Understanding Self-Directed Blended Learner¡¦s Usage Behavior of E-Learning System

by Lu, Chung-Han

Abstract (Summary)
The e-learning system is one of many educational methods that allow flexible learner-centered education. It is also an information system based on the Internet. Hence, the increasing use of the e-learning has provided an inter-disciplinary research opportunity to information systems and educational engineering fields. But the benefits of an e-learning are subjected to the organization¡¦s learning environments, readiness and the acceptance of self-directed users. In other words, self-directed learning (SDL) is a prerequisite to e-learning success. It is important to evaluate the readiness of self-directed users and their acceptance of e-learning system. This paper focuses on examining the applicability of both the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) in explaining adult self-directed users¡¦ acceptance of e-learning system in a blended learning context. The combination of user groups (adult learners), the technology (e-learning system), and the context (blended learning in a higher education institution) is new to IT acceptance researches. The purpose of this research is to shed light on more effective ways to motivate part-time adult learners to use e-learning system in a higher education institution. This study extends both the TAM and UTAUT models with self-directed learning (SDL) concepts. A questionnaire was developed based on previous works in the areas of technology acceptance and SDL. Based on responses from 433 adult blended learners, both SDL-based TAM and UTAUT models were evaluated in terms of overall fit, explanatory power, and their causal links. Overall, findings suggest that TAM may be more appropriate than UTAUT for examining high SDLRS score user group¡¦s e-learning acceptance behaviour; UTAUT may provide e-learning designers and management teams some crucial suggestions to enhance low SDLRS score users¡¦ system utilization. This study also asserts that the successful transition to an e-learning environment requires that the self-directed learners be actively encouraged and supported by their organizations. Results of this study provide reliable and valid SDL-based TAM and UTAUT instruments for organizations to determine whether their learners had the necessary skills for SDL-based blended learning before investing huge budget and time in a large-scale e-learning project. As more organizations experiment with e-learning systems, the SDL-based TAM and UTAUT models could be used to (a) assess the degree of users¡¦ self-directed readiness before e-learning implementation; and (b) evaluate the factors affecting users¡¦ acceptance of new e-learning system and provide useful remedies for improving system utilization rate after e-learning implementation.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Chang-Yung Liu; Pao-Tiao Chuang; Leo Huang; Hsien-Tang Tsai; Huei-Mei Liang; Tsuang Kuo

School:National Sun Yat-Sen University

School Location:China - Taiwan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:blended learning unified theory of acceptance and use technology utaut e self directed sdl model tam


Date of Publication:04/25/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.