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Masters Degrees (Information Systems and Technology)

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    Perceptions of the use of IsiZulu Termbank Technology at University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Hadebe, Njabulo.; Jere, Ntabeni.; Govender, Irene.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The acceptance of chatbot technology to support academic activity at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Johnson, Ebunoluwa Ehikowoicho.; Ranjeeth, Sanjay.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Using educational data mining to predict sub-Saharan African science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students’ academic performance: a systematic review.
    (2023) Mhlongo, Langelihle Lucky.; Govender, Irene.; Quilling, Rosemary Diane.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Factors that influence the adoption of teledentistry by dental professionals in South Africa.
    (2023) Mahomed, Ismaeel.; Ranjeeth, Sanjay.
    The emergence of the fourth industrial revolution has introduced many capabilities for the healthcare sector. The concept of telehealth, or "healthcare at a distance" has been studied extensively in various domains such as medicine, dentistry, cardiology, radiology, and mental health. South Africa, a country marked by a high prevalence of oral health disease and a lack of dental professionals to cater to the public and rural sectors, can benefit from the capabilities of teledentistry. Despite the promising capabilities of teledentistry, telehealth has not thrived in South Africa, and the successful adoption of teledentistry has not been investigated amongst South African dental professionals. Furthermore, technological innovations are susceptible to cyberattacks, and given South Africa's vulnerable standing to cybercrime, it is crucial to study trust and perceived risks that pertain to teledentistry. There exists a gap in the literature that identifies the factors influencing the adoption of teledentistry amongst South African dental professionals, and how cyber security risks influence teledentistry adoption as well. This study aimed to address the above, by utilizing a conceptual model based on the UTAUT and added constructs of trust and perceived risk. Online questionnaires were distributed to dental professionals on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and WhatsApp. A sample of 146 respondents was utilized in the study through convenience and snowball sampling. The study was predominantly quantitative and data was analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics (one sample t-tests, Pearson correlation, and regression). The study’s questionnaire did include a section that elicited an open-ended response that was analysed from a phenomenological perspective. Performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, trust, and perceived risk all had significant positive correlations with behavioral intention to adopt teledentistry. The construct of performance expectancy exhibited the strongest correlation with behavioural intention and facilitating conditions the lowest. The main theme derived from the open-ended section was that teledentistry would be used in a supplementary manner to to enhance dentistry by increasing the capacity for quick patient consultations rather than become a fully fledged replacement for dentistry. The study provides a concise identification of factors that will enhance the use of teledenistry within the dentistry sector of South Africa thereby ensuring greater access to dental expertise at a cost that is economically viable.
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    The adoption of a big data approach to advance teaching and learning in the context of South African higher education.
    (2023) Obagbuwa, Oluwadamilola Samuel.; Singh, Upasana Gitanjali.
    Abstract in PDF.
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    Case study: an evaluation of the comprehensibility of information security policies in a South African bank.
    (2023) Razack, Riyadh Sayed.; Maharaj, Manoj Sewak.
    Information security policy and its resultant implementation is seen as pivotal in organisations that want to protect their information both internally and externally. Employees are relied heavily upon to read and understand and therefore comply with the information security policy including all its principles. The study has used readability and comprehension tests to assess the policy to analyse what the minimum required reading level is, how much abbreviations and jargon are contained therein. Employees were surveyed to understand the implications of security policy on them, the study utilised interviews of staff and asked questions pertaining to awareness, ideal ways to eradicate jargon and technical terms as well as views around security policy implementation. Ultimately directing implications around improvements to be made, but not limited to the removal of jargon and technical terms. Further to this, recommendations are detailed for policy writers and implementors, as well as critical success factors for ISMS managers and security specialists who are tasked with crafting policy, embedding this through the organisation and ensuring staff comply and adhere to organisational information security strategy. A conceptual multidimensional framework to coordinate the significant outcomes identified in the study is also developed to enable robust information security design, and monitoring. Within the context of the study a number of important and noteworthy outcomes have been established. Any conceptual framework must provide a dimension to remediate the readability challenges. The other established outcome pertains to awareness and socialisation/training pertaining to policies, where respondents did not believe awareness of information security policies were adequate and accessibility was viewed as problematic, this was confirmed by the interviews where most staff did not know where to locate information security policy/ies. Respondents did not feel included in the development of policy and accompanying improvement mechanisms and consequently any conceptual framework which does not incorporate users is inherently flawed.
