Research Assignment

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Introduction

My fellow teammates and I believe there is an opportunity for the university to enhance the current course access system. This is of course in reference to ‘my blackboard’. The problem with the current system is that it does not satisfy the various needs of Victoria University students. This can be attributed to three key areas, appearance, usability and a lack of features. There are various reasons why this topic is worthy of research, which all relate back to the three key areas. Firstly, the usability of blackboard is essential in relation to students performance, if students struggle to access essential information they may be prone to missing classes, tutorials or at worst, assignments. Secondly, improving the overall appearance and features of blackboard will accordingly improve the overall satisfaction of students. It can be assumed that one of the university’s main goals is to provide its students with a quality service, so it’s logical for the blackboard to operate congruously with that goal. The final reason why this problem compels research is to reveal what opinions and ideas students have about how blackboard should be run. This allows for qualitative insights from the users about problems and or opportunities for the system. Interview Guide

1. How do you currently access course material?

2. What are your thoughts on the current web version of blackboard? How satisfied are you with the usability of blackboard?
How satisfied are you with the current features of blackboard? How satisfied are you with the appearance of the current version?

3. What is your opinion about introducing a new blackboard application?

4. What features do you think are important for a blackboard application How important is the accessibility of blackboard to you?
How important is the appearance of blackboard to you?

5. How likely would it be for you to use the new blackboard application if it was introduced and what medium would you use?

6. Would you pay for a blackboard application?

7. Is there any other thoughts or ideas you would like to add?

Thank you for your time.

Interviewees

The interviewees I chose all shared common characteristics. All interviewees were in their second year of, studying commerce. All students had marketing as either there major or minor. Two were male and two were female. It was a tactical decision to choose second year students for two important reasons. Firstly, 1st year students have not yet been at the university for a full semester, this means they have only had to deal with 4 papers on blackboard.

This differs from 2nd year students who have now dealt with 12 papers on blackboard and thus gained a greater grasp on the pros and cons of the system. The second point carries as much weight as the first. 3rd year commerce students are now in their ultimate year of study this may predispose the interviewees to a careless attitude considering any changes that could be made would only assist them for one semester.

Analysis Of Research

The Necessity for a blackboard application

After analyzing the qualitative interviews the most pertinent point raised was the necessity for a blackboard application. Firstly all respondents were enthusiastic about the introduction of a blackboard application. Interviewee 1 claims “it’s a good idea as it will make blackboard more accessible”. Interviewee 4 even goes, as far to say that he would love for they’re to be an application and would “use it every single day”. This point is further justified when all respondents reply in the same manner when asked how important the accessibility of the application is to them. This question probes the interviewees so that they cannot digress from what they really need from the application. Interviewee 1 listed some factors revolved around accessibility, saying that it’s necessary to “find room changes, test rooms allocations, all your grades, and tutor...
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