«Journal of Information Technology Education: Research Volume 13, 2014 Cite as: Mac Callum, K., Jeffrey, L., & Kinshuk. (2014). Factors impacting ...»
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research Volume 13, 2014
Cite as: Mac Callum, K., Jeffrey, L., & Kinshuk. (2014). Factors impacting teachers’ adoption of mobile learning.
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 13, Retrieved from
Factors Impacting Teachers’ Adoption
of Mobile Learning
Kathryn Mac Callum
Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand email@example.com Lynn Jeffrey Kinshuk Massey University, Auckland, Athabasca University, New Zealand Athabasca, Canada l.m.Jeffrey@massey.ac.nz firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract As mobile technology has advanced, awareness is growing that these technologies may benefit teaching and learning. However, despite this interest, the factors that will determine the acceptance of mobile technology by lecturers have been limited. This study proposed and tested a new model that extends the technology acceptance model (TAM) with three new variables: digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and ICT teaching self-efficacy.
The TAM models the adoption of new technology based on measuring a users’ beliefs and attitudes to the technology. In particular, the TAM states that two factors influence a user’s use and perception of new technology. The first factor, perceived usefulness, is the degree to which a person believes that a particular technology will be beneficial to their lives. The second factor, perceived ease of use, is the measure of the degree an individual believes a particular technology is free from effort.
Research has shown that a large portion of lecturers still resists the integration of technology into the classroom. Two aspects, in particular, have been consistently found to impact lecturers’ adoption of technology. The first aspect shown to influence the adoption of new technology is the beliefs held by the lecturers. Specifically, it is the perceived value of the new technology (perceived usefulness) and perceived effort needed to learn to use the new technology (perceived ease of use) that have been established as playing a major role in the adoption of technology. The second major aspect seen to influence adoption is the skill of lecturers to use digital technology (referred to as digital literacy) and the skill needed to integrate it into their teaching (teaching selfefficacy).
Material published as part of this publication, either on-line or
perceived usefulness, ease of use, digital literacy, anxiety, and teaching self-efficacy were critical factors in lecturers’ behavioral intentions to use mobile learning. The results of this study indicated the importance of these factors in the acceptance of mobile learning. From this model, educationalists are able to identify and develop strategies to support the successful introduction of mobile technology with in educational setting.
This research has added to and clarified the existing literature into mobile learning. In particular, it recognizes the role that lecturers play in the future acceptance of mobile learning. It shows that the factors that influence lecturers’ adoption of mobile learning may differ from those of their students. It therefore highlights that these factors need to be considered when implementing mobile technology into the teaching environment.
Keywords: Teacher technology adoption, mobile learning, technology use in education, technology acceptance.
Introduction As technology has become more powerful and pervasive it has provided educators with a valuable tool to support learning. Mobile technology, which has advanced considerably over the last decade, has enabled learning to be more accessible. This accessibility has provided educators with a way to support learning inside and outside the classroom. Mobile technology integrates a wide set of tools and applications that enable learning to be dynamic so that students are no longer tied to their desks to experience and interact with learning objects.
The integration of mobile technology into teaching and learning is expected to have great influence on the experience and performance of learners (Mac Callum, & Jeffrey, 2013). However it will be the acceptance by lecturers that has the potential to have the greatest influence on the successful introduction of mobile learning (Mac Callum, 2010). Students are able to utilize mobile technology to support informal learning; however without the support and acceptance of educators, it is unlikely to be fully integrated into more formal learning. Substantial research has addressed the factors that influence educators’ integration of a range of technologies into the classroom, including; environment, policies, support, and beliefs (Albion, 2001; Hammond, Reynolds, & Ingram, 2011; Sang, Valcke, Braak, & Tondeur, 2010). Factors that impact lecturers’ adoption of mobile learning, however, has only been addressed in a few studies (Aubusson, Schuck & Burden, 2009; Lefoe, Olney, Wright, & Herrington, 2009; Seppala & Alamaki, 2003). Empirical quantitative research of lecturers’ adoption of mobile learning has largely been overlooked, as researchers in the past have tended to focus on student adoption (Uzunboylu & Ozdamli, 2011).
