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Implications on MODSEMA

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CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION

1. DISCUSSION

1.1. Implications on MODSEMA

The initial MODSEMA was developed through the literature review, especially benefited from Berking et al.’s ADL Mobile Learning Framework (2012), Al-Harrasi’s m-learning design approach (2015) and user-centered design (Abras et al., 2004). Specifically, its analysis and design phase has experienced a variety of modifications and enhancements whereby expert interviews on MODSEMA and the case study. Concerning to analysisphase, the logical order of its steps were set thanks to those expert interviews and it has been ensured to extract the planned educational mobile application’s functional and non-functional features and use case diagram. Although it might take a long time to extract all these features and it might get modifications due to usability evaluations conducted as a part of the app development process, it seems that analyzing the features in advance as much as possible is helpful and efficient with respect to time for the app development process. Another issue needed to be pointed out in analysis phase is database solutions. The evolving technology improve not only

hardware systems, but also software systems. In earlier times, the developer was mostly applying the one he/she knows. However, recently, there have been developed new technologies and solutions for database issues. There is not only SQL but also NoSQL database solutions. Besides, thanks to newly developed cloud technologies, there are online database services such as Firebase provided by Google. Whereas all of them have own pros and cons, the some are extremely easy and simple to apply and the some are especially useful for some conditions. Therefore, having a core knowledge on database solutions will be considerably helpful for developers. Accordingly, the analysis phase of ultimate MODSEMA contains this step as well and provides a basic guideline on database solutions. The other issue required to be stated is the availability of various development environments, tools and UI. Thanks to evolving technology, developing a mobile application becomes much easy each passing day by providing much easy and simple new tools and environments for app development. However, each of them has its own pros such as creating apps for multiple platforms including IOS and Android with a single coding and cons such as not supporting some APIs like camera and GPS functions. In other words, in earlier times, it was only available to develop a good mobile application by creating it as a native app that is produced through a platform-specific development environment and language such as using Eclipse with Java for developing an app for Android devices and using Xcode with Objective-C for creating IOS app. However, recently, it is possible to develop a powerful app as much as a native app with respect to its performance and UI by utilizing other programming languages and environments, and even to create an app for multiple platforms with a single code is possible, which meaning huge saving on time,

effort and money. Yet, they also have some drawbacks due to the novelty of the technology. Therefore, it might be beneficial to have knowledge on these various environments instead of knowing only one system/environment/tool/programming language. Thus, MODSEMA contains the corresponding step and guideline, which is absent in most models proposed in literature for app development.

With regard to design phase, it was assumed in the initial MODSEMA that developing more than one prototype would be much better because there might developed various prototypes having different concepts and the user would choose one of them for ensuring user-centered design.

However, the implications of interviews conducted with experts on app development show that this method is problematic. First, it is loss of time, and second is that the developer has to discard the prototype not chosen even if users favor of its several parts that are disliked in the chosen one. In addition, it is loss of effort due to creating various prototypes. Therefore, the ultimate MODSEMA suggests creating one prototype and making modifications on it through reflecting the results of the usability evaluations in an iterative loop, which was suggested by those experts and confirmed through the case study.

Another issue needed to be discussed related to design and developmentphase is how to interpret and reflect the feedbacks derived from the usability evaluations. Usability evaluations suggested in this study consist of expert evaluation conducted with experts and user testing performed with representative app users. To understand what users like and dislike and what experts see a problem on the app is still an issue. In order to

deal with this challenge, this study suggests applying usability heuristics (Nielson, 1994) to usability evaluation process. Thus, to comprehend what is the problem with the app, whether it is a prototype or coded, might be much effortless and smooth for the developer. However, users sometimes might provide opposed comments with each other. In this situation, listening the dominant idea might be much logical so that the more conducting user testing, the better user-centered app. However, what the developer should do when there is a conflict between the comments of users and experts? The developer might follow according the experts’ views since they are experts.

However, since the people who will use the app is the users, not experts, it might be much convenient to listen to users’ feedbacks instead of experts’. In this study, for example, the suggestions provided by experts was not accepted a few times by the representative users. Lastly, especially in design phase, obtaining and reflecting users’ feedbacks and suggestions seems much helpful for effective concept construction. If the prototype were constructed perfectly in design phase according to the results of usability evaluations, then the workload of the developer would become less in development phase since he/she just needs to develop the app identical with the prototype and does not have to consider its UI.

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