Online Learning Platform ( MOOC)

Within the Pragress project, there was finally an opportunity to implement the online learning platform (hereafter MOOC) and to understand how the carers involved perceived their experience with the medium.
From an anagraphical point of view, it emerged that only in Italy most of the caregivers were over 40 years old, while in Germany and Greece most of the participants were in the 30-39 age range. In spite of this diversity, the IT skills of all participants were quite homogeneous and amounted to a good knowledge of digital media.

This is a key element in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our platform, which should be easily usable by anyone interested in the subject matter covered in Pragress without their personal computer skills
conditioning the use. In order to understand, therefore, how users perceived their experience with the platform, a standardised questionnaire – with a final score between 0 and 100 –was used (SUS, System
Usability Scale), to express an average score of the level of satisfaction of those involved. In the sample collected in the three states, an average score of 68.86 emerged: this is useful to understand how, overall, the
platform is appreciated by the users but considering, however, that there is still room for improvement.

To explore what the strengths and weaknesses were, we asked what the pros and cons of MOOCs might be, and the answers were:
“Strong point: it is used according to the availability of one’s time; like it less because there is no interface in
the classroom”(Italy)
“I can watch it in my own space and time. It is not as interactive as live meetings” (Greece)
“It’s too big, too much text. Videos are good” (Germany)

A general appreciation of the platform emerges, especially for the fact that it does not require adherence to precise timetables for training but can be carried out in one’s free time. However, the component of interactivity with trainers is missing, replaced by a large amount of text or by videos that often become difficult to understand because they are in English and only subtitled in the user’s language (sometimes not considered sufficient). Regular live meetings, for example, could be useful for greater involvement and immediate feedback from an expert.

Other questions concerning the use of the MOOC were asked (“How easy is it to navigate the Mooc?”, “Are the colours, icons and images understandable?”, “How easy is it to access the MOOC?”) and it emerged that the average liking was good, but never reached homogeneity in the highest scores, again highlighting how important it is to consider some possible improvements.

It is also true that it should be taken into account that the platform was usable from both PC and telephone and thus the interface could be conditioned by the device used; furthermore, not all the participants involved needed credentials to access the platform (as in the Italian case) making the overall results unreliable: in fact, if on the Italian and Greek side no major difficulties were encountered, in Germany some of the participants struggled more with the access procedures.

In general, the platform and its contents were highly appreciated by the users – especially the videos and the more interactive sections – but it should not be forgotten that there are points that could be improved (e.g.
videos translated into the users’ language and not simply subtitled) in order to maximise the usability of the MOOC and make Pragress and the subject matter known to as many people as possible.

Leave a Reply