This article presents the findings of a study designed to investigate the effectiveness of the usability and tools in on-line course management packages. It also describes the challenges that teacher educators may face with respect to student use of on-line courses. Five research questions were formulated to ·explore the usability issues and the use of teaching tools in the on-line courseware, WebCT. The findings indicated that there was a significant difference between students' acceptance of on-line courseware, WebCT, based on their genders: female students were more satisfied than male students. Significant variance among academic status (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and Graduate) was observed in students' acceptance ofWebCT, demonstrating that graduate students were more likely to prefer learning on-line than undergraduates. Two usability elements, perceptual limitation and learnability, were the most statistically significant predictors in the on-line courseware. No significant differences were observed among students' acceptance of WebCT in terms of their previous on-line experiences and computer skills. In addition, the qualitative results provided compelling evidence that learners did not use the Help tools as their primary aid when encountering difficulties. Some problems associated with the use of the discussion board, such as sending/ viewing attachments, were revealed in the discussion section.
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Lai, Horng-Ji and Pedras, Melvin J.
"Web Courseware Usability and Tools for the Enhancement of Teacher Education,"
Northwest Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 4
, Article 5.