Title: User perceptions of the technology characteristics in a cloud-based collaborative learning environment: a qualitative study

Authors: Elaheh Yadegaridehkordi; Noorminshah A. Iahad; Norasnita Ahmad

Addresses: Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computing (FC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia ' Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computing (FC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia ' Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computing (FC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess user perceptions of technology characteristics, which is a complicated construct in task technology fit model, in a cloud-based collaborative learning environment. For this purpose, cloud computing characteristics cited in the previous related research, were categorised into cost saving, ease of implementation, flexibility, mobility, scalability, sustainability, personalization, processing capabilities, agility, collaboration, usability, risk reduction, measured service, on demand self-service, and resource pooling. Interviews were then conducted with students who had some experience in using cloud-based applications for collaborative learning. Directed content analysis was performed using ATLAS.ti software to organise the coding process. The results of coding data showed that collaboration, mobility, and personalisation, which resulted from previous related literature, are also cited by a large number of participants in interviews as being significant characteristics of cloud-based collaborative learning applications. Organisational cost saving, ease of implementation, flexibility (elasticity), scalability, sustainability, processing capabilities, agility, usability, risk reduction, measured service, on demand self-service, and resource pooling were not mentioned by any of the participants at all. However, easy monitoring and assessment, time control and saving, cost saving, accessibility, ease of use, and easy connection to other applications were new themes that emerged inductively during data analysis.

Keywords: task technology fit; TTF; technology characteristics; cloud computing; collaborative learning; collaboration; mobility; personalisation; qualitative content analysis; user perceptions; cost saving; ease of implementation; flexibility; scalability; sustainability; personalisation; processing capabilities; agility; usability; risk reduction; service measurement; on-demand self-service; resource pooling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2015.071923

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2015 Vol.7 No.1, pp.75 - 90

Accepted: 06 Jun 2015
Published online: 23 Sep 2015 *

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