User Acceptance of Information Technology: An Empirical Study of It's Learning
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This study continues the work from the specialization project, carrying out the empirical study of the educational platform It's Learning at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The goal of this study was to measure the user acceptance of It's Learning at NTNU, performing more surveys with the students at NTNU, but also with other educational establishments for comparison. In addition to this, we wanted more focus on It's Learning as a multi-user system. To achieve the goal we did a study of technology acceptance in information systems. In addition to this, we have studied important challenges of developing, introducing and using groupware to get more focus on It's Learning as a multi-user system. In addition to the survey we performed during the specialization project, three new surveys have been performed in this study. Two surveys were performed with student groups at NTNU, while one survey was performed with a student group at Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST). In addition to this, we have performed interviews with some of the teachers at NTNU to get an indication of their usage and opinion of It's Learning. Instead of using one of the existing technology acceptance models as a framework for the survey, we created a new research model. The new model combines elements from two existing technology acceptance models, and was created to better adapt to It's Learning. The survey, together with the interviews with the teachers, and the groupware challenge study, created a basis for an evaluation of It's Learning. The results from the survey in this study clearly contradicted the results from the survey in the specialization project, but even though the results differed, all the student groups identified many of the same topics when it comes to problems with It's Learning and how to improve the system The results from the study indicates that two of the main problems with It's Learning at NTNU is that too few subjects use It's Learning, and that It's Learning is not utilized in a good way by the teachers. These two problems represent two important challenges with multi-user systems, the "critical mass" challenge and the "non-standard use" challenge. As opposed to NTNU, HiST has mandatory use of It's Learning, meaning that they avoid the "critical mass" challenge. We also found that It's Learning has an inflexible and cumbersome user interface, and the lack of possibilities for integrating the calendar and message system in It's Learning with other existing applications affect the utility value of these features. That It's Learning is a closed system is one of the largest problems for the teachers, in addition to some missing features for administrating exercises in their subjects. From this study we found that general user acceptance models give a good indication on the user's perception of an information system, but that there is also important to focus on the challenges related to specific types of systems, like the multi-user environment in the case of our study.