COVID-19 Pandemic: A Usability Study on Platforms to Support eLearning


With the COVID-19 pandemic, the higher education communities throughout almost the entire world have moved from traditional face-to-face teaching to remote learning by using video conferencing software and online learning applications and platforms. With social distancing requirements, it is expected that eLearning will be part of the delivery modalities at least until an effective vaccine is widely available. Even after the pandemic is over, it is expected that remote learning and online education will be part of the "new or next normal." Such online and remote learning modalities are not simply restricted to academic institutions. Businesses are using online and remote learning to re-train, re-tool, and re-educate their employees. The students, in general, are not enthusiastic about the virtual classroom. surveyed 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students in April 2020 and found that more than 2/3 of them thought online classes are not as effective as in-person and teacher-centered classes. This unplanned change in teaching modes caused by COVID-19 and the negative feedback from students creates some serious concerns for educators and universities. How to enhance the eLearning experience for students? How to choose from many eLearning platforms on the market? Which eLearning platform is the most user friendly and the best suited for online classes? Which eLearning platforms enable the best class participation and student involvement? In this research, we apply the eLearning usability heuristics to evaluate the major video conferencing platforms (e.g., Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom).

Meeting Name

HCI International 2020 (2020: Jul. 19-24, Virtual)


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

COVID-19; Elearning; Higher Education; Online Teaching; Pandemic; Usability Heuristics; Video Conferencing Software; Virtual Classroom

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1865-0929; 1865-0937

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 Springer-Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

24 Jul 2020