Cultural Connection and a Sense of Place – Virtual Tour: Usability Study

Session Description
As a student, how important is it to create a strong sense of connection to an educational institution you have chosen to help shape your mind and prepare you for your future profession? Establishing a Cultural Connection and a Sense of Place – Virtual Tour usability study, serves as a means to establish an enrollment pathway to Honolulu Community College (HonCC) for Native Hawaiian students and create a sense of place at the college for Native Hawaiians that is culturally significant and relevant.

The purpose of this usability study was to evaluate the ease of use and efficiency for current/prospective students and employees at HonCC to navigate and utilize a bilingual (Hawaiian and English) virtual tour of HonCC’s cultural history and native plant collection on campus. It is the Kuleana (responsibility) of an institution to create a distinctive learning environment and campus culture that students can connect to and establish a sense of place (Manning and Kuh, 2005). The researcher utilized an open source virtual tour platform called YouVisit to create a virtual tour prototype for HonCC. Three rounds of usability testing interviews were conducted. An observation data collection tool and pre- and post- questionnaires were used to collect feedback from interview participants as a means to identify usability issues. Based on participant feedback, revisions to the prototype were made to increase the ease of use and user satisfaction.

This session will highlight the methodology, data results, and design modifications made to the virtual tour prototype. Data results from the usability study indicated that the virtual tour prototype provided useful information and graphics that increased users’ knowledge of the college’s history and native plants on campus. 99% of test participants indicated that they would refer others to utilize the virtual tour prototype.

Paul Flores
Paul Flores, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa , Honolulu, HI, USA
Learning Design and Technology Master’s candidate for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

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