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    Understanding the factors influencing the adoption of cloud computing in higher education during coronavirus disease: a case of University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Zondi, Minenhle.; Civilcharran, Surika.
    Cloud computing (CC) as a model for internet-based service provisioning, enables the delivery and access of services based on dynamically scalable and virtualized resources (infrastructure, platforms, etc.). For higher education institutions (HEIs) cloud computing provides services anywhere and anytime, as a result of its scalability and pay-as-you-use approach. Although scalable processing and storage, data sharing, and anytime, anywhere access are some of the key advantages that CC may offer enterprises, there are also risks and barriers to adoption, and it is still in its infancy in developing nations. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which struck the entire world in 2020, compelled institutions to alter their procedures and methods as a result of the social distancing laws that were put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. The sudden surge of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a quick acceleration towards the adoption and use of CC in learning and education to ensure the continuation of classes. CC had a significant impact in fighting the epidemic and became a saviour for various fields including the education sector. This study seeks to investigate the factors influencing the adoption of CC in HEIs during the upsurge of the Covid-19 virus. The research model utilised is the unified theory of acceptance and use of a technology (UTAUT). The study used a quantitative technique to identify the factors that influence the adoption of cloud computing through a questionnaire survey that was administered to a convenient sample at the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus. The study found that effort expectancy (EE), performance expectancy (PE) and social influence (SI) all positively influence the behavioural intention (BI) to use CC for learning purposes, with performance expectancy being the highest predictor of behavioural intention to adopt CC for students. Additionally, facilitating conditions (FC) and behavioural intention (BI) were also found to influence the actual sage of CC for learning purposes. These findings are useful as they give university’s policymakers, designers insights into what factors are crucial when implementing CC to ensure the successful adoption by students.
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    Understanding students’ compliance behaviour with the information security measures within a South African university.
    (2022) Masinga, Sabelo Moses.; Civilcharran, Surika.
    Today’s organisations are continuously and increasingly being exposed to security breaches. Higher education institutions have also been affected by the increasing occurrences of security breaches. Higher education institutions’ exposure to security breaches have been attributed to factors such as human error and lack of information security compliance among students. Studies have shown that students do not comply with information security policies. Hence, students, like most humans, remain the weakest link in the exposure of information and information systems to cyberattacks. In this study, the protection motivation theory was used as the guiding theoretical framework to understand students’ compliance behaviour with information security measures. This study employed an exploratory research design supported by a quantitative research approach to investigate the factors influencing students’ compliance with information security measures. The data was collected using a questionnaire and was analysed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS). From a stratified sample of 376 participants, the findings indicate that Perceived Severity and Perceived Rewards have the most significant effect on student compliance with information security measures. This study further makes suggestions that may help improve compliance with information security controls within higher education institutions, such as replacing the student card system with biometric fingerprint scanners which are a more convenient method to access the university.
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    Factors that influence the acceptance of the revenue management system at the eThekwini municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Khumalo, Zandile Rosemary.; Ranjeeth, Sanjay.
    Traditional business processing models have been transformed by the intervention of technology. Technology has generally improved levels of productivity, efficiency, and accuracy when it comes to the processing of data. These attributes of the technological era have prompted many organisations to make a substantial investment in technological systems with the expectation of making achieving a competitive advantage and an elevated level of maturity of technology usage. This trend has been followed in the domain of public sector governance with many South African municipalities opting to follow the business model of using technological systems to replace manual systems and to redesign process models so that there is a strong alignment with the technology. However, the expectation of success due to technological intervention does not always guarantee a successful outcome. This has been prompted in response to anecdotal evidence that attests to a failed information system used by the eThekwini Municipality in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The main purpose of the system is to collect revenue from the citizens of the municipality based on services that are delivered at the municipality. The empirical phase of the study focused on the use of the Revenue Management System (RMS) at the eThekwini Municipality, South Africa. The study is aimed at evaluating the user acceptance of the RMS by employees of the eThekwini Municipality. The objective of the study is to ascertain the influence that technology acceptance factors play on the end users’ intention to accept the RMS at the eThekwini Municipality. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model was used to underpin a quantitative empirical phase. The main output from the study is the analysis of a set of technology acceptance factors that influence the usage of the system. Primary data was collected using questionnaire from 180 employees, and only 105 responses of which only 102 were useful. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the primary data collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to address the research objectives. The research findings of this study have revealed that performance expectancy, effort expectancy and facilitating conditions are the factors that significantly influence employees’ behavioural intention to accept and use RMS at the municipality. With the research findings and the recommendations presented, the management should ensure that the RMS at the municipality is improved, this will contribute to the optimum usage of the system thereby improving staff morale and contribute towards better service delivery to the citizens of the eThekwini Municipality.
