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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Feature Requirements in Educational Web Sites: A Q-Sort Analysis

Feature Requirements in Educational Web Sites: A Q-Sort Analysis
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Author(s): Sunil Hazari (University of West Virginia, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 2
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch187
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


There is relative paucity of original research that explains phenomena related to usability of educational websites. Educational websites can be used to provide web-based instruction, which itself is a relatively recent phenomenon and research in this area is in its infancy. Educational websites are built with a different set of criteria as compared to other sites, such as those having an e-commerce or marketing focus. More research is needed to build a theoretical foundation for feature requirements in educational web sites. The online environment has become a powerful interactive medium for promoting higher order thinking skills in students. This environment uses a web based interface in which students interact with course materials, other students and the instructor. Usability of the web site plays an important part in meeting learning objectives specified in course material being delivered online (Hazari, 2005). As in any new approach to teaching and learning, critical issues need to be examined before Web-based instruction is fully integrated into teaching processes. When developing educational web sites, features that support pedagogy should be given primary consideration. It is therefore important to identify key elements that will have maximum impact on learning. Using Q-sort analysis (which is a type of Factor Analysis), this study will investigate feature requirements of educational websites. Based on the analysis of user requirements in relation to several variables that were identified from review of literature, group characteristics should emerge. Similarities and differences between groups will be investigated and implications of these results for development of educational web sites will be presented in this study.

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