Users’ beliefs and attitudes have been shown to have a major influence on the acceptance of new technology (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). A number of models and frameworks have been developed to measure these influences on users’ acceptance and model adoption. One of the most widely adopted adoption models is the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Venkatesh, et al., 2003). The TAM has been used and modified to explore the adoption a range of educational technologies. Since mobile technology offers different affordances to traditional and elearning environments, factors that influence other educational technologies may not necessarily apply. It is important, therefore to establish the pattern of influences on the adoption of mobile technology.
This research extents the TAM by adding three new variables – digital literacy, information and communications technology (ICT) anxiety, and ICT teaching self-efficacy – to determine a more complete picture of lecturers’ behavioral intention to use mobile learning. According to the TAM, the intention to use new technology is determined by two factors, the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. These two factors have been shown to explain approximately 50% of the variance in acceptance levels (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992). Other research has extended
Mac Callum, Jeffrey, & Kinshuk
and modified the TAM to increase this level within the educational setting (see for example Liu, Chen, Sun, Wible, & Kuo, 2010). This research proposes three additional variables to fully reflect the factors that will play a part in influences lecturers’ acceptance of mobile learning.
In particular the following research questions will be addressed:
What effect does the perceived ease of use and usefulness have on the behaviour intention of lecturers to adopt mobile learning How will the three new variables of digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and ICT teaching selfefficacy influence the perceptions and behaviour intention of lecturers to adopt mobile learning The Teacher Mobile Learning Adoption Model Research has shown that a large portion of lecturers still resists the integration of technology into the classroom (Balash, Yong, & bin Abu, 2011). Two aspects, in particular, have been consistently found to impact lecturers’ adoption of technology. The first aspect shown to influence the adoption of new technology is the beliefs held by the lecturers (Kebritchi, 2010). Specifically, it is the perceived value of the new technology (perceived usefulness) and perceived effort needed to learn to use the new technology (perceived ease of use) that have been established as playing a major role in the adoption of technology (Wang, Wu, & Wang, 2009). The second major aspect seen to influence adoption is the skill of lecturers to use digital technology (referred to as digital literacy) and the skill needed to integrate it into their teaching (teaching self-efficacy) (Pianfettil, 2001).
Digital literacy is the measure of an individual’s ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and/or networks to access, manage and integrate digital resources (Markauskaite, 2007).
Therefore, the measure of an individual’s literacy in technology focuses on their relative skill to use a range of technologies (Madigan, Goodfellow, & Stone, 2007). For lecturers it is becoming increasingly more important to be digitally literate (Zhang, Tousignant, & Xu, 2012). Pianfetti (2001) stressed that lecturers need to be digitally literate. Through their own literacy they are able to inculcate in their students the skills and knowledge needed in a technology dominated world.
Technology has become fully integrated into the workplaces, consequently education needs to reflect and support learners to survive in an increasingly connected world. To do this, lecturers must be confident and able to utilize the wide range of technologies in their classrooms.
Perceived digital literacy has been consistently reported in the literature as having a positive relationship with the adoption of new technology (Hasan, 2003; Hasan & Ahmed, 2010; Potosky, 2002). However, there has been little research into how digital literacy will influence the perceptions and acceptance of mobile learning (Wang, Wu, & Wang, 2009).
