• Information quality assessment in e-learning systems.

      Neagu, Daniel; Cullen, Andrea J.; Alkhattabi, Mona A. (University of BradfordInformatics Research Institute, School of Computing, Informatics and Media, 2011-04-15)
      E-learning systems provide a promising solution as an information exchanging channel. Improved technology could mean faster and easier access to information but does not necessarily ensure the quality of this information. Therefore it is essential to develop valid and reliable methods of quality measurement and carry out careful information quality evaluations. Information quality frameworks are developed to measure the quality of information systems, generally from the designers¿ viewpoint. The recent proliferation of e-services, and e-learning particularly, raises the need for a new quality framework in the context of e-learning systems. The main contribution of this thesis is to propose a new information quality framework, with 14 information quality attributes grouped in three quality dimensions: intrinsic, contextual representation and accessibility. We report results based on original questionnaire data and factor analysis. Moreover, we validate the proposed framework using an empirical approach. We report our validation results on the basis of data collected from an original questionnaire and structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in particular. However, it is difficult to measure information quality in an e-learning context because the concept of information quality is complex and it is expected that the measurements will be multidimensional in nature. Reliable measures need to be obtained in a systematic way, whilst considering the purpose of the measurement. Therefore, we start by adopting a Goal Question Metrics (GQM) approach to develop a set of quality metrics for the identified quality attributes within the proposed framework. We then define an assessment model and measurement scheme, based on a multi element analysis technique. The obtained results can be considered to be promising and positive, and revealed that the framework and assessment scheme could give good predictions for information quality within e-learning context. This research generates novel contributions as it proposes a solution to the problems raised from the absence of consensus regarding evaluation standards and methods for measuring information quality within an e-learning context. Also, it anticipates the feasibility of taking advantage of web mining techniques to automate the retrieval process of the information required for quality measurement. This assessment model is useful to e-learning systems designers, providers and users as it gives a comprehensive indication of the quality of information in such systems, and also facilitates the evaluation, allows comparisons and analysis of information quality.
    • Multimodal interactive e-learning: An empirical study. An experimental study that investigates the effect of multimodal metaphors on the usability of e-learning interfaces and the production of empirically derived guidelines for the use of these metaphors in the software engineering process.

      Rigas, Dimitrios I.; Alseid, Marwan N.K. (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics and Media, Department of Computing., 2010-02-26)
      This thesis investigated the use of novel combinations of multimodal metaphors in the presentation of learning information to evaluate the effect of these combinations on the usability of e-learning interfaces and on the users¿ learning performance. The empirical research described in this thesis comprised three experimental phases. In the first phase, an initial experiment was carried out with 30 users to explore and compare the usability and learning performance of facially animated expressive avatars with earcons and speech, and text with graphics metaphors. The second experimental phase involved an experiment conducted with 48 users to investigate their perception of avatar¿s facial expressions and body gestures when presented in both the absence and presence of interactive e-learning context. In addition, the experiment aimed at evaluating the role that an avatar could play as virtual lecturer in e-learning interfaces by comparing the usability and learning performance of three different modes of interaction: speaking facially expressive virtual lecturer, speaking facially expressive full-body animated virtual lecturer, and two speaking facially expressive virtual lecturers. In the third phase, a total of 24 users experimentally examined a novel approach for the use of earcons and auditory icons in e-learning interfaces to support an animated facially expressive avatar with body gestures during the presentation of the learning material. The obtained results demonstrated the usefulness of the tested metaphors to enhance e-learning usability and to enable users to attain better learning performance. These results provided a set of empirically derived innovative guidelines for the design and use of these metaphors to generate more usable e-learning interfaces. For example, when designing avatars as animated virtual lecturers in e-learning interfaces, specific facial expression and body gestures should be incorporated due to its positive influence in enhancing learners¿ attitude towards the learning process.