Staff perceptions of Blackboard as an online teaching tool in tertiary education

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Authors
Missula, Saroja
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Degree
Master of Computing
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2008
Supervisors
Muller, Logan
Manford, Chris
Type
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
staff perceptions
Blackboard systems (Computer programs)
elearning
perceived ease of use
perceived usefulness
Citation
Missula, S. (2008). Staff perceptions of Blackboard as an online teaching tool in tertiary education. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Computing, Unitec New Zealand, New Zealand.
Abstract
The globalised economy and advanced web technologies are the key drivers for the growth of demand for flexible learning. To cope with the increased demand, educational institutions are continuing to explore the potential of e-learning technologies to enable changes in teaching and learning methodologies. Tertiary education providers are making huge financial investments on e-learning development. Such providers also continuously assess whether e-learning technologies are utilised to their full potential and if the providers’ efforts are achieving the expected return on the investment. Specifically these assessments aim to measure the level of effectiveness, ease of usage, flexibility, extent of utilisation and faculty perceptions of learning management systems. This study aims at understanding the perceptions of staff at Unitec who have been using a software application called Blackboard that provides an online instructional environment. The study analysed the adoption of e-Learning in tertiary education and the extent of utilisation of Blackboard as a Learning Management System (LMS) by the instructors. This research study investigated the factors that influence staff perceptions while using Blackboard in the online teaching environment. The study identified three relevant key variables namely Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Usefulness and Staff’s Computer Background from the widely used Technology Acceptance Models drawn from the literature review. The research followed a Mixed Method Design where the results of qualitative data are further explored using quantitative survey to ascertain the identified results. Results from this study determined the level of usefulness is related and influences how often staff use Blackboard and how effectively instructors use the course tools on Blackboard. The perceived Ease of Use is not dependent on staff’s usage of Blackboard. Staff training has an impact for better utilization of the Blackboard features. However, the study revealed IT experience of staff has no considerable impact on usage and utility of Blackboard.
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