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    The influence of big data on monitoring the factual quality of digital media in Southern Africa.
    (2022) Dlomo, Andile Samkeliso.; Quilling, Rosemary Diane.
    This research study will explore how big data can drive innovation in response to dynamic change and aid society in establishing an advantage when fact-checking/monitoring new media and dealing with false information. The study emphasises that big data might answer questions and offer insights society never had access to before. In the current news media environment, the services that enable the sharing and production of large amounts of data are not sufficient to combat increasing fake news, ongoing public mistrust, and false, partisan media content for capital gains from gaining more influence in society. There is an urgent need for intervention, which big data innovation can provide. There are, however, some myths regarding the use of big data that need to be dispelled, such as the idea that an analysis of the data will ensure transparency and reliable content distribution from the developers of big data systems to the audience consuming the data. Innovating and obtaining an advantage from data is more complex than just collecting lots of data; a look at the impact big data will have on a society is vital in leveraging big data. The study explores this notion by looking at the Digital Data Genesis Capability Model. The model guides the structure and how the case study will be conducted in the media fact-checking sector. The development of the big data initiative is built on fundamental expertise. According to the findings, highly skilled employees with knowledge of both proprietary and open-source tools are essential in the development of big data systems. Furthermore, there is a high level of compatibility with the existing web environment standard and the tools being used when deploying a big data system in the web. As a result, development of a big data initiative by a technology focused organisation is only limited by their ability to implement an effective big data workflow. However, this requires detailed planning, cloud computing for hardware; software; outsourced third party services; the work on data structure built in-house; and the use of docker containers that enable mobility in the development process and the adoption of new technology when implementing the searching and querying of large datasets and streams. There was a deviation from the existing model noted. The context of the study exposed that it is possible to implement big data initiatives among more than one company as a partnership, if the companies share some business traits or the same philosophy: thus, changing the dynamic of routines and responsibility in the existing landscape.
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    Barriers and enablers experienced by women in senior information technology positions in South Africa.
    (2022) Shange, Pretty Ngenzeni.; Quilling, Rosemary Diane.
    The under-representation of women in senior and leadership positions in the IT industry has long been an issue of concern for both organisations and governments. This has led to this topic gaining global attention, which has led to studies undertaken to understand the causes of this under-representation. In South Africa we have seen efforts such as employment equality acts by government and diversity programmes by organisations that aim to address this under-representation. This study aims to understand the barriers that women encounter in their career journeys and the enablers that helped them overcome the barriers as they persisted and advanced in IT. This study followed a qualitative research approach using open-ended online interviews for data production using a sample of fifteen female senior IT managers. This sample consisted of Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Heads of Department, and different IT managers in their areas of specialities within IT. The results of this study showed that factors such as computer access at a young age played an important role in creating a positive attitude towards IT or computer related careers. Factors such as availability of bursaries for IT qualifications and knowledge of family members about the IT careers were most likely to increase the chances of a young woman to choose an IT career. The results also showed that young women who liked Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects such as mathematics were also more likely to study IT or computer related qualifications. The IT industry career stream and the support employees received from family and organisations also played a big role in determining the persistence of women in their IT career. Furthermore, mentorship and sharing of opportunities within professional networks also contributed positively to the advancement of women in this industry. The flexibility and ability to work from home were among the highlighted benefits that encouraged women to persist. Results also showed that more women were concentrated in middle management and that the career path to the Csuite level is not clear. The understanding of barriers and enablers presented in this study will guide and inform the choices women and the societies make about this industry and better position government and organisations with understanding needed in creating an IT industry that nurtures women to success.
