An investigation into the acceptance of digital tools, used for collecting assessment and learning evidence, in vocational education and training in the Northern Territory

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Hodge, Steven M
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Prestridge, Sarah J
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This is an investigation into the acceptance of digital tools used for collecting evidence of assessment in a vocational education and training (VET) environment, where acceptance is a positive decision to use a technology. A select group of 14 stakeholders from Australia's Northern Territory participated in semi-structured interviews. The group included trainers who were the users of the tools and the leaders who influenced the trainers' access to the tools. The technology acceptance model (TAM), developed by Davis in 1986, in combination with Berger and Luckmann's seminal sociological text, The Social Construction of Reality, provided a theoretical underpinning for this research. The technology being accepted was specifically the digital evidence collecting tools being used by the 14 stakeholders, otherwise known as participants. The VET environment is highly regulated and it would be reasonable to assume that digital evidence collecting technology is often imposed rather than adopted due to user acceptance. This environment could potentially diminish the significance of understanding acceptance. However, a thorough exploration of acceptance guided by the interpretivist paradigm of this research produced results of substantial value in this regulated environment. In alignment with the research questions the results included, an understanding about the ways that acceptance occurred; how the social construction of reality affected acceptance; factors that influenced acceptance; and how to consider the relationship between use and acceptance. The value of understanding acceptance is not diminished because the definition of acceptance was explored. This showed that acceptance may not directly enable use to be predicted, but the understanding acceptance in combination with the social construction of reality may help managers or future researchers to enable more effective use of digital tools when use is being imposed. [...]

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Thesis (Masters)
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Master of Education and Professional Studies Research (MEdProfStRes)
School Educ & Professional St
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vocational education and training (VET)
Northern Territory
technology acceptance model (TAM)
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