Understanding Intention to Use Multimedia Information Systems for Learning

Article excerpt

Introduction

Throughout the past decade the developed world saw a boom of the Internet driven by the rapid advancement of computer technologies and the resulting information systems (IS) (Saade & Bahli, 2005). The management of these IS aims at applying these associated vast information resources successfully. In order to successfully manage these IS we must match the correct processes with the appropriate technologies and applications. An important step towards that is the studying of factors determining the appropriateness of a systems' usage (Koohand & Durante, 2003).

In this study we present our experiences with a multimedia tool. Generally, multimedia applications are considered to be computer applications that allow users to interact with audio and video to convey information (Gonzalez, 2000). This definition has been modified many times. The common features that are held between most definitions are that information is accessed and controlled using more than one mode of data representation. (Low, 2003; MacDonald, 2003). These different modes include pictures, text, animations, audio, and video. Multimedia learning systems have been heralded as providing benefits both to students and administrators alike (Marold, 2002). Benefits to administrators are usually measured in terms of savings (time and money) when managing resources. Often benefits affect both groups of users such as gains in temporal and geographical availability (Manning, 2003). Multimedia tools capitalize on the student's needs by offering more interactivity in online learning modules (Chen, 2004). Multimedia learning tools can be developed to perform simulations or play games at the same time as provide presentations. These styles of tools offer instantaneous feedback (Saade, 2003). This interactivity increases the student's belief that they are in control of their learning activity (Lainema, 2004). Enhancing the learning tools in this way helps to bring a higher sense of connectivity between the students and the program. The objective of developing and using a multimedia tool in an online educational setting promotes students to be less passive in their learning experience.

The increase in information technology infrastructure has led to many changes throughout society and particularly within the education industry. Some of these changes entail multimedia use in human computer interfaces, increasing multimedia and information technology use for entertainment, increased use of information technology for communication and increased use of e-business (Hsu, 2004; Liu, 2003). Online multimedia learning has resulted from all of these factors and is seen to be the replacement to all forms of distance education (Liu, 2003). Research done on online multimedia learning has mainly focused at determining how to use tools to get the most affect on final learning. Researchers have broken down user groups by demographics in order to customize learning tools (Liu, 2003), concept mapping has continued to breakdown user guidance needs (Lin, 2004), and have gauged self-efficacy and satisfaction as measures of success for the tools (Cheung, 2003; Wang, 2003). All of these methods have lead to a better understanding of how to create multimedia learning tools.

It has also been noted within these studies that the more users utilize the system the greater the success they will have learning the material (Hwang, 2003). In general we are performing this study to understand acceptance of online multimedia IS to be used for database modeling. Multimedia tools capitalize on the students need for more interactivity, which has shown to aid the student's beliefs of enhanced learning (Hill, 2004). To that effect, the goal of this paper is to study intention to use multimedia learning systems (MMLS).

Research Objective

In this study we are concerned with online learning using a MMLS. Based on our literature review computers have been used to teach many different types of content with varying degrees of success (Sunal, Sunal, Odell, & Sundberg, 2003). …