cloud computing adoption and usage in community colleges
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Cloud computing adoption and usage in communitycollegesTara S. Behrend a , Eric N. Wiebe b , Jennifer E. London b & Emily C. Johnson ca Department of Organizational Sciences & Communication , The George WashingtonUniversity , Washington, DC, 20052, USAb Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, North Carolina State University , Raleigh,North Carolina, USAc Federal Management Partners, Inc. , Alexandria, Virginia, USAPublished online: 15 Jul 2010.
To cite this article: Tara S. Behrend , Eric N. Wiebe , Jennifer E. London & Emily C. Johnson (2011) Cloudcomputing adoption and usage in community colleges, Behaviour & Information Technology, 30:2, 231-240, DOI:10.1080/0144929X.2010.489118
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2010.489118
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Cloud computing adoption and usage in community colleges
Tara S. Behrenda*, Eric N. Wiebeb, Jennifer E. Londonb and Emily C. Johnsonc
aDepartment of Organizational Sciences & Communication, The George Washington University, Washington DC 20052, USA;bFriday Institute for Educational Innovation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; cFederal
Management Partners, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, USA
(Received 15 September 2009; nal version received 21 April 2010)
Cloud computing is gaining popularity in higher education settings, but the costs and benets of this tool have gonelargely unexplored. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that lead to technology adoption in ahigher education setting. Specically, we examined a range of predictors and outcomes relating to the acceptance ofa cloud computing platform in rural and urban community colleges. Drawing from the Technology AcceptanceModel 3 (TAM3) (Venkatesh, V. and Bala, H., 2008. Technology Acceptance Model 3 and a research agenda oninterventions. Decision Sciences, 39 (2), 273315), we build on the literature by examining both the actual usage andfuture intentions; further, we test the direct and indirect eects of a range of predictors on these outcomes.Approximately 750 community college students enrolled in basic computing skills courses participated in this study;ndings demonstrated that background characteristics such as the students ability to travel to campus hadinuenced the usefulness perceptions, while ease of use was largely determined by rst-hand experiences with theplatform, and instructor support. We oer recommendations for community college administrators and others whoseek to incorporate cloud computing in higher education settings.
Keywords: cloud computing; Technology Acceptance Model; higher education; community college; educationaltechnology
Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular asa way to deliver technology to secondary and post-secondary education environments and other organi-sations. Industry leaders estimate that revenues fromcloud computing enterprises will reach $160 billion,and dene cloud computing as an emerging ITdevelopment, deployment and delivery model, en-abling real-time delivery of products, services andsolutions over the Internet (Fowler and Worthen2009). With its emphasis on the delivery of low-cost orfree applications anywhere on the Internet, cloudcomputing is a promising prospect for educationalinstitutions faced with budget restrictions and mobilestudent population. Commercial providers are eager toencourage educational adoption of cloud computing;for example, Google has created a special educationedition of their cloud-based Google Apps and touts ontheir website the number of educational institutionsthat have adopted this suite (Google 2009). Successfulimplementation of cloud computing in educationalsettings, however, requires careful attention to anumber of factors from both the student and schoolsperspective. This study examines the implementation
of a cloud computing initiative in a community collegesetting with the goal of identifying the factors that leadto successful implementation.
1.1. Cloud computing
The term cloud computing describes the softwareapplications or other resources that exist online andare available to multiple users via the Internet, ratherthan being installed on a particular users localcomputer. Users can access these applications fromany computer with a high speed Internet connectionwhile having no other connection to the hardware thatholds the source software (Gruman 2008). Becausecomputation takes place on a remote server, the usershardware requirements are much lower than theywould be otherwise, reducing both cost and main-tenance requirements (Erenben 2009). For this reason,cloud computing holds appeal for school adminis-trators who seek to reduce information technology(IT) budgets (Behrend et al. 2008a). For many schoolsystems, cloud computing allows students to accesssoftware that was previously unavailable either due tocost or due to capability limitations in the local
*Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Behaviour & Information Technology
Vol. 30, No. 2, MarchApril 2011, 231240
ISSN 0144-929X print/ISSN 1362-3001 online
2011 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2010.489118
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computer hardware (Jerald and Orlofsky 1999). Alter-nately, applications can be oered through cloudsolutions because they are easier to maintain ascentralised services. Some well-known providers ofsuch applications are email service providers such asGmail or Yahoo. Similarly, Google provides GoogleDocs (2007), a popular, free program that allows a userto upload a document and specify other users who canhave access to it.
Cloud computing can be highly benecial ineducational settings. Among the possible benets isthe enhanced usefulness of the existing technology.Because processing is done outside a users computer,older computers can remain useful for longer periodsof time. In addition, installing software or repairingerrors can be done centrally at the server level by theschool IT sta, as opposed to that at the individualcomputer level, which can result in less time expendedon these tasks (Chen 2004, Erenben 2009).
Community colleges have begun to oer moredistance learning courses in the hopes that with agreater exibility to complete their coursework, morestudents will be able to enrol. In this scenario, cloudcomputing oers a way to ensure that students are ableto access and run the required course software,regardless of their location or local computer proces-sing power. Without cloud computing, the potential ofdistance learning is often not realised for technology-intensive courses, as students would need to travel tocampus to access the software they need in schoollaboratories.
Rural students may have the most to gain fromcloud computing initiatives. Students who attend ruralschools are typically dispersed and have to commutelonger distances to get to campus. Cloud computingcan meet these students needs by providing a commoninterface to a class or a school and by providing richcontent that allows the students to engage in learningregardless of location. The prospect of completingtechnology assignments from home instead of stayingafter school to use laboratory computers may mean thedierence between staying enrolled and dropping out,as high transportation costs can become unmanageablefor many low-resource students (Sander 2008).
Along with the substantial benets of cloudcomputing, though, come potential pitfalls that canimpede usefulness and cause substantial frustration.One concern is the prospect of uncontrollable down-time, which will vary by provider, and can occur asserver maintenance is performed or as unforeseenoutages occur (Stone 2008). Because software isaccessed remotely, there may be a perceived or actuallack of control over when it will be available for use.Another concern is the lack of training and support forkey stakeholders, such as instructors, administrators or