As Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) systems become more essential to education there is an increasing need for their creators to reduce risk and to design for success. We argue that by taking an ergonomic perspective it is possible to better understand why TEL systems succeed or fail, as it becomes possible to analyze how well they are aligned with their users and environment. We present three TEL case studies that demonstrate these ideas, and show how an ergonomic analysis can help frame the problems faced in a useful way. In particular we propose using a variant of ergonomics that emphasizes the expression, communication and use of knowledge within the system; we call this approach Knowledge System Ergonomics. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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