The evaluation of academic electronic bulletin boards for communication and training : HCI factors in the UK and Saudi Arabia
2016-08-04T15:15:22Z (GMT) by
Electronic networks services have become essential tools for the academic community. One of the services provided has been academic electronic bulletin boards (EBBs), and the use of EBBs has increased dramatically during the last decade. One question concerns the possible application of EBBs as a means both for communication and for remote training. A series of experiments were conducted during 1991, 1992, and 1993 with the aim of examining the use of EBBs for these purposes. The first experiment was carried out to investigate whether users experience problems in using EBBs. The next extended this to see how students evaluated EBBs for communication and training purposes. The main focus of the work was BUBL. After this second experiment, modifications were made to the BUBL data and a further experiment was carried out. A different group of students looked at the modified material, and also compared it with US data using different software. The fourth experiment compared the usability of a menu-based interface (dBase III +) and a hypertext interface (HyperCard) from a student's viewpoint. It was followed by an investigation of icons to find out how well different icons could be recognised and the possibility of using them for language-independent instructions. Finally, the characteristics and problems of GULFNET users were examined. The evaluation has demonstrated the general acceptability of EBBs and their likely value for training purposes. This leads to a discussion of how an EBB might best be developed for use in communication and training on GULFNET.