CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND This chapter discusses the problem and its background which comprises of project framework, statement of the objectives, the importance of the study, scope and delimitation and definition of terms. 1. 1 Introduction Isabela State University Echague Campus offers undergraduate and graduate programs that require research projects as course requirements. Students and faculty researchers need constant consultations to their advisers who are experts in doing research. This enables them to answer their queries about the research being ndertaken and educate them on how to perform different research processes.
Providing a rendezvous for the researchers allows them to share their expert thoughts to students both in the undergrad and graduate programs who are willing to venture in the field of research. Although ISU-E are full of competent and knowledgeable researchers the instant contact and access to these researchers becomes impossible due to lack of time and instant communication. The advent of the new technology today allows the students and faculty researchers get in touch with the experts using forum, chat room and mails and social networks for consultation.
The development and implementation of ISU-E Research consultation portal provides an ultimate solution to the problems of ISU-E in providing unlimited access to all its clientele and researchers. It also provides a venue for the students of the undergraduate and graduate programs to consult and communicate to their advisers for some insights and professional inputs in doing the research via online communication using the internet. The ISU-E Research Consultation Portal highlights different faculty and students researches.
The system provides resources that can store research output such as journal, proposals, and finished researches of both graduate and undergraduate researches. The system also provides chat room, news updates, publication, and announcement page for the users. The users who are bonafide students and faculty members of ISU-E can also upload and download faculty and student research abstracts, Journal, research templates and other information related to research undertakings. 1. 2 Project Framework 1. 2. 1 Information System Usability Theory Usability is one of the important factors that determine the success of a website of ny types.
It is related to the design aspect of web pages that make sense to people who use them. It not only surfers to navigate easily and conveniently but also helps em n tne InTormatlon tney wanted wltnln a partlcular weD sl e t . DITTerent definitions of usability have been so far proposed, which vary according to the models they are based on. Usability by Nielsen, (2003) was adopted in the field of web site; he defines Usability as a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use. Learnability: the ease of learning the functionality and the behavior of the system. Efficiency: the level of attainable productivity, once the user has learned the system. Memorability: The ease of remembering the system functionality, so that the casual user can return to the system after a period of non-use, without needing to learn again how to use it. Few errors: the capability of the system to feature a low error rate, to support users making few errors during the use of the system, and in case they make errors, to help them to easy recover.
User’s satisfaction: the measure in which the user finds the system pleasant to use. In usability literature, Powell, T, A, defines usability as the extent to which a product can be used by specific users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. In this definition, effectiveness means “the accuracy and completeness with which user achieve specified goals”. Efficiency is “the resources expended in relation to the accuracy and completeness with which users achieve goals”, and satisfaction is described as “the comfort and acceptability of use. Benbunan-Fich,(2001) Usability problems therefore refer to aspects that ake the application ineffective, inefficient, and difficult to learn and to use. The concept of usability can be defined as “how well and how easily a user, without formal training, can interact with an information system of a website”. Bernard et al. (1981) suggested that a 3 “truly usable system must be compatible not only with the characteristics of human perception and action, but, most critically, with users’ cognitive skills in communication, understanding, memory, and problem solving.
Therefore, the researcher looks usability as the overall quality result of the proposed study as being in line with usability literature. Since system perception will be viewed as the desired result by the users (how easy user interface are to use). According to the usability Engineering approach, a cost-effective way for increasing usability is to address it since the early phases of the application development. A solution for achieving this goal is to take into account some criteria.
Various criteria and factors for evaluation have been so far proposed and several stud adopted it, according to Nielse’s heuristics. (2003) for user interface design and evaluatlon there are five dimensions need to consider; LEARNABILITY, EFFICIENCY, MEMORABILITY, FEW ERRORS, AND SATISFACTION. It also includes Shahizan Hassan & FengLi, (2001) seven factors or SCANMIC gathered from various literature on web design and usability such as screen design, content, accessibility, navigation, media use, consistency, and interactivity which used by several industries and study.
Also the modified version of Meyer, et al, (2009) as 25- point Website Usability Checklist which is divided only into four (4) sections such as Accessibility, Identity, Navigation, and content which is originally derived from Nielsen 113- point checklist in his book, Homepage Usability. 25-point Website Usability checklist as developed by Dr. 4 Meyer will be the instrument to use and it will be guided through the Nielsen’s heuristic process.
