Browsing by Author "Vaara, Maija"

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  • Vaara, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The starting point for this thesis has been to develop the website which has been set up to teach the basics of bobbin-lace making for the beginners according to the traditional practice of the town of Rauma. The main goal is to find out if the website works as an independent learning material for a total beginner. In addition, I aim to analyse what the user knows after using the material available at the website and how the website could be improved. The website was tested with a group of five people using the usability engineering method of thinking aloud. The test situations were recorded with a camcorder and the material was analysed by comparing the actions and the thoughts of the different participants when they were examining the same point on the website. When more than one participant encountered problems, the situation was analysed with more detail. The challenges encountered with learning material were typical to any attempt of teaching a skill over Internet. In addition, there were problems ubiquitous to elementary-level teaching of bobbin-lace making. While the possibility for social interaction is often considered an essential part of any good web-based learning material, it was altogether missing from A recurring question with web-based teaching is also how to keep up the motivation of the students. For many problems encountered by the participants the simple solution would have been to study the material carefully in advance. The difficulties observed in this study, such as recognizing errors and solving problems independently, are familiar for all lace-making beginners. The study shows that is fit for purpose even for a beginner to independently teach himself bobbin-lace making. With this learning material one can familiarize himself with the basics of lace making but for deeper learning more material and teaching is required. This is in line with the goals of the website. A few opportunities for improvement were also located such as clarifying the appearance of the site, detailing ambiguous instructions, introducing the possibility for social interaction, and providing the user ways to evaluate his/her own work. Additionally, part of this study included expanding the content of the website.