User-driven Technology Evaluation of eParticipation Systems
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User-driven Technology Evaluation of eParticipation Systems

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User-driven Technology Evaluation of eParticipation Systems

User-driven Technology Evaluation of eParticipation Systems

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  • 1. User-driven Technology Evaluation of eParticipation Systems
    Sotirios Koussouris, LoukasKipenis, George Gionis, FenaretiLampathaki, YannisCharalabidis, DimitriosAskounis
    Decision Support Systems Laboratory
    National Technical University of Athens
    Greece
  • 2. WEB.DEP Project
    WEB.DEP – Western Balkans Democratic Participation
    FP6 Funded Project
    Duration: 1/1/2007 – 31/3/2009
    http://www.web-dep.eu
    7 Partners including:
    2 universities (NTUA, NAPIER)
    1 vendor/technology provider (ATC)
    3 Balkan national news agencies (ATA, MIA and TANJUG)
    1 association of journalists – a union (ESIEMTH)
  • 3. Why News Agencies?
    As media organisations, news agencies act asintermediaries between Governments and Citizensand are regarded as “neutral news providers”
    In this case, using conscious code of ethics to….
    Present the news “unedited” and “uncommented” (facts not opinions)
    Involve stakeholders (e.g. government and experts)
    Manage (moderate) forum
    New democratic context = big change for news agencies (relationship government & citizens)
  • 4. WEB.DEP Outline 1/2
    Information provision –content management system to share news more widely and efficiently
    E-Participation via shared forum across 3 countries
    Plus polling/questionnaires
    Content and moderation provided by news agencies
  • 5. WEB.DEP Outline 2/2
  • 6. Evaluation Needs
    eParticipation systems should satisfy multiple needs in order to be considered successfull.
    Rely not only on technology but (most importantly) on their “participative“ character and the users‘ engagement.
    These needs can be separated in two major categories
    IT driven category
    “Institutional” or “Decision Making” driven category
  • 7. Methodology Used
    Two structured straight-forward questionnaires addressing the actual users of the platform
    Aiming at capturing two of the most important dimensions of eDemocracy systems
    the user perception of the usability and
    the expected impact of the system to the user‘s life
    Resulting in recommendations or guidelines that will strongly bind the following aspects
    system usability (user friendliness and straightforward functionalities)
    expected impact from the use of the system (increasing citizens’ participation in the decision making progress and of making the public opinion heard and considered by the decision makers)
  • 8. Technology Acceptance Model 1/2
    Extension of classical TAM with the introduction of a new construct is introduced, namely “External Factors”.
    The aim of this modification is to identify the level of impact of relevant external factors (prior experience, educational level and job/occupation relevance) to Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and Intention to Use.
    This addition is of outmost importance when dealing with systems deployed in converging regions, as issues like Digital Divide, low internet penetration and limited familiarization with technology become obstacles on the road towards the sustainable and beneficial implementation and operation of such a system.
  • 9. Technology Acceptance Model2/2
    For each construct, a group of questions was asked regarding the:
    Perceived Usefulness of the systems
    Perceived Ease of Use of the system
    Intention to Use the system
    External Factors regarding
    Relevant Skills
    Prior Experience
    Educational Level of the users.
  • 10. Hypotheses drawn
    Various hypotheses were drawn to be tested. Based on the outcomes improvement scenarios will be build for maximizing usability and impact of the system.
    H1: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H2: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
    H3: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H4: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
    H5: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H6: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H7: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H8: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H9: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
  • 11. Single Construct Analysis
    Initial findings calculating the mean values for each construct
    The educational level of the users lies on “Degree or higher training”
    Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and Intention to Use are quite positive (lying on “maybe yes” level)
    Users’ occupation relation to IT technology and decision-making process and prior experience to discussion systems are slightly above the mean value of 3 which corresponds to “Yes and No” level.
  • 12. TAM Findings
    Educational Level seems to have a strong positive effect to all main constructs that represent the grade of acceptance for WEB.DEP.
    There is a strong indication of positive effect of Occupation towards Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and Intention to Use.
    There is an indication of negative effect of Prior Experience to all 3 main constructs, which constitute a really interesting finding.
  • 13. Hypotheses drawn
    Various hypotheses were drawn to be tested during the evaluation and based on the outcomes improvement scenarios will be build for maximizing usability and impact of the system.
    H1: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H2: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
    H3: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H4: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
    H5: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on system perceived usefulness.
    H6: Prior experience with similar technological tools and/or active citizenship will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H7: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H8: Educational level will have a direct positive effect on intention to use the system.
    H9: Job/Occupation Relevance will have a direct positive effect on system perceived ease of use.
  • 14. Conclusions – Next Steps
    Analyzeand investigate the “negative” relations revealed
    The proposed TAM should be tested on other systems and redesigned accordingly in order to move towards a one-fits-all solution
    Reduce the extend of the questionnaire in order to encourage more responses from users
    Re-evaluation of the WEB.DEP platform, as it matures.