• A framework on information behaviour of SME managers for decision-making on emerging ICTs

      Olatunji, Sulaimon; Bentley, Yongmei; Duan, Yanqing; Ong, Vincent Koon; University of Bedfordshire (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2016-09-09)
      The aim of this study is to explore the perceived information needs and information behaviours of manager of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As technology advancement and innovation are changing rapidly affecting organisations in different ways, organization executives are introducing new technologies for their operations and business environment becomes more complex and dynamic, government introducing different policies to guide the use of these emerging ICTs. As a result, information becomes significant during adoption decision-making process for SME managers to make an inform decision. To achieve this aim, a framework is developed based on existing literature, using the technology organization environmental (TOE) model as the theoretical underpinning for empirical investigation on information behaviour of SME managers in this study. This study is qualitative in nature, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with twenty SME managers in the UK service sector. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Following Myers and Newman’s (2007) guidelines for qualitative interview and triangulation method were used to validate the conceptual framework and established the research rigour and quality. The research findings explained information behaviours of SME managers in the contexts of technology organisation environment as information behaviour triggered and perceived information needs during the adoption decision in SMEs. These findings provide further insight into ICT adoption in SMEs through information behaviours and highlighted the significant of sources of information and pre-information needed during the decision-making process. The research also contributes to theory in the information systems field by using relevant literature from information science field to explore information behaviours of SME managers. Future research can be done in other sectors of the economy to show more holistic behaviours of SME managers.
    • Student experience of gamified learning: a qualitative approach

      Clements, Andrew James; Ahmed, Sajeel; Henderson, Bernadette; University of Bedfordshire (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2017-10-17)
      Student engagement and student outcomes in Higher Education continue to be the subject of academic concern, and thus receive research attention. To address these concerns, we aim to explore the use of gamification to enhance student engagement, and thereby improving student learning and performance. Gamification represents the use of game elements to enhance engagement in activities such as learning.  This paper highlights the use of game elements such as: leader boards, scores for activities, and multiplayer (group) activities.  The paper does this by exploring students’ learning journeys, as well as their experience of modules in which gamification had been introduced. Group-based competitive activities were introduced to modules undertaken by business students, student nurses, and paramedic students.  Students undertaking these modules were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews.  Twelve students drawn from the three disciplines took part in these semi-structured interviews, which were digitally recorded to enable production of accurate transcripts. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes from the interviews. To explain student responses and their learning experience, four themes were developed; challenge, difference, group processes, and competition. Students often presented themselves as enjoying challenge, although this was sometimes contrasted with enjoyment of ‘easy’ activities.  Challenge was presented not only as a motivational factor, but also sometimes as a barrier to success.  This sense of challenge was often conceptually linked to students’ perception of difference within their gamified learning, which was pedagogically distinct from their typical learning experience.  Most, but not all, expressed positive views of this difference.  As with the theme of challenge, discussion of difference could be both positive and negative.  Participants highlighted competition as a positive factor.  The competition between groups influenced some group processes.  Some students noted previous challenges involved in group-work, such as unequal work distribution.  Participants observed the potential for intra-group friction, while identifying the positive learning outcomes of group work.  Taken together, the analysis suggests that competitive group work is a beneficial strategy for enhancing student engagement and performance.
    • Supporting student management with business analytics in the UK higher education sector: an exploratory case study

      Kika, Claudette Adamma; Duan, Yanqing; Cao, Guangming (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2015-12-31)
      Providing students with the best learning experience and ensuring their academic success throughout their university lifecycle has been a serious challenge for Higher Education Institutions' (HEIs). Whilst advances in digital technologies have enabled HEIs to collect more data in various forms (Big Data) and as some HEIs begin to realise the strategic potential of using Business Analytics (BA) to support student management, many HEI managers are still sceptical about the use of BA even though they are struggling to make sense of the ever growing amount of data and information. A few BA studies suggest that large commercial companies that use BA perform better than those that do not in making better decisions and creating competitive advantages; however, little academic research exists either to understand the current challenges faced by HEI managers in student management in dealing with big data or explore how BA can be utilised to support student management. Experts in the analytics field have also stated that most literature on analytics focuses on the institutional benefit and not the staff-student benefit. These knowledge gaps constrain HEIs abilities to improve student experience and academic success. Therefore, this research seeks to understand the managerial challenges in student management and explore the use and impact of BA for improving student experience through a date driven student management in UK HEIs from an organisational information processing perspective. Employing a qualitative methodology, this research reports an exploratory case study in a UK university with semi-structured interviews. The initial findings of this research help to develop an understanding of the key challenges faced by the HEI managers in student management, and a preliminary framework for future research on the use and impact of BA student management. This research suggests that BA should play a critical role in effective student management, which therefore leads to better student experience and academic performance.