An evaluation of the usability and end user acceptance of an education management software system.
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The study is aimed at evaluating the usability and end user acceptance of a management software system. The study serves an exploratory agenda to determine the current state of usability regarding SASAMS and to determine end users’ intentions to make use of SASAMS. The knowledge from the empirical phase of the study converges to an output that provides guidance on possible aspects of SASAMS that may be improved from a usability perspective. The quantitative research method is used to guide the study. The targeted population in this study will be composed of a total of 45 secondary, combined and primary schools that use the SASAMS within the Piet Retief Circuit and the sample for the study has been purposively selected to consist of 43 users of the SASAMS. The survey method is used for data collection and the data collection instrument is a questionnaire. The research findings indicate that SASAMS is a relatively user friendly package and the overall usability enabled an end user to quickly obtain proficiency in the use of the package. However, the usability of the package is dependent on intensive training sessions where end users have an opportunity to “internalise” elements of core functionality of the system as well as pick up on subtleties about the interface so that they could become expert users of the system. Aligned to this outcome from the empirical phase of the study, a recommendation is made with regards to the need for training and workshops for educators, heads of departments, deputy principals and school principals so that the usability of the system is enhanced. Another major area of improvement that has been identified is the issue of data input into the system. Proficiency in this regard is functionally dependent on the level of experience in the use of the system or the amount of training that a prospective user is exposed to. The activity of data capture has been identified as an area of improvement of the interface. The recommendations from the study also makes incursions into issues regarding the connectivity of the system which is dependent on a real-time link to the Department of Home Affairs as well as the Department of Basic Education in the Mpumalanga Province. Optimal usage of the SASAMS will only be viable if all the intended functional components of the system are available to educators on a regular basis. From a positive perspective, the empirical data shows that the SASAMS has been endorsed by school principals, Heads of Departments, educators and school administrators. There is a positive correlation with current usage practice and the intention to continue making use of the SASAMS. However, the issue of training and the availability of technical support for the use of the package has been highlighted as areas of significant concern.