Security and collaborative groupware tools usage
AlAdraj, Resala A.
This thesis investigates the usage problems of Online Collaborative Groupware (OCG) tools for learning at the University of Bahrain (UOB) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. An initial study revealed that the main problems faced by students when they use OCG tools in the learning process are security and trust.\ud \ud SWFG (Skype, Wiki, Facebook, and Gmail) tools were proposed as being effective and commonly used OCG tools for learning. A quasi-experiment has been done with UOB students to identify the perceptions of the students towards security, privacy and safety relating to use of SWFG tools. Based on this experiment the researcher has derived the following results:\ud \ud Secure Skype has a positive relationship with Skype usage;\ud Private Skype has a positive relationship with Skype trust;\ud Secure Gmail has a negative relationship with Gmail usage and trust;\ud Wiki usage has a negative relationship with trust in Wikis.\ud \ud Additionally, the research revealed that students may be more motivated to use OCG tools if the security and privacy of these tools was to be improved. The thesis also focuses on security and trust within email.\ud \ud In order to evaluate the usage of secure emails, students‘ awareness of the secure email awareness was investigated using quantitative and qualitative methods. The results of this evaluation informed the design of an experiment that was then conducted by tracking secure email usage and gathering information about the students‘ usage and awareness of their secure emails. The aim of this activity was to identify a clear representation of secure email usage over specified periods for both academic and non-academic purposes by students in both the UK and Bahrain. It has been concluded from this experiment that there are differences between the usage of secure email in each country when applied to both academic and non-academic purposes.\ud \ud Finally, based on these results, the researcher developed a framework which derives from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) model by testing security and trust effects on the ease of use and on usefulness. A case study has been conducted using a new secure email instructional model in order to validate the research framework. The study found that security provided by webmails and students‘ trust affects the webmail‘s perceived usefulness, and that in turn this leads to ease of use regardless of which type of email client is used. However, it was not proof that usefulness affects the usage of email. Evidence suggests that the model may be a suitable solution for increasing the usefulness of email in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), and can help to strengthen communication between faculty and students.\ud \ud This study has contributed valuable knowledge and information in this particular field of study. It has been able to gather a satisfactory amount of information from both students and teachers in both the University of Bahrain (UOB) and the University of Warwick (UOW). A number of different methods were used in this task – interviews, questionnaires, observations, experiments and student feedback, amongst others.\ud \ud The entire study was conducted in a way that it would empirically evaluate different dimensions of secure Online Collaborative Groupware (OCG) tools usage in the educational environment. The research framework applied in this investigation provided many insights into OCG tools. These new insights and information may be used to test and validate the framework with a large number of students.