In Perceived usability evaluation of Microsoft Teams as an online learning platform during COVID-19 using system usability scale and technology acceptance model in India, Debajyoti Pal and Vajirasak Vanijja argue that the consumption platform used to access Microsoft Teams does not have an effect on the usability features.
Pal and Vanijja show that the usability levels of educational platforms, like Microsoft Teams, are important to consider for learning to be effective and useful. The researchers used an online survey to ask students about their experience with Microsoft Teams focusing on two different aspects: System Usability Scale (SUS) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). By looking at these aspects of usability, the researchers took a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Systems (IS) approach, respectively. Microsoft Teams was used as the reference medium in the survey because it “provides an elegant solution for (E-learning) by incorporating all the features into a single application,” (6). It was found that the user experience of Microsoft Teams is consistent between the mobile version and desktop version. This consistent user experience is important for learning to be as effective as possible. It was concluded that the application developers of Microsoft Teams gave “equal efforts” in developing their applications in order for usability to not vary based on consumption platform (10). The researchers did note that the findings of this study were unexpected.
The arguments presented by Pal and Vanijja were reliable and engaging, but it would be interesting to see if they stayed consistent in future studies. To elaborate, the researchers measured the concurrent validity, construct validity, and discriminant validity of the study, which proves the reliability of the results. Moreover, the study was unique and engaging because it was conducted when there was an urgent need for effective online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, there was a necessity to ensure that the learning platforms were usable and effective for students. If a study like this were to be conducted again with other learning platforms, it would be interesting to see if the findings would stay consistent. Other learning platforms (i.e. Google Classroom, Zoom, Moodle, etc.) have their positives and negatives, so consumers’ opinions could vary based on which one they use. Also, this study was conducted during a unique period of online learning, so people’s expectations of a platform’s usability levels could be altered when in-person learning is more common again. Overall, the results of this study are not particularly generalizable in the long term or for widespread purposes, but still interesting and noteworthy nonetheless.