This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating The Three Dimensions of Usability for an Online Climate Modeling Tool: A Coproduced Eye Tracking Study




Brown, Jena "Ally"

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Science tools provide educators with a method to teach their students complex issues like climate change, however, there is still much work to be done to ensure that science tools are efficient and usable for teachers and students, alike. This study aimed to assess the usability of two versions of an online global climate modeling webtool, known as EzGCM, each with intentional design changes that were rooted in the current understanding of user design frameworks. Usability was assessed by comparing efficiency, accuracy, and satisfaction of student participants between versions of the website using a blend of qualitative and quantitative data including pre-post surveys, eye tracking data, task correction, and retrospective interviews. The findings in this study suggest that the redesigned version of EzGCM had a higher usability than the original version when comparing many of the changes made between versions. Beyond EzGCM, this study stresses the importance of usability testing for new pedagogical tools using this three-dimensional approach and makes recommendations for other website designers regarding page layout and website element design based on the findings.