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Moodle usability – interviews from 2010 (#1)

In 2010, Graham MacAllister,  founder of  Player Research, interviewed a number of staff members here at Sussex and videoed them interacting with our old version of Moodle.

These videos – and Graham’s subsequent report – were very helpful to us in deciding on the priorities and approaches to adopt in taking forward the work that we’ve done with Moodle since then.

We can’t post the videos because we didn’t request appropriate permissions from the interviewees, but here is a totally anonymous transcript of a short section of one of the interviews.

This is a screen shot of the Moodle site from 2010 they are looking at:

Interviewer: Imagine if we suddenly decide that it would be much better if it was in 10 sections? How would you go about changing it to 10 sections?

[4 second pause]

Interviewer: If I can ask you,  just to talk out loud about the things you’re looking for or what you would expect.

Staff member:  [replies straight away] Well, we need something to add onto here [with her mouse she is indicating the final section in the 5 sections visible on the screen – marked with a green star on the screenshot] …. but i’m not quite sure how you’d do that [2 second pause]

[starts to look at other parts of the screen – goes to the Site menu – the top left hand block]

Site menu [reads and runs mouse along the link] “Topic 1” [moves mouse across the Section 0 which is parallel to where it says topic 1]

Is that Topic 1? [shakes head][6 second pause in which she shakes head, looks around the page, ]

I really don’t know[now sliding mouse into the sussex library resources block]

[starts reading the list within this block] “Reading lists” [confidently, this is something she recognizes, then tailing off again]

No  [shakes head, looks to bottom of screen and says quietly] I don’t know let’s just go down

[Scrolls a bit further down the page, sighs, sits back in chair in a gesture of defeat] Sorry.

Interviewer: What would you like to  see?

Staff member:  [much more quickly and confidently] Um a drop down menu. [Moves mouse to the Site menu]

Or – [interrupts herself, sounds less confident, moves mouse to Site menu] This is a site menu ..

Interviewer: Mm [neutral tone]

Staff member:  [sigh] [pause][sits back in chair] I just think it’s completely .. [turns to where the interviewer is sitting] confusing