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    Cloud adoption for organisations in the eThekwini area.
    (2022) Mngomezulu, Thuthukani Givenson.; Naidoo, Karunagaran.
    Cloud computing is a computing model that enables developing countries to open new business ventures without having to spend extensive amounts of money in upfront capital investment; “cloud computing is a practical approach to experience direct cost benefits, and it has the potential to transform a data centre from a capital-intensive set up to a variable priced environment. The main character of cloud computing is in the virtualization, distribution and dynamically extendibility” (Chauhan, 2012, p. 1). Of all the models that utilise the network as means for delivering computing resources, cloud computing is the best one yet; the cloud is more scalable and allows consumers to add and remove resources as their computational needs change without impacting business processes (Nuseibeh, 2011). There are other opportunities that organisations stand to benefit from cloud computing adoption, but in spite of all the opportunities, the rate at which organisations are adopting cloud Computing is increasing at a slower pace than expected in South Africa. From the statistics released in 2018 by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, it was highlighted that South Africa had fallen behind in its efforts to adopt Cloud Computing and different reasons were highlighted as a cause of this lag (BSA, 2018). This research study aimed to investigate potential issues that impacted the organisation's desire to adopt the cloud resulting in the low adoption rate. The technology-organisation-environment (TOE) framework was the framework that was used in this research study. Four research questions were developed as part of achieving the objectives for this research study. A sample of organisations in the KwaZulu-Natal province was identified for this research study using the convenience sampling technique and an online survey hosted in Survey Monkey was sent out to the selected organisations. The collected data were analysed using SPSS tools. After analysis was performed on the data, it was found that most challenges that organisations faced were from external factors like infrastructure readiness, which organisations had no control over. Internal challenges also affected the organisation’s adoption and usage of the cloud, but when data was grouped according to either belonging to the internal or external group, it was found that external issues affected organisations more than internal issues.
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    Factors that influence proficiency in the learning of computer programming by Information Technology students.
    (2022) Ranjeeth, Lerushka.; Padayachee, Indira.
    The main objective of the study was to ascertain the factors that influence the acquisition of computer programming skills by students who are enrolled for an Information Technology (IT) degree at a tertiary education institution. The study is driven by a societal need to empower as many individuals as possible with computer programming skills. The study is very relevant to the South African context in the light of the decision taken by the education department to establish computer programming as a niche skill for South African citizens. The learning of computer programming is however, not that straight forward and requires an intensive cognitive effort to ensure that students obtain a high degree of skill and expertise in computer programming. The study has been conducted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) where the Discipline of IT has been challenged by students’ performances in computer programming assessment. While there are “pockets” of excellence, there are numerous instances where students have performed poorly in computer programming assessment. The case of UKZN presents an ideal opportunity to study this phenomenon because it provides a diversified student population with regards to degree enrolment as well as gender and location. From a teaching and learning perspective, this knowledge will be pivotal for the IT academic department at UKZN as well as the general domain of teaching and learning of computer programming. The study adopted a quantitative approach and was guided by a conceptual framework. The study used a questionnaire that contained an open-ended question that enriched the analysis and discussion. The study’s main objective was to ascertain factors that will predict computer programming performance was achieved. The main factors that were identified as significant predictors of computer programming performance were problem solving ability and self- efficacy. A concomitant outcome from the study was the analysis of validity of the study’s conceptual model which was subjected to multiple regression and path analysis. The path analysis exercise resulted in the generation of a conceptual model that had a better fit to the study’s data than the a priori conceptual model. The study also discovered trends of computer programming strengths and weaknesses at UKZN and it is envisaged that this knowledge will contribute to enhance computer programming pedagogy and student performance in assessment tasks.
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    The impact of implementing critical success factors during information technology outsourcing: eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality case study.
    (2021) Goba, Innocentia Nokulunga.; Quilling, Rosemary Diane.
