The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

The Adoption of new Application Development Tools by IT Pro‑fessionals from the Viewpoint of Organisational Learning  pp197-206

Torsti Rantapuska

© Jan 2006 Volume 8 Issue 3, ECITE 2005 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp143 - 230

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Abstract

Productivity and innovativeness of information work is becoming an important issue among information work‑ers. This paper explores the working and learning of IS professionals when adopting new application development tools. I study how the IS professionals work, communicate, think through problems, and learn by way of getting work done. I also analyse the changes that the adoption causes to the individual style of working. The research questions are formu‑ lated as follows: 1) what contributes to the effective use of IT tools? 2) How does the adoption of new tools affect the individual working methods? The research is based on interviews of fourteen young professionals who have recently started using a new application development tool. The interviews have been conducted in their working places. The fo‑ cus is on learning at work. Special attention is paid to the initial motivation of the innovation, to knowledge acquisition, and to communication with their team members during the problem solving process. According to the findings, the IS professionals' working style is personal and context‑oriented. As learners they do not interact with their peers and do not use systematic working methods too much. The Internet and help systems are used as the basis of group interaction and source of knowledge more likely than colleagues and textbooks. The systematic orientation of working practice is limited to the context at hand. At the end of the study, the results are discussed and recommendations are proposed to improve the software process.

 

Keywords: software process innovations, organisational learning, adoption, individual learning styles

 

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Journal Article

An Interactive and Iterative Evaluation Approach for Creating Collaborative Learning Environments  pp83-92

Anita Mirijamdotter, Mary M. Somerville, Marita Holst

© Nov 2006 Volume 9 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp45 - 104

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Abstract

Inspired by a three‑year Creative University 'arena' initiative at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, an international team of faculty researchers conducted an exploratory study in 2005, which aimed to investigate the efficacy of an interactive design and evaluation process for technology‑enabled collaborative learning environments. This applied research approach was designed as a collaborative evaluation process for co‑creation of technology‑enabled, learning‑ focused physical and virtual 'learning commons.' Faculty researchers from Sweden and the United States used Soft Systems Methodology tools, including the Process for Organisational Meanings (POM) model, to guide sixty‑two students' participatory co‑design and evaluation activities. In this paper, the POM evaluation model is explained and related to the Japanese concept Ba. Application of the models is illustrated within the context of student learning through boundary crossing information exchange and knowledge creation. As evidenced in their iterative and interactive evaluative recommendations, students' learning outcomes included development of improved capabilities for identifying socio‑technical elements of distributed learning environments, suggesting that student beneficiaries can successfully reflect upon their experiences and provide valuable evaluation insights. In addition, when this evaluation is iterative, students' insights into project management, software needs, and services design can improve their technology‑enabled learning experiences. Concluding comments explore the efficacy of the POM model implementation for guiding other learning‑focused, user‑centric initiatives, which aim to promote interdisciplinary, or boundary crossing, exchanges concurrent with advancing team‑based knowledge creation proficiencies among project participants.

 

Keywords: interactive formative evaluation, learning commons, soft systems methodology, process for organisational meanings, POM, model, Ba, higher education pedagogy

 

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Journal Article

Causal Relationships between Improvements in Software Development Processes and Final Software Product Quality  pp1-10

Rini van Solingen, Egon Berghout

© Mar 2008 Volume 11 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 51

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Abstract

A main assumption of software process improvement (SPI) is that improvements in a software development process result in higher quality software products. In other words, SPI assumes the existence of causal relations between process and product characteristics. To what extent have these causal relations, however, been explored? Which specific process improvements have which particular impact on which particular product quality attributes? In this paper an overview is given of these "software process and product dependencies" (PPD). This overview comprises of a list of SPI‑techniques and the associated product quality attributes that are addressed with these techniques. The extent of the causality is investigated and whether there is a possibility to identify more or less effective strategies for product quality improvement. The overview is based on a literature study and expert evaluation. The research is summarised in a matrix of both software process elements and associated software product quality characteristics. This matrix contains both satisfactory and unsatisfactory results. On the one hand, a promising extensive base of publications on techniques and methods was identified. On the other, a disappointing deficiency of empirical validation regarding the actual impact of those techniques on product quality is also prominent. As it is, we remain with an inadequate and incomplete indication of the product characteristics that particular software process improvement techniques intend to ameliorate. This article, therefore, hopefully, also provides a basis for discussion on the need to make process‑product dependencies more explicit.

