Learners and educators need to work together in a learning technology ecosystem that is fluid and requires a minimum number of steps. These systems and software tools need to be intuitive and integrated. The best technologies require little effort from users to do common tasks and are connected to other technologies that make it easy to access course work, research, and work product in a post-secondary setting. This is not a principle describing a way students should be able to use a technology, but rather, is foundational to the usability of all technologies. There are 4 key ideas related to ease of use of a tool:
- The interface of the tool is easy to understand, and can be personalized to suit the user
- The tool just works. The user doesn’t have to use a specific browser or device, or download additional things
- The tool does all the key functions easily, and without any workarounds
- For major software: the tool can speak to others tools on campus, sharing information like login without the user needing to intervene
Selecting for usability is the primary sort for all technology purchases in the Learning Technology Ecosystem. It is not enough that technologies offer the key functions and comply with regulations around privacy, data sharing etc. Technologies must be easy for almost all educators and students to use.