    IT outsourcing is a decades-old practice that has been used by businesses. Organisations engage in this activity because they lack the necessary capabilities in-house to complete the assignment, and it is sometimes more cost-effective to outsource the work to another company. Using Duhamel's Outsourcing Technology Enactment model, the goal of this qualitative exploratory case study was to determine the influence of crucial success variables during IT outsourcing (Duhamel, Gutierrez-Martinez, et al., 2014). Snowball sampling was utilised to find study participants within the participating company who could offer information about the IT outsourcing initiatives. Members of the eThekwini Municipality's IT outsourcing project team served as the sample criteria. Project deputy heads, senior managers, specialists, analysts, developers, and project managers were among the participants in the study. The reason for the limitation is that the researcher was looking for participants that play a huge role and that are able to make managerial decision during IT outsourcing. NVivo Pro 12 research software was used to analyse the interviews. The tool was chosen because it has been widely used by researchers and scholars to analyse data (Syarifuddin et al., 2017). The result of this case study shows that the study participants from eThekwini Municipality understand the concept of outsourcing and the Municipality uses different types of outsourcing depending on the project to be implemented. The study participants, to a large extent, considered trust, shared knowledge and communication during a project. These factors are all important because they play a different role, they are intertwined. However, it is indicated by two senior participants that trust do not exist in business and the relationship is governed by a contract and a service level agreement. Institutional arrangements at the Municipality delays projects and should be reviewed to match up with the ever-changing IT environment. The outcomes of a project are measured using time, scope and budget. The findings from this study may be used by IT leaders and project teams for future and current projects when deciding to implement IT outsourcing projects.
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    Acceptance of mobile money technology by retailers in Accra, Ghana.
    (2022) Cato, Valentine Nii Lante.; Marimuthu, Mudaray.
    Mobile Money technologies have become part and parcel of people's daily lives in developing countries, especially Africa. Much effort has been made in making Mobile Money technologies available, safe, reliable, and effective amongst people in Africa. One area where the technology seems to be gradually diffusing into is the business world. More and more businesses seem to be adopting the technology. However, little is known about the dynamics involved in retailers' acceptance and usage of Mobile Money. Hence, this study sought to explore the acceptance of Mobile Money in the retail business sector while also finding out factors that influence the acceptance. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) was selected as a theoretical framework for this study. Using a quantitative survey approach, retailers in the business area of Accra, Ghana, were sampled using convenience sampling. Findings revealed that all retail businesses were aware of Mobile Money supporting businesses. Most retail businesses are using Mobile Money in different ways to support their business. Basic transactions such as receiving payments from customers and payment payments or remittances were common. Factors such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, price value, hedonic motivation, and habit were seen to impact the use of Mobile Money by retailers. Therefore, designers of Mobile Money services must consider these factors when developing these applications by ensuring it has functionality that is useful and easy to use. Furthermore, telecommunication companies that make Mobile Money services available to retailers and the government need to work together to decrease commission and transaction costs. These measures will results in increased acceptance of Mobile Money by retailers.
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    The compliance framework for the 7th POPIA condition in the SME ICT sector.
    (2021) Moraka, Lehlohonolo Itumeleng.; Singh, Upasana Gitanjali.
    Data privacy legislation has gained momentum throughout the world and affects users of electronic communication devices in both the private and public sectors. Organisations must adopt data privacy regulations to safeguard data belonging to parties who transact using electronic devices. Furthermore, they need to invest in an organised data privacy solution, such as an information security management system. POPIA, refers to the Protection of Private Information Act, which is the data privacy legislation in South Africa. The POPIA is a legal document consisting of eight conditions, and the 7th condition in the POPIA speaks directly to information security management systems. The aim of the data privacy legislation is for the government and legislature to give data owners control over their data, which is stored in third-party organisations. The third-party organisations, which store and process the data, must follow strict and mandatory protocols with the aim of protecting the data of a data subject, and using it with the consent of the data subject. The overall aim of this study is to produce a framework that will assist small and medium enterprises (SME) with complying with the POPIA. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the work done by SMEs in implementing information security by looking at what they do to align with data privacy; to implement data privacy; the resources used for compliance; security threats affecting SMEs; and resources made available for compliance. In the same light, the study looks at existing international data privacy rules and regulations and examines their relationship with the POPIA. The findings of the study indicate that organisations needed a frame of reference to assist them with implementing the 7th condition of the POPIA. In addition to this, the governments assistance is required by organisations as they implement the POPIA. Moreover, organisations seem to have a fairly knowledgeable structure internally which is resourced and supported by senior management with implementing the POPIA. However, they require external support and validation from government as they are not sure of their efforts align to what the 7th POPIA condition requires. Lastly, the frame of reference is developed by adapting best practice and frameworks which deal specifically to issues indicated in the POPIA 7th condition, and recommendations made by the participants in the study.