 

Keywords: software development, software process improvement, learning, product-process dependencies, PPD

 

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Journal Article

Is a Multi‑Criteria Evaluation Tool Reserved for Experts?  pp151-162

C. Sanga, I. M Venter

© Feb 2010 Volume 12 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp129 - 198

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Abstract

The objective of this investigation was to determine whether the analytical hierarchy process algorithm is suitable for the evaluation of software by evaluators with little Information Technology experience. The scope of the research was the evaluation of two free and open source e‑learning systems at the Open University of Tanzania using 33 stakeholders with diverse levels of Information Technology experience. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. The qualitative methods comprised participative observation and interviews. Questionnaires and the analytical hierarchy process, a multiple‑criteria decision‑ making algorithm, represented the quantitative methods. The results showed that of the two e‑learning systems evaluated, Moodle was preferred over ATutor. Furthermore it was found that the analytical hierarchy process algorithm is appropriate for the evaluation of software in a situation where Information Technology experience is limited. It is anticipated that the paper contributes to the theory and practise of decision making in developing countries such as Tanzania.

 

Keywords: free and open source software, e-learning systems, software quality, multi-criteria evaluation tool, analytical hierarchy process, novice user, developing country

 

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Journal Article

Post‑Implementation Evaluation of Collaborative Technology: a Case Study in Business Education  pp77-86

Andriani Piki

© Jan 2010 Volume 13 Issue 1, ECIME 2009, Editor: Elizabeth Frisk and Kerstin Grunden, pp1 - 96

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Abstract

To be successful in their future careers students need to develop diverse skills and qualifications. Firstly, in addition to understanding the course content and the underlying theories, students need to explore the implications that emerge from their practical application and develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. Secondly, students need to gain experience and confidence in working effectively within multidisciplinary and multicultural groups that mirror the situation they are likely to face in their future work environment. Thirdly, they need to familiarise themselves with collaborative technologies (CTs) since these are increasingly used in the workplace to facilitate communication and collaboration between distant co‑workers. To address these learning needs it is essential to incorporate CTs (such as videoconferencing systems) in the curriculum and provide well‑organized opportunities for students to gain hands‑on experience. Nevertheless, what technologies are used does not make the difference between motivated and unmotivated students; it is how these technologies are used that matters. Whilst innovative technologies can be fascinating, they must be properly evaluated and adjusted to specific educational, individual, and group needs in order to be successfully adopted by students. This evaluation entails taking into consideration the context within which the technology will be used (appropriateness evaluation) and the social‑psychological motives for user acceptance (evaluation of user satisfaction). This paper reports the findings from an interpretive case study in postgraduate business education where students were using a state‑of‑the‑art videoconferencing system as part of their workshops and group discussion sessions. This setting provided a suitable social milieu for post‑implementation evaluation of this collaborative technology. Qualitative methods were employed including participant observation, focus groups, and analysis of videoconferencing sessions captured on video. The findings indicate that computer‑supported collaborative learning (CSCL) helps students become confident with using CTs, learn best practices for communicating and collaborating effectively in technology‑mediated settings, and appreciate the impact that technology has on everyday social endeavours. The videoconferencing exercises also engaged students to actively participate in the learning process. Given the duality of technology presence (in educational and business contexts alike) the findings can inform the design of new pedagogical models that maximize the learning potential of CTs.

 

Keywords: computer-supported collaborative learning, CSCL, videoconferencing, collaborative technology, CT, business education, post-implementation evaluation, video-ethnography, case study

 

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Journal Article

Usability Evaluation of a Medium‑sized ERP System in Higher Education  pp148-161

Brenda Scholtz, André Calitz, Charmain Cilliers

© Nov 2013 Volume 16 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp86 - 161

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Abstract

Abstract: The critical importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in modern business has created a demand for ERP consultants with the appropriate competencies to implement, maintain and support these systems. Education and training progra mmes have been implemented in order to provide ERP specialists and graduates with the required industry relevant ERP competencies. The majority of these education and training programmes utilise large ERP systems for instructional purposes, however users of these systems encounter usability issues whilst learning to use the systems. The use of medium‑sized ERP systems has been proposed for educational purposes as they are less complex and easier to learn than large ERP systems. Empirical studies on the us ability of ERP systems, particularly for medium‑sized ERP systems are limited. This paper reports on empirical research on the usability evaluation of a medium‑sized ERP system. The study identified three categories of criteria and 10 criteria which can b e used for usability evaluations of medium‑sized ERP systems. The criteria were used in a case study to evaluate the usability of a medium‑sized ERP system and to obtain qualitative feedback on the usability of the system. The most frequently reported pos itive usability features of the ERP system were the tree‑structure of the menus and the grouping of logically related items. Negative features which were reported included the clutter of the user interface and difficulties with finding information and con trols. These results can provide valuable insight into the ERP learning process for university educators and researchers. The usability evaluation results can assist ERP designers with improving ERP usability, which can improve the quality of ERP training and education programmes and ultimately ERP project success. The usability evaluation results provide considerable insight into the usability problems encountered by students when learning to use ERP systems in their university courses and provide a val uable contribution to usability theory and in particular frustration theory.

