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Technology Acceptance: Course and Teaching Surveys Case Study at Sultan Qaboos University

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Author(s): Ali H. Al-Badi | Abdullah S. Al-Rashdi | Taher A. Ba-Omar

Journal: IBIMA Business Review
ISSN 1947-3788

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 989188;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Technology Acceptance Model | TAM | Perceived Usefulness of Technology (PUT) | Course and Teaching Surveys (CTS)

ABSTRACT
Course and teaching surveys (CTS) are an integral part of academic life in institutions of higher education. CTS are conducted with the aim of informing the University's commitment to continuous improvement in the delivery of high quality learning experiences for students. They are used also to gauge the students’ satisfaction with the course materials and the instructor(s) and to provide feedback to the instructor(s). Paper based surveys, for historical reasons, are frequently used for this task. With the rolling out of low cost and accessible web based systems, it is now possible to deploy computer-based instead of paper-based surveys. Paper based surveys present a problem due to the extensive amount of paper handling required, and offer greater potential for abuse by certain individuals. Electronic surveys facilitate more efficient development, distribution and reporting processes, but have some issues with motivating student responses. The objective of this research is of two folds; first, to explore the usefulness and effectiveness of using the web-based surveys in contrast to the paper-based ones by obtaining the opinions of the stakeholders (students, faculty members and staff); and secondly to investigate the causes behind the low number of students attempting the web-based surveys in comparison to the paper-based.Interviews with stakeholders) give different perspectives on this matter. Experience with a paper based survey, and the implementation of an electronic replacement at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), allows the two approaches to be compared. The paper also investigates the acceptability and willingness of the students to use the newly created web-based survey. Many researchers have written about the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and some have provided extensions to the initially proposed model. In this paper we present a case study confirming the Perceived Usefulness of Technology (PUT) component of TAM, and how this factor influences a customer’s willingness to use a technology. The study showed clearly that the web-based CTS have much more advantages over the paper-based ones. Furthermore, if a user does not believe a technology is useful he/she will not use it. Many students claimed that they believe that the CTS have no benefits if there are not actions to be taken by the administration. The paper concludes by providing some recommendations to encourage people to use the technology under discussion, an on-line survey service.
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