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    Security practices of smartphone users at UKZN Westville Campus and its effects on the institutional information systems.
    (2021) Kaka, Oluwafisayo.; Naidoo, Karunagaran.
    Technology has evolved through the years and brought about innovations in telecommunication tools such as smartphones, widely used today for various reasons, like educational purposes. Similar to other mobile devices, smartphones are prone to online attacks, and their usage on a university network may lead to cyber-attacks on a university's information systems. Many universities utilise information systems such as mobile websites and mobile applications like Office Outlook email, Moodle and Turnitin. Therefore, ensuring adequate online security is fundamental to mitigate online threats, but such actions are disregarded by most students who are considered the security administrators of their smartphones. This study used a quantitative research method to assess smartphone users' security practices at the UKZN Westville Campus and its effects on the Institutional Information Systems. The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s information systems includes a mobile website that enables students to access UKZN student central for academic and support services. The university also uses mobile applications such as MyUKZN, Turnitin and Moodle. The study gathered data via paper-based and online questionnaires from the University of KwaZulu-Natal students that own and use smartphones to connect to the internet via the university’s WIFI on campus. The findings of this study revealed that online threats might occur through students disregard for the university's online security guidelines. Some students’ lack of online security knowledge was also discovered, making these individuals’ smartphones possible entry points for online attacks. Regardless of online security skill level, students demonstrated inconsistent security behaviour. The above mentioned inadequate security practices by students can result in the UKZN experiencing a data breach, financial loss, disruption of services, intellectual property theft, and much more damages. The findings further indicated that students that possess good security skills do not readily implement security measures because the process is assumed to be stressful.
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    The determinants of effective computer mediated communication between lecturers and students at a tertiary education institution.
    (2021) Ntombela, Nonhlanhla Fortunate.; Ranjeeth, Sanjay.; Ako-Nai, Sonny Anyetei Moses.
    Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) is the transmission of data communication between individuals using two or more electronic devices. CMC provides digital platforms for one-on-one communication, conferencing and collaboration that is instantaneous. However, in the literature, there’s a lack of research that focuses on the interaction between lecturers and students through CMC in South Africa. Hence, there is a need for this study to understand the factors that influence an effective interaction between lecturers and students through CMC, and propose adequate strategies to foster such kind of interaction. In this study, an effective CMC interaction is defined as the behavioural intention to use CMC between a lecturer and a student that is perceived as prompt, professional and supportive by both the students and lecturers. The afore-mentioned constructs have been used to develop a conceptual model that guided the current study to investigate the determinants of the behavioural intention to use CMC between lecturers and students at a tertiary education institution, from the student’s perspective. The study made use of quantitative methods as its fundamental research approach. The study’s sample consisted of 276 students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. These students were surveyed using a closed-ended online questionnaire. From a research nomenclature perspective, the study’s theoretical constructs were identified as immediacy, professionalism and support which constitute the independent variables while intention to adopt/adoption of CMC has been labelled as the study’s dependent variable. The study’s main outcome revealed that the majority of students acknowledge the importance of immediacy, support, and professionalism in the facilitation of an effective CMC-based relationship. Empirically, the study confirmed a moderate, positive correlation between the constructs and students’ intention to adopt CMC as a conduit to achieving excellence in their studies. Evaluation derived from a structured equation modelling derivative of the original conceptual model revealed that the construct of support had more of a mediating influence on students’ intention to adopt a CMC-based learning approach. A concomitant outcome from the study was that a majority of the students preferred using CMC with academic staff than face-to-face communication, with a preference for technological platforms that support CMC based learning rather than general social media networking platforms. At the time that the study was conducted, the institution from which empirical data was collected had transformed to a remote/online learning approach that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a consequence, many of the study’s respondents had a natural preference for the video conferencing tool that was currently employed at the institution.