 

Keywords: Keywords: ERP usability, learning ERP, navigation of ERP systems, ERP education, ERP system evaluation

 

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Journal Article

Enabling Students with Disabilities with Computing Interaction and Empowerment though Enhanced Strategic Instructional Course Design  pp163-172

Dr. Bob Barrett

© Oct 2013 Volume 16 Issue 3, ICIME 2013, Editor: Nelson Leung, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

Abstract: As more technology changes the learning environment for educators, this has caused a greater need for instructors need to focus on the syllabus, subject content, administrative tasks, and students with varying learning styles, they may also nee d to address various learning style of students with disabilities. As more universities provide teacher training, the training may not be detailed enough to help instructors be prepared to work with classroom accommodations for students with disabilities . In particular, online instructors have another factor to work with in this situation, they have to work with students with disabilities virtually and offer similar or comparable accommodations. More educational institutions are seeing that more studen ts are enrolling in online programs and courses, and they realize that there may be some additional barriers to learning in terms of this learning environment⠒s technical process and structure. In particular, students with disabilities are enrolling ev en more with online courses with the hopes of a barrier‑free environment. Thus, there are still some barriers still present in the learning environment in terms of technical/software application or interaction/communication problems. The purpose of this paper will be to look at how a university can address such problems and develop/create virtual solutions to these barriers by incorporating the help of others in the online community to brainstorm methods of inquiry and build virtual strategies. In part icular, there needs to be a special emphasis given to online instructors to become better prepared and trained with technology in terms of structure and how to motivate all types of students, especially students with disabilities, to become more interacti ve online. While there is a growing need for more human computer interaction, rather than just selecting and clicking single choices, students with disabilities are finding technology to be more enabling than disabling at times. Consequently, universiti es need to design and develop training progr

 

Keywords: Keywords: Accessibility, disability, virtual learning, interaction, teacher training, human computing.

 

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Journal Article

The Five‑dimensional Reflective Cycle Framework for Designing Financial Information Management Systems Courses  pp241-254

Hien Minh Thi Tran, Farshid Anvari

© Oct 2013 Volume 16 Issue 3, ICIME 2013, Editor: Nelson Leung, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

Abstract: Financial Information Management Systems (FIMS) or Accounting Information Systems (AIS) is a cross‑discipline subject, often taught by Computing and Accounting disciplines. In recent years, demand for this subject has grown. However, educato rs have lamented high failure rates among AIS students; professional bodies have reported that graduates lack sufficient meta‑cognitive knowledge of information systems to perform their tasks. Students have reported that their knowledge of databases, ente rprise resource planning and relevant technology topics is lacking. Quality teaching of FIMS or AIS requires instructors to actively update their knowledge of accounting systems and information technology as well as to reflect on their teaching techniques . Reflection and reflective practices are taught within the education discipline, and have grown in popularity among many other disciplines. Yet little has been written about how accounting and IT professionals reflect on their practice and how they apply their reflections to their teaching. Through our case study at an Australian university, we discuss (1) the rationale for the importance of constructivist theory, cognitive load theory, reflective and action‑research in teaching and learning, (2) Blo om⠒s Revised Taxonomy, (3) the application of Bloom and the reflective concept for the design and delivery of FIMS courses, (4) reflection on our strategies for applying these concepts (5) how reflective professionals can assist instructors in t he design and delivery of FIMS courses and, (6) how the proposed five‑dimensional reflective cycle framework can assist academics in the design of AIS courses. Our study supports the view that reflection, within the proposed framework, is an effective strategy; and that Bloom⠒s Revised Taxonomy and the PEER Model are tools which can assist instructors to teach FIMS and AIS courses in a way that enhances participant⠒s learning abilities. We present a five‑dimensional reflective cycle framework t hat facilitates reflective practice among academic and prof

 

Keywords: Keywords: constructivist theory, Blooms Revised Taxonomy, active learning, five-dimensional reflective cycle framework, evaluation, financial information management systems, FIMS, accounting information systems, AIS

 

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