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Title: The effects of individual-level culture and demographic characteristics on e-learning acceptance in Lebanon and England: A structural equation modeling approach
Authors: Tarhini, Ali
Advisors: Liu, X
Hone, K
Keywords: Technology acceptance;Culture;Individual differences;Developing and developed countries;E-learning acceptance
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University
Abstract: Due to the rapid growth of Internet technology, universities and higher educational institutions around the world are investing heavily in web-based learning systems to support their traditional teaching and to improve their students’ learning experience and performance. However, the success of an e-learning system depends on the understanding of certain antecedent factors that influence the students’ acceptance and usage of such e-learning systems. Previous research indicates that technology acceptance models and theories may not be applicable to all cultures as most of them have been developed in the context of developed countries and particularly in the U.S. So far little research has investigated the important role that social, cultural, organizational and individual factors may play in the use and adoption of the e-learning systems in the context of developing countries and more specifically there is almost absence of this type of research in Lebanon. This study aims to fill this gap by developing and testing an amalgamated conceptual framework based on Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and other models from social psychology, such as Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and TAM2 that captures the salient factors influencing the user adoption and acceptance of web-based learning systems. This framework has been applied to the study of higher educational institutions in the context of developing as well as developed countries (e.g. Lebanon and UK). Additionally, the framework investigates the moderating effect of Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions at the individual level and a set of individual differences on the key determinants that affect the behavioural intention to use e-learning. A total of 1197 questionnaires were received from students who were using web-based learning systems at higher educational institutions in Lebanon and the UK with opposite scores on cultural dimensions. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was used to perform reliability and validity checks, and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in conjunction with multi-group analysis method was used to test the hypothesized conceptual model. As hypothesized, the findings of this study revealed that perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), subjective norms (SN), perceived quality of work Life (QWL), self-efficacy (SE) and facilitating conditions (FC) to be significant determinants of behavioural intentions and usage of e-learning system for the Lebanese and British students. QWL; the newly added variable; was found the most important factor in explaining the causal process in the model for both samples. Our findings proved that there are differences between Lebanese and British students in terms of PEOU, SE, SN, QWL, FC and AU; however no differences were detected in terms of PU and BI. The results of the MGA show that cultural dimensions as well as demographic factors had a partially moderated effect on user acceptance of e-learning. Overall, the proposed model achieves acceptable fit and explains for 68% of the British sample and 57% of the Lebanese sample of its variance which is higher than that of the original TAM. Our findings suggest that individual, social, cultural and organisational factors are important to consider in explaining students’ behavioural intention and usage of e-learning environments. The findings of this research contribute to the literature by validating and supporting the applicability of our extended TAM in the Lebanese and British contexts and provide several prominent implications to both theory and practice on the individual, organizational and societal levels.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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