Along with digital literacy, the lectures’ attitude to technology will also play a deciding role on their acceptance of technology. For example, anxiety about using technology has been identified as an important factor in the resistance to new technology (Buabeng-Andoh, 2012). For some people, the thought of having to use information communication technology (ICT) has been found to generate high levels of anxiety (Barbeite & Weiss, 2004). ICT anxiety is a negative emotional response typically ensuing from a fear that the use of the technology may have a negative outcome. The negative outcome may be anything from the fear that the user may damage the equipment to looking foolish in front of their peers. Anxiety about using ICT has been shown to have a strong negative impact on the future use of ICT (Agarwal, Sambamurthy, & Stair, 2000;
Beckers, Wicherts, & Schmidt, 2007; Imhof, Vollmeyer, & Beierlein, 2007; Parayitam, Desai, Desai, & Eason, 2010; Saadé & Kira, 2007; Smith & Caputi, 2007).
Teachers’ Adoption of Mobile Learning
A number of studies have shown that anxiety about using computers negatively influences a lecturers’ adoption of ICT. Phelps and Ellis (2002) argued that there is a large disparity between lecturers’ perception of their technological competence and the amount of learning they need to utilize ICT effectively. In particular, they often see technology as threatening and overwhelming.
Feelings of anxiety may be further exacerbated if lecturers’ perceive the skills of their students as being better than their own when using technology. This feeling of inadequacy can result in lecturers feeling insecure and disinclined to use ICT. This is especially true if there is a fear of looking foolish or incompetent in front of their students (Nunan & Wong, 2005). Such feelings can be a major barrier to lecturers using new technology. Furthermore, this negative attitude can also cause lecturers to doubt the usefulness of ICT in teaching. This will further reinforce their reluctance to use technology it in their teaching (Hennessy, Ruthven, & Brindley, 2005).
Overall, the anxiety of lecturers will influence the extent and the way technology is used in teaching. Teo, Lee, and Chai (2008) argue that anxiety is an important factor that needs to be addressed and managed by the teaching institution. This is important, since technology has the potential to transform the learning in and outside the classroom.
ICT anxiety and its specific effect on adoption of mobile learning has not been extensively researched (Wang, 2007). While, it is agreed that anxiety will play a role in the adoption of users of mobile technology, its role has yet to be tested empirically (Chu, Hwang, Huang, & Wu, 2008).
In addition to lecturer’s digital literacy and anxiety impacting on adoption of new technology, the lecturers’ perception of their ability to use it within the classroom will also play a role on the adoption of technology for teaching (Albion, 2001, Mac Callum, 2010). Teaching self-efficacy is the belief an educator has about his/her ability to perform a variety of teaching tasks (Dellinger, Bobbett, Olivier, & Ellett, 2008). Previous research has shown that teaching self-efficacy regarding the use of technology in the classroom has a strong influence on the integration of ICT into their teaching practice (Hasan, 2003; Potosky, 2002; Sang et al., 2010). Therefore, teachers’ selfefficacy to effectively use ICT in their teaching will be an important factor in the adoption of new technology for teaching. A teacher with a strong teaching self-efficacy for using ICT is more likely to be experienced with technology and less anxious about using it in the classroom (Sang et al., 2010).
Teaching self-efficacy for using ICT in teaching has an impact on the level of anxiety teachers feel when using ICT in the classroom. Teachers’ self-efficacy also influences their level of enjoyment and feeling of control when using technology in the classroom (Hammond et al., 2011;
Sang et al., 2010). Other factors have also been shown to specifically influence teaching selfefficacy; these include the specific beliefs of an educator about whether they are able to use ICT as an instructional tool (Hammond et al., 2011; Mueller, Wood, Willoughby, Ross, & Specht,
2008) their teaching philosophy (Albion, 2001; Vannatta & Fordham, 2004), their past positive experiences with computers (Albion, 2001; Mueller et al., 2008; Sang et al., 2010), their past training or workshops attended relating to ICT use in teaching (Vannatta & Banister, 2009; Vannatta & Fordham, 2004) and the level of assistance needed from others (Mueller et al., 2008).
While there has been an extensive body of literature on teaching self-efficacy and use of ICT in the classroom, no reference could be found to its impact on adoption within the context of mobile learning. However, it is likely that ICT-teaching self-efficacy will play as significant a role in mobile learning adoption as it does in general technology adoption.