The following are the sections relating to usability of the proposed system which is defined and organized by Dr. Meyer: Accessibility: “the application features that support universal access by any class of users and technology’. It is one of the main goals of the agency to attract as many as possible from various users, especially farmers. By the word “accessible” it means that users would not only to get connection to a site but also able to browse all ontents available, the higher the degree of accessibility, the higher the level of usability.
The agency, farmers, agricultural expert, and other visitors might keep from being able to access the information on a website and there are three elements need to consider, first is the loading time, and second is browser compatibility and lastly the search facility because web users are impatient: they want to get their answer immediately and do not want to be slowed down by cool features, missions statements, or self-promoting grandstanding (Nielsen, 1997). 0 ntlty???” tne Olstlnctlve cnaracterlzatlon Delongs to an Inalvlauallty or slte”. It glves clear path to the company information and makes the company purpose clear. Navigation:” the act of navigating”. The good navigation in a site is comparable to good road map. With good navigation users especially farmers know where they are, where theyVe been, and where they can go from their 5 current position. In short navigation is the key to making the experience enjoyable and efficient.
Content:” it refers to information contains” One factor of content is providing clear information if what the agency being offered, the information must be accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. Also, the importance of short pages titles, meaningful headings and singed pages must be considered. 25- Point Website Usability Checklist is measured on Five Point Ranging Scale. This indicated that the value of (1) is equivalent to strongly disagree and (5) as to strongly agree.
The Lickert scale Method was used in analyzing the result of the survey. Usability Figure 1. 1 . Meyer’s 25 Point Website Heuristic Framework Figure 1 shows the Meyer’s 25 Point Website Heuristic Framework. The criteria are consists of the following: Accessibility, Identity, Navigation and Content. User 6 atisfaction is obtained when the four major criteria are met. The 25 point website heuristic framework is the basis of the users in evaluating the website being developed.
In analyzing the result of the evaluation 5 Point Licker Scale is used with the following qualitative rating: 5 – Strongly Agree, 4 – Agree, 3 – Undecided 2 – Disagree, 1 – Strongly Disagree. 1. 3 Statement of the Objectives After a thorough analysis and investigation the researcher aimed to attain the following specific research objectives: 1. To be able to investigate the status of the current system of ISU-E campus on research consultation; 2. To be able to design, develop and implement ISU-E Research Consultation Portal for Isabela State University -Echague Campus; and 3.
To evaluate the users’ perception on the system using the following criteria: a. Accessibility b. Identity c. Navigation d. Content 1 4 scope ana Dellmltatlon 0T tne study This study was conducted to Isabela State University Echague Campus located at San Fabian, Echague Isabela. The research started on April, 2012 and ended on November, 2012. There are 150 respondents in this study which is consists of: I. T. 7 Experts (22), “CT Faculty Researchers (23), Student Researchers (98), Research Heads 2), and RDET Employees (5).
This research covered the different researches conducted by graduate and undergraduate programs of Isabela State University specifically on the research consultation process conducted by the advisers. Although Isabela State University is the main school respondent of this study, the Institute of Information and Communication Technology (“CT) served as the pilot college in implementing this research. Since the research includes system development, there are four users who can use the system this includes the administrator, registered students, and the guest users.
The administrator has a full control over the system. It is responsible for maintaining the system, updating information of the website, validating information to be posted on the website, and creating user account to access the system. The registered user can browse the different modules of the system, Join the chat room, post comments, upload and download information such as Journal and research abstract on the website. The guest users can only browse limited information on the website. Guest users can only Join chat room, post comment, download and upload information if they sign in on the system.
Isabela State University-Echague Research Consultation Portal (ISU-E RCP) covers the following information as modules of the system: Home, Researches, Journal, Publication, Services and Portal. The home module also contained sub-modules such as: Mission, Vision, History, Research Agenda, News Updates, List of Researches, Announcement and Galleries. The system is a web application system that requires internet connection to run the system. The system runs best using Fire Fox internet browser. MySQL was used as 8 the back end of the system.
Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) was used in constructing he interface of the system. The technologies used by the researcher in constructing the system were Web 2. 0, and AJAX technology. Three-tier network architecture using Star topology was used by the researcher in deploying the system. 1. 5 Importance of the Study The implementation of the ISU-E Research Information System provides new technology for the ISU-E. This study provides an avenue for the researchers to publish, promote, and maintain a repository of records of all researches conducted by the researchers.
The unlimited access to the different researches of ISU-E allows the users to enhance heir basic knowledge in conducting researchers through the help of the online communication prov10ea Dy tne system. Researcn output 0T tne OITTerent researcners at ISU-E is now in a wider range of coverage in terms of publication and not only found in the library, desktop computer and office shelves but can also be viewed not only within the premises of Echague but it can be accessed anywhere as long as internet connection is available. The limited access of research information is now replaced with unlimited access time.
The students form the graduate and undergraduate programs can now communicate o expert researchers using the system to do queries regarding research matters. Consultation is now easy for the students of both graduate and undergraduate program since the system is equipped with interactive features to address the problem. Researchers can easily publish their researches and Journals online for further criticisms 9 of different experts in the field for some professional insights and inclusion of relevant information for the success of the research being undertaken.
Researchers and advisers can now communicate online anytime of the day for consultation purposes about the research being undertaken by the researcher. Delays in critiquing the papers in now eliminated since the adviser can easily access the manuscripts online and talk to its advisee online using the online chat room. Advisers and researchers can also upload and download information and resources to be used as reference in the research study being carried out by the researcher. 1. Definition of Terms Accessibility – as used in this study, refers to the application features that support universal access by any class of users and technology. It is one of the main goals of the agency to attract as many as possible from various users, especially farmers. By the word “accessible” it means that users would not only to get connection to a site but also able to browse all contents available. The higher the degree of accessibility, the higher the level of usability.
The agency, farmers, agricultural expert, and other visitors might keep from being able to access the information on a website and there are three elements need to consider, first is the loading time, and second is browser compatibility and lastly the search facility because web users are impatient: they want to get their answer immediately and do not want to be slowed down by cool eatures, missions statements, or self promoting grandstanding (Nielsen, 1997) Consultation – as used in this study, refers to the face-to-face conversation of an adviser and the researcher as regard to thesis concerns. 0 Content – as used in this study, refers to information contains” One factor of content is providing clear information if what the agency being offered, the information must be accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. Also, the importance of short pages titles, meaningful headings and singed pages must be considered. ETTlclency – as usea In tnls study, reTers to tne level 0T attalnaDle proauctlvlty, once he user has learned the system.
Few errors – as used in this study, refers to the capability of the system to feature a low error rate, to support users making few errors during the use of the system, and in case they make errors, to help them to easy recover. Graduate Research – as used in this study, refers to the research output done by the researcher under graduate program. Identity – as used in this study, refers to the distinctive characterization belongs to an individuality or site”. It gives clear path to the company information and makes the company purpose clear.
Institute of Information and Communication Technology – as used in this study, refers to the institution offering IT programs which is the pilot college in implementing this research. Isabela State University – as used in this study, refers to a higher education institution located at San Fabian, Echague Isabela. ISU-E Research Consultation Portal – as cited in this study, refers to a Web Application Program that is used as a tool in handling research consultation of graduate and undergraduate studies. 11 Learnability – as used in this study, refers to the ease of learning the functionality and the behavior of the system.
Memorability – as used in this study, refers to the ease of remembering the system functionality, so that the casual user can return to the system after a period of nonuse, without needing to learn again how to use it. Navigation – as used in this study, refers to “the act of navigating”. The good navigation in a site comparable to where theyVe been, and where they can go from their current position. In short navigation is the key to making the experience enjoyable and efficient. Portal – as used in this study, refers to a component of web application software that requires user’s account to access the different modules of the system.
Research Adviser – as used in this study, refers to an individual who act as research expert that criticizes and give recommendation in a research output. Undergraduate Research – as used in this study, refers to the research output done by the researcher in the undergraduate program. Usability – as used in this study, refers to quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving easeof-use, (Nielsen, (2003). User’s satisfaction – as used in this study, refers to the measure in which the user finds the system pleasant to use. 12