Author: Sheen, Kimberly Anne
Title: A cognitive ergonomics design framework for future electronic textbooks
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Electronic textbooks
Electronic textbooks -- Design
Pages: xiv, 225 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Many universities around the world are shifting from physical textbooks to electronic textbooks. Yet there is a distinct lack of research on whether this type of textbook can even meet students' task requirements. To address this gap, investigation into how student characteristics play a role in the perception of future electronic textbooks, what supporting tasks students preform whilst completing readings in both types of textbooks and how it differs, what aspects and components students and professors feel are necessary for future electronic textbooks, what the discrepancies between students and professors' perceptions are, and how changes based on these needs and desires will be utilized and accepted were undertaken. While focus was on students, professors were included as they choose the readings and at times author the textbooks.
The area of research described in this work is constructivist and followed a naturalistic paradigm. A mixed qualitative and quantitative approach was utilized. A survey, focus groups, interviews, and experiment were used to understand the academic reading task and student needs. The survey identified discipline as having significant association with components of electronic textbooks. Based on the findings, the Engineering and Design disciplines were chosen to be investigated due to their similarities in goal, yet differences in mindset and process. Investigating similar yet different disciplines, allow for a better understanding of how differences in disciplines change academic needs. Following this, focus groups and interviews were used to identify student and professor perceptions. Professor and student opinions were mirrored within disciplines and the perceptions and needs changed between disciplines. Overall, current electronic textbooks were found to require an interactive and discipline specific design. Following this, an experiment was conducted to investigate current components in electronic textbooks and screen size. It was found that students took fewer notes and highlighted less when using an electronic textbook and that the iPhone size negatively affected student perception of the reading task. Data from the focus group sessions and experiment were analyzed using the Hexagon-Spindle Model and in-app components were identified as necessitating designs that better support the academic reading task. All data gathered was then analyzed together and holistic cognitive ergonomics guidelines emerged in an overarching design framework. To validate the framework, two prototypes were produced. Students then evaluated these prototypes for perceived usefulness and ease of use. Iterations to the framework were then made to create the final framework. The framework can be utilized by designers and content creators to design future electronic textbooks that meet the students' academic reading task needs and grow with technological advances. The findings from the individual methods also provide insight on the effects of electronic textbooks and an understanding of how students are currently interacting with and perceive physical and electronic textbooks. This information can be useful to professors teaching courses and textbook designers.
Access: open access

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9344