The CHI of Teaching Online: Blurring the Lines Between User Interfaces and Learning Interfaces

Abstract: The growing prevalence of online education has led to an increase in user interface design for educational contexts, and especially an increase in user interfaces that serve a central role in the learning process. While much of this is straightforward user interface design, there are places where the line between interface design and learning design blur in significant ways. In this analysis, we perform a case study on a graduate-level human-computer interaction class delivered as part of an accredited online program. To evaluate the class, we borrow design principles from the HCI literature and examine how the class’s design implements usability principles like equity, flexibility, and consistency. Through this, we illustrate the unique intersection of interface design and learning design, with an emphasis on decisions that are not clearly in one design area or the other. Finally, we provide a brief evaluation of the class to endorse the class’s value for such an analysis.