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A technological acceptance of e-learning tools used in practical and laboratory teaching, according to the European higher education area

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The application of scientific tools to analyse the use of Internet-based e-learning tools in academic settings is in general an ignored area. E-learning tools are actually an emergent topic as a result of the new ideas introduced by the European Higher Education Area. Lifelong learning, or the promotion of student initiative, is the new paradigm of a learner-centred education. In this context, e-learning tools can represent an effective way of supporting this new trend in education. Assuming the premise that successful use of these web-based tools depends primarily on a user's behaviour, the objective of this research is to examine the technology acceptance model (TAM) of web-based e-learning tools used in practical and laboratory teaching. The research hypotheses derived from this model have empirically been validated using the responses to a survey on e-learning usage among 220 users. These responses have been examined through partial least square. The obtained results strongly support the extended TAM in predicting a student's intention to use e-learning and define a set of external variables with a significant influence in the original TAM variables. Surprisingly, perceived ease of use did not posit a significant impact on student attitude or intention towards e-learning tool usage. Therefore, early evaluation of e-learning material is considered essential to providing a framework for further improvements of the tool.

Keywords: e-learning; partial least square; technology acceptance model

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Business Administration and Marketing, University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain 2: Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain 3: Department of Business Administration, University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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