Background and Objectives:Universities play an important role in society. They are centers of innovation, attract and nurture talent, create and share new knowledge, and are of great value in the national and regional economies. Thus, declining government budgets and increasing global competition for qualified staff and students have led universities to provide better conditions for providing education in a variety of ways. On the other hand, communication technologies have paved the way for distance learning by offering new methods of education. Therefore, with the development of the Internet and multimedia technologies and their use in educational programs, a kind of educational model called e-learning has been created. In e-learning, due to the existence of the World Wide Web, all stages of education have benefited from what the Internet has provided. In the web space, a variety of features such as online class notes and lecture materials, dynamic online Q & A systems, classroom preparation for exams, games and real-life simulations for educators and learners are provided. In order to present and manage activities in the e-learning environment, a software program called Learning Management System (LMS) is used, which provides facilities for sharing educational materials, sending notifications related to each lesson, presenting and performing assignments, providing users with online communication with each other, conducting evaluations, and evaluating results. Accessibility is one of the important indicators in obtaining students' and teachers' interest in a courseware. Therefore, the present study aimed to identify the effective factors impacting on the accessibility of Shahid Beheshti University’s courseware.
Method and Materials: Accordingly, a qualitative phenomenology research has been implemented. The population of this study is undergraduate students of the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran who had an experience of working with the courseware. 15 Participants were selected using purposeful sampling method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted for data gathering until the theoretical saturation was achieved. The findings were analyzed using Strauss and Corbin coding method at two open and axial coding levels.
Findings: According to the findings from 15 interviews, six categories including: the weakness of quick access to the content of discussions, the lack of off-line access to the discussions, not suitable access to the content on multiple platforms, lack of ability to display online users, the weakness in access to discussions of the previous groups; and lack of student access to their performance results, were identified.
Conclusion: The main result of this research is to highlight the importance of the "availability" indicator for learning management tools and systems and also to determine the factors affecting this important indicator. If the designers and implementers of learning management systems in schools and universities are interested in improving the management function of their curriculum, it is necessary to pay proper attention to these six factors. Processes and components in courseware need to be changed so that they can be "more accessible" to their stakeholders by considering the above six factors. These factors could help e-learning administrators and designers to provide a better and more qualified experience for their students and faculties.