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Advances in computing and information technology are changing the way people meet and communicate. People can meet, talk and work together outside of traditional meeting and office spaces. For example, the release of software designed to help people schedule meetings and streamline decision-making or learning processes is weakening geographic restrictions and changing the dynamics of interpersonal communication. Information technology is also dramatically affecting the way people teach and learn.

As new information technologies infiltrate workplaces, homes and classrooms, research on user acceptance of new technologies has begun to attract the attention of professionals as well as academic researchers. Developers and software industries are beginning to realize that user acceptance of technology can result in wasted money and resources.

When examining user acceptance and use of technology, TAM is one of the most cited models. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was developed by Davis to explain computer usage behavior. The theoretical basis of the model was Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Logical Action (TRA).

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is a theory of information systems (a network of all communication channels used within an organization) that models how users accept and use a technology. A number of factors influence their decisions about how and when to use the software package, in particular:

Perceived usefulness (PU) – This was defined by Fred Davis as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system will improve job performance”.

Perceived ease of use (PEOU) Davis defined it as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system will be effortless” (Davis, 1989).

The purpose of TAM is “to provide an explanation of the determinants of computer acceptance in general that can explain user behavior across a wide range of end-user computing technologies and user populations, while being both parsimonious and theoretically justified.”

According to TAM, if a user perceives a particular technology as useful, they will believe in a positive use-performance relationship. Because labor is a limited resource, a user is likely to accept one application when they perceive it to be easier than another. As a result, educational technology with high levels of PU and PEOU is more likely to generate positive perceptions. The relationship between PU and PEOU is that PU mediates the influence of PEOU on attitude and intended use. In other words, while PU has a direct effect on attitude and usage, PEOU indirectly affects attitude and usage through PU.

User acceptance is defined as “the demonstrable willingness to use information technology for tasks it is designed to support within a user group” (Dillon & Morris). Although this definition focuses on the planned and intended uses of technology, research reports that individual perceptions of information technologies can be affected by the objective characteristics of the technology and interaction with other users. For example, the extent to which he or she considers the new technology useful, is likely to use it. At the same time, the perception of the system is affected by the way people around them evaluate and use the system.

Researches on information technologies constantly report that user attitudes are important factors affecting the success of the system. Over the past few decades, many definitions of attitude have been proposed. However, all theories consider attitude as the relationship between a person and an object (Woelfel, 1995).

In the context of information technology, it is an approach to the study of attitudes – the technology acceptance model (TAM). TAM recommends that users formulate a positive attitude towards technology when they perceive technology as useful and easy to use (Davis, 1989).

A review of scientific research on IS acceptance and use indicates that TAM has emerged as one of the most influential models in this research stream. TAM represents an important theoretical contribution to understanding IS use and IS acceptance behaviors. However, with its unique emphasis on the design of system features, this model does not take into account the social impact in the adoption and use of new information systems.



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