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Lecturers, students and key-users test user-friendliness LMSs

On 16, 17 and 18 January, 28 teachers, 28 students and 23 key-users and administrators from all faculties participated in the user tests for the new Learning Management System (LMS). They tested the LMS systems of the four tendered parties for user-friendliness. They were presented with cases and had to give points for the extent to which the systems are intuitive, clear and pleasant to work with.

Clear overview LMS important for students

The high turnout at the user tests shows that there is a lot of user involvement. Lieve Gort, first-year Education Science student explains why she participated: It is nice to be involved in the choice of a new learning platform and to notice that out opinion as users is important. For me, it is important that a LMS looks clear and structured and that it is more modern and accessible than the system we have now.

Third-year UCU History student Laurens van Hofslot adds: Very interesting to test the different systems. What I have seen so far looks very clear. Personally, I like it when a system is customisable per student, so that, for example, you can decide yourself what you want to see on the homepage. I like noticing that students’ opinions are also being sought. We will end up using it, of course. I signed up for these user tests because I think it’s important that there are also students from my faculty, UCU, testing the systems.

Good and user-friendly system important for key-users

Key users at UCU, Michiel Kouw and Michiel Ruijgrok also tested the different systems. Good to be involved in choosing among these different systems,’ Michiel Kouw explains. ‘We as key-users have to solve anything that doesn’t go well, which is why it is obviously important for us to choose a good and user-friendly system. We know what the issues are. The systems we tested today are very different. However, they all look much more modern than our current LMS. Of course, testing is a snapshot, which makes it quite difficult to judge properly.

Michiel Ruijgrok finds the look and feel of the system very important. When testing, I put myself in the position of the teacher who will be using the system. But of course I also looked at the systems as a key user. We were presented with all kinds of cases with assignments we had to carry out in the systems. It is difficult, though, to assess the user-friendliness of the systems as a whole.

Intuitive LMS makes work better for teachers

There was also a lot of enthusiasm among teachers for testing. A maths teacher, for instance, says: The tests were well prepared with the same cases for each system, making them comparable. I find that very important. In our current system, I find it quite difficult to find content and know where different parts are. This lack of clarity causes some teachers to use their own system with us. Krijn Vrijsen, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, GNK adds: I signed up for these user tests because I wanted to influence the choice of the new LMS system. For me, it is important that a system works intuitively, that makes the workflow easier. If the system can make my work better: gladly! The appearance of the system is also important to me. A more modern system is also nice for students and it would be nice if it is also accessible on my phone or tablet.

User testing crucial step in tender

Testing is a crucial step in achieving a user-friendly LMS that meets users’ needs and that we will work with for many years to come. Vendors now have the chance to adjust their entries based on the feedback from the user tests. The results of the user tests, as well as other topics such as the extent to which public values are taken into account, the possibilities for collecting learning analytics external link and the possibilities for activating forms of work, will determine which provider has the best-suited LMS for UU. This is expected to be known in late April/early May. 

Marijn van Ellen
1 February 2024

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