendency to give similar ratings for the individual dimensions of pedagogical usability. The 31-40 years age group evaluates the materials higher while the lowest evaluations are given by the groups of 21-30 and 50+ year old participants. Students tend to rate the pedagogical usability systemically higher than the lecturers. Usability dimensions also have a significant effect on evaluations. The most prominent feature of the materials, by a great margin, is their Applicability. The findings corroborate previous research which show age and gender differences in web usability do exist. We conclude that these differences exist as much in pedagogical usability as in technical usability. Further investigations are suggested to explore more deeply the differences in the perceived pedagogical value of e-learning materials as this has implications for instructional designers, teachers and learners alike.

Authors

Djalev, Liubomir;  Bogdanov, Stanislav

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