An empirical investigation to examine the usability issues of using adaptive, adaptable, and mixed-initiative approaches in in-teractive systems




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De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


The combination of graphical user interface (GUI) and usability evaluation presents an advantage to mastering every piece of software and ensuring perfect quality of work. The increasing demand for online learning is becoming more important, both individually and academically. This thesis introduces and describes an empirical study to investigate and compare how vocabulary can be learned by using different interactive approaches; specifically, a static learning website (with straightforward words and meanings), an adaptable learning website (allowing the user to choose a learning method), an adaptive learning website (a system-chosen way of learning), and a mixed-initiative (mixing approaches and techniques). The purpose of this study is to explore and determine the effects of these approaches in learning vocabu-lary achievement to enhance vocabulary learning for non-English speakers. The par-ticipants were Arabic speakers. The three levels of vocabulary learning activities were categorised as easy, medium, and hard. The independent variables (IVs) were controlled during the experiment to ensure consistency and were as follows: tasks, learning effects, and time. The dependent variables (DVs) were learning vocabulary achievements and scores. Two aims were explored in relation to the effects of these approaches to achievement. The first related to learning vocabularies for non-English speakers tackling the difficulties of the English language and the second related to studying system usability of learning English vocabulary in terms of usability measures (efficiency, frequency of error occurrence, effectiveness, and satisfaction). For this purpose, a vocabulary-learning language website was designed, implement-ed, and tested empirically. To fulfill these requirements, it was first necessary to measure two usability components (efficiency and effectiveness) with a within-subject design of n = 24 subjects recruited and, for users’ satisfaction, a between-subject design of n = 99 subjects recruited, while investigating satisfaction with a system usability scale (SUS) survey. The results and data analysis were described. Overall, the results shown were all satisfactory.



usability, adaptive, adaptable and mixed-initiative



Research Institute