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    Critical success factors that influence the performance of agile software development methodologies in organisations.
    (2020) Peters, Yeshmeeta Deodutt.; Marimuthu, Mudaray.
    The agile manifesto was brought into existence in 2001 and agile as a methodology was derived in the 1990s. The reason for the formulation of this methodology was to create methods to produce software in a better manner that could fulfill the customer’s needs in an environment that was iterative and controlled. The types of agile methodologies being followed are Scrum, extreme project management, adaptive project management, and dynamic project management method and scrum is the most widely utilized. There is insufficient research into the hierarchy of importance of the critical success factors that affect agile projects. Critical success factors of organisational structure, people, process, technical and, project factors have been identified in previous studies, however, the ranking of these factors in terms of the level of importance for agile success has not been studied enough. These critical factors are classified as Technical, Organisational, Process, Project, and People categories. There were suggestions from researchers that test automation and cloud computing can also positively affect the success of a project using agile. Since these two factors were not studied in conjunction with the other critical factors mentioned previously, this study extended previous studies by incorporating these factors. This study expanded the factors by including cloud computing and test automation as possible critical factors to the successful implementation of agile software development. The research method chosen for this study was the quantitative method. The data was collected using questionnaires and was analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics. To achieve an acceptable statistical power, a sample size of 200 agile practitioners was targeted, but the researcher was able to obtain 110 responses. SPSS version 27.0 was used for the descriptive and inferential data analysis and the statistical tests. The main findings indicated that people, technical factors, and test automation were the top three critical success factors in terms of importance. The project, people, and organisational structure were the top three critical success factors in terms of performance. Cloud computing was found to be less important whereas test automation was found to be an important factor for agile success. Significant gaps were identified between the critical success factors and their performance in organisations. The study recommends that organisations place additional emphasis on the critical success factors that affect agile success and the performance of these factors to close the gap identified in this study. Further recommendations are to provide adequate training in agile processes.
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    E-textbook preferences: a case study of Information Technology students' preferences at a private higher education institution.
    (2020) Osih, Shammah Chukwuehike.; Singh, Upasana Gitanjali.
    Textbooks can be defined as a printed and bound artefact that consists of certain idea or information about a particular topic. The debate between using printed textbooks (traditional) or e-textbooks (digital textbooks) is ongoing in the educational sector. Students are often required to buy textbooks in order to complete a course in the university, and this textbook can either be printed or e-textbook. Students who are usually reluctant to read a printed text or electronic texts are not familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each text, respectively. Thus, the absence of information prompts the students to employ only one kind of text either digital or printed. The purpose of this research was to investigate whether university students prefer printed textbooks or digital textbooks (e-textbooks). Through this research we will be able to discover the elements affecting the adoption of e-textbooks and printed textbooks and why university students prefer one to the other. The importance of the research is to understand why students are making the decision to use either traditional textbooks or e-textbooks and what makes them develop these preferences. The benefits that will be derived from this research will help illustrate what the students feel about traditional (printed) and e-textbooks (digital) and the choices that go into making that decision. Data was collected from Pearson Institute undergraduate students via questionnaires. The study applied the mixed methods to analyse the relationship between perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), attitude (ATT), complexity (CMX) and compatibility (CMP) on Behavioural intention to use. A final number of 80 responders were used as the research sample. Findings from the study revealed evidence that Perceived usefulness impacts Behavioural intent to use e-textbooks, Perceived usefulness impacts attitude to use e-textbooks, Perceived ease of use affects Behavioural intent to use e-textbooks, Perceived ease of use affects Perceived usefulness to use etextbooks, Perceived ease of use affects attitude to use e-textbooks, Attitude affects Behavioural intent to use e-textbooks., Compatibility impacts Behavioural intent to use e-textbooks, Compatibility impacts perceived usefulness to use e-textbooks, Complexity has little or no influence on intention to use etextbooks and complexity has little or no influence on intention to use e-textbooks. The overall result led to the conclusion that students prefer e-textbook to the printed textbook.