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Journal Article

ICT Evaluation in the Irish Higher Education Sector  pp187-198

Marian Carcary

© Feb 2010 Volume 12 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp129 - 198

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The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) evaluation literature now spans several decades. Nonetheless, evidence continues to suggest that there remains a lack of formal ICT evaluation practices within organisations. Several challenges exist, not least the social and political contexts within which evaluation takes place and limitations in existing evaluation techniques. However, while ICT evaluation exercises have spanned many fields of study, an in‑depth review of the ICT evaluation literature revealed that there is a paucity of ICT evaluation studies within the Higher Education sector. The 14 Irish Institutes of Technology (IoTs) have recently undergone an extensive transformation of their ICT systems. A national project launched by the Department of Education and Science and the Council of Directors of the IoTs performed a nationwide implementation of a suite of integrated Information Systems for library, human resources, finance and student management functions in order to standardise the ICT systems of the IoT sector. Yet, at the time of research, no formal evaluation of this project had been completed. This paper advances the body of ICT evaluation knowledge in the tertiary education sector through evaluating the impact of the Student MIS implementation within the IoTs. The research study was interpretive in nature; case studies based on multiple evidence sources were conducted in five IoTs. Analysis of the evidence led to the distillation of 15 findings on the Student MIS implementation which were centred on five key project areas – system selection, system development in the Irish IoTs, system commissioning, ex‑post performance at system start‑up and at the time of research. The 15 findings uncovered either support existing research in the ICT evaluation field or further advance the body of ICT evaluation theoretical knowledge. This paper makes a number of valuable contributions. It enhances understanding of ICT evaluation in tertiary education. It discusses the difficulties involved in operationalising a standard ICT system in multiple diverse organisations and provides lessons with respect to managing the difficulties experienced in large‑scale government projects.


Keywords: ICT investment management, ICT evaluation, ex-post evaluation, MIS, ICT in tertiary education


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Journal Issue

Volume 12 Issue 2 / Dec 2009  pp129‑198

Editor: Shaun Pather

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: analytical hierarchy process, B2C e-commerce, collective use, DeLone and McLean, developing country, e-commerce Success, e-learning systems, electronic marketplace, ex-post evaluation, free and open source software, ICT evaluation, ICT in tertiary education, ICT investment management, innovative use, investor structure, IS success, MIS, multi-criteria evaluation tool , net benefits, novice user, onfigural use, online television, online video, ownership, performance evaluation and improvement, small-to-medium enterprises, software quality, technology adoption, theory of planned behaviour, user acceptance of online videos, web TV, work-arounds


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