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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/91899
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- Integration and acceptance of Web 2.0 technologies in higher education
- Saeed, Nauman
- Web 2.0 is a made up concoction of the second generation of Web-based applications powered by interactions and online communities. These include (but are not limited to) blogs, wikis, multi-media sharing services, content syndication, podcasts, content tagging services, and multi-user virtual environments. With the creation of such applications, the Web has been transformed into a fully interactive space allowing any user to collaborate, create, publish, subscribe, and share information. More recently, Web 2.0 has become a buzz-word in education and academics around the world have been exploring the potential of Web 2.0 technologies in both online and classroom-based teaching. However, the opportunities presented via technologies are coupled with challenges: how to accommodate the diverse needs of students; to what extent is the technology useful; and, how to make right decisions for specific learning tasks. This thesis answers such questions by conducting two case studies involving popular Web 2.0 technologies in a classroom-based higher education setting, using a student-centred approach. This was accomplished by integrating a combination of blog, social bookmarks and podcasts in Web programming units, based on the match between students’ learning styles and their preferences for using Web 2.0 technologies. The findings highlighted learning styles and technology preferences of the current generation of students; usage patterns of Web 2.0 technologies in higher education; student satisfaction for the use of incorporated technologies; and finally, well-balanced academic performances across all learner types. These findings can serve as a guideline for academics or practitioners looking to integrate Web 2.0 technologies in their unit designs. There are also growing concerns about the gap between popularity and usefulness of Web 2.0 technologies and their adoption in higher education environments. These concerns give rise to further questions like: what motivates people to use Web 2.0 technologies; how to encourage people to use Web 2.0 technologies or make full use of them; and, what the significant predictors of Web 2.0 usage are? Here, to answer these questions, we examined the user acceptance of some popular Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, podcasts, and Second Life (a 3-D multi-user virtual environment) and key predictors of their usage in higher education context. The aforementioned issues were met by conducting two survey studies. In the first study, a theoretical model was formulated to examine the effect of students’ cognitive styles on user acceptance of blogs and podcasts, based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) and adaption-innovation (A-I) theory. The empirical evaluation of the proposed model was performed in PLS (Partial Least Squares) using PLS Graph 3.0 software. The findings provided full support for the proposed model and highlighted the technology usage patterns of adaptive and innovative cognitive styles. The data collected during the first survey study also helped in examining the effect of media richness on user acceptance of blogs and podcasts. This was done by formulating another theoretical model based on TAM and media richness theory (MRT) and treating perceived media richness (PMR) as significant antecedent of usage intentions of blogs and podcasts. The empirical evaluation of the model revealed significant effect of PMR on use intentions but defied dominance of rich medium (audio/video-based podcast) over lean medium (text-based blog) in terms of explaining user acceptance of blogs and podcasts. The second survey study extended the research on Web 2.0 technologies by examining user acceptance of a popular 3-D virtual learning environment, Second Life. To do this, a theoretical model was formulated based on TAM and hedonic consumption behaviours from marketing research. The empirical evaluation of the proposed model underlined the highly significant effect of hedonic behaviours (in terms of emotional responses) on user acceptance of Second Life. The findings also exposed the inability of traditional technology acceptance approaches (such as TAM) to explain the user acceptance of today’s highly interactive, multi-user, and entertainment-oriented technologies like Second Life thus triggered the need for more research on user acceptance of Web 2.0 technologies. The contributions made by this thesis are multi fold: 1) It presents an overview of prominent learning theories which helped in explaining the notions of student-centred learning, e-learning and the role of Web-based technologies in e-learning. 2) It explains the notion of Web 2.0; describes the academic usage of selected Web 2.0 technologies; and, pinpoints the challenges of using Web based technologies in higher education settings. 3) It presents an overview of technology acceptance theory and an overview of key technology acceptance models / frameworks from Information Systems research. 4) It also investigates the fields of social psychology, marketing, communication and consumer behaviour in order to explore key predictors of Web 2.0 usage. 5) The two case studies reported in this thesis validate the importance of matching learning styles with instructional preferences and contribute toward the practice of Web 2.0 technologies in higher education. 6) The thesis also contributes toward the field of technology acceptance by formulating theoretical models on user acceptance of blogs, podcasts and Second Life and performing empirical evaluation of the proposed models. This would help in improving the Web 2.0 usage in higher education.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies. Centre for Complex Software Systems and Services
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2010 Saeed Nauman.