The failure of e-learning: why should we use a learner centred design

Maria Petronilla Penna, Vera Stara, Maurizio De Rose


Why do many e-learning courses fail? Distance learning is generating remarkable changes both in learning and teaching due to knowledge commercialisation and freedom from both spatial and temporal constraints. In spite of this success the educational software and environments did not help students to learn more and better than in traditional training contexts. Studies on human learning process via cognitive models are few; and this results in a more diffi cult investigation on how human-machine interface features adversely infl uence cognitive factors in the educational process. Namely several forces act in the complex scenario of the new formative settings, where the users try to simultaneously control the attention both for the lesson and for the interface manipulation. We claim that we must resort to Learner Centred Design principles, which establish a bridge between usability, accessibility and distance learning tools: if the user is involved in every phase of design, this will help to learn and to apply the Human Computer Interaction principles and reduce the evaluation costs. The aim of this contribution is to highlight a specifi c strategy that could guarantee a good web-based educational design, based on the utmost importance of learner centred design, while helping to solve the problem of assessment of educational process.

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Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).