Volume 10, Issue 2 (9-2023)                   Human Information Interaction 2023, 10(2): 39-57 | Back to browse issues page

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Abbasi E K, Badeleh A. Evaluating the Interaction of Teachers of Farhangian University with Learning Management System. Human Information Interaction 2023; 10 (2)
URL: http://hii.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3134-en.html
Department of Mathematics Education, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (1090 Views)
Objectives: Nowadays, the learning management system is one of the key tools of university education systems. This system increases the efficiency and learning power of students because it activates the students' mind and facilitates the understanding of knowledge. In addition, the use of learning management systems increases students' motivation for active learning and improves their self-confidence in academic exams. Also, these systems reduce the duration of teaching and the workload of teachers and are effective on students' visual literacy.
The design of learning management systems is the result of the collaboration of educational experts and software engineers, who identify the required capabilities and the expected service quality by considering various psychological, social, cultural, educational, and technical aspects. These capabilities and qualities are the basis of the software design of the system that is ultimately used by students and teachers, and the success and failure of the system largely depends on their satisfaction. Therefore, knowing the expectations of students, teachers, and other users using learning management systems and then implementing these expectations in the design and development of these systems is of key importance.
In Farhangian University, education is based on physical and online education, and some university courses have been always held online. Therefore, designing and implementing effective online education software is a high priority for Farhangian University. In addition, the use of information and communication technologies in education is one of the values highly highlighted in the document of Fundamental Evolution of Education.
We identified only a few research that has been conducted to study the expectations of Farhangian University teachers from learning management systems. To fill this gap, in this article we aim at understanding the expectations of teachers of Farhangian University from the learning management systems. Our main objectives are to find out to what extent the teachers feel satisfied with using these systems, what software features of these systems are highly requested by the teachers, what are the main defects the teachers have observed in these systems, and what are the main values of using these systems for education. 
Methodology: The research method of this research is based on the qualitative research method of content analysis with comparative categorisation approach to identify and represent the experiences and expectations of Farhangian University teachers from the university's learning management system. For more interaction with the teachers, the interview method was used to gather their expectations, in which they answered the questions of a pre-designed interview. The interview questions were finalized after applying the opinions of some experts in software, educational sciences, and educational technology. The statistical population of the research was all teachers and lecturers of Farhangian University in the academic year 1402-1401. In this research, teachers who had practical and useful experiences in organizing online classes as well as who were experts in this field were invited for an interview, and 12 colleagues declared their presence for the interview. The authors conducted the interview process in parallel and then jointly completed the data forms. Qualitative interviews were conducted in accordance with its standards in a time between 30 to 60 minutes, physically on site or online on the platform of social networks. First, the aim of the interview and its topic were explained to each interviewee and then the interview was conducted. Considering the semi-structured nature of the interview, in addition to the pre-designed questions, other related questions were also asked to clarify the meaning of the answers during the interview. Also, the authors used some examples when there were ambiguities between the interviewer and the participated teachers.In this research, to analyze the data obtained from the interviews, three types of coding including open coding, axial coding, and selective coding were used. In the open coding, the main sentences related to the topic of the research were extracted from the data forms and recorded as primary codes. Then, the created codes were placed in a category based on the similarities. In the stage of axial coding, the primary codes and categories that were created in the open coding were compared with each other and similar items were merged and finally the axial categories were extracted. Then, for similar codes that were placed in the same category, by doing this process, several main topics were obtained that show the main basis of the interviews. If there is an equivalent standard or term for a subject in the field of education or software engineering, that equivalent and definition has been used in
the article. Selective coding, based on the results of open coding and axial coding, defines the final framework of categories. The synthesised results then are reported in this article.
Findings: The results show that half of the teachers are satisfied with the learning management systems, three teachers are with relative satisfaction, and the remaining three are unsatisfied. Regarding the expected software features from these systems, we categorised the identified features into two main categories namely generic and user-interface-specific features. Because the participants in the interview do not have specialized knowledge of software engineering, in responding to their expectations from the systems, they expressed a combination of capabilities, quality attributes, and other requirements. Therefore, capability in this research means the general requirements of the participants, which can be a functional requirement, non-functional requirement (quality attributes), software capability restrictions, or a combination of them.Assisting teachers during the online class, learnability, usability, adaptability, error detection and prevention, facilitating the interaction between teachers and students are examples of the generic software features expected by the teachers. The participants also expect that the system provides them information of any events and tasks being progressed. In addition, they expect the system should be flexible and extendable enough so that they can add new tasks and generate new reports.In terms of the user-interface-specific features, the teachers expect the systems provide hedonic, simple, and customisable user interface. They also expect easy access to the system features. In addition, better content representation is another requirement the teacher expressed. The defects observed by the teachers are also categorised in generic and user-interface-specific defects. As for the generic defects, the teachers reported that it is not easy to learn the learning management systems. They also complained about the audio and video latency during the online classes. Another defect reported is that performing some tasks is time consuming which requires going through several steps. Poor and busy user interfaces are main defects reported by most of the teachers regarding the interface of the learning management systems. Inconsistent representation of the application in the mobile devices is another user interface defect. We have also understood that better time management, improved social interaction, and decreased stress of using information and communication technologies for education are the main values indicated by the teachers as the consequences of using the learning management systems. Being respectful and self-disciplined are other values reported by the teachers.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that despite the good features of learning management systems and the teachers’ relative satisfaction with them, there is a need for these systems to be flexible according to the needs of users and give the teachers more control on the education process. Also, interaction with students and features that improve people's participation in the education process are among the most important expectations of teachers from these systems. Moreover, the user interface of learning management systems is very important for teachers because it provides their interaction with students. Teachers expect to be able to adapt the system and especially their user interface according to their needs and add new features at the lowest cost.
We also synthesized several design guidelines for the system developers. The system should provide support for both expert and novice teachers. Expert teachers expect more customization capabilities and novice teachers expect more advice and automatic error handling. Moreover, the system should help the novice teacher to be experienced in using the system continuously. As each teacher has his/her own teaching strategy, another guideline is to design the system so that each teacher takes control on the education and teaching process individually.
Since an online learning system is an interactive application, its user interface design is very important. User-friendly and customisable user interface which nicely represented in different devices with different resolutions is a high priority guideline. This design guideline becomes even more important when we know that most of the students use their mobile phones for participating in online classes. We finally highlighted the importance of considering values in the design and development of learning management systems. In these systems, capabilities such as speaking in turn, the need to obtain permission to speak, remaining silent when others are speaking, and being neat during online presentation are aspects of respect. Their accomplishment, therefore, requires relevant software features. Moreover, the interaction between teachers and students necessitates establishment of ethical rules and standards to be respected by the users and the software. The privacy and security are two important subjects that requires more attention in learning management systems. 
 
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