«Journal of Information Technology Education: Research Volume 13, 2014 Cite as: Mac Callum, K., Jeffrey, L., & Kinshuk. (2014). Factors impacting ...»
Results Structural equation modelling was used to analyze the influence that digital literacy, anxiety, and teaching self-efficacy has on perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and behaviour intention.
Figure 2 shows all the significant standardized path coefficients for the student model (all paths that were significant were at p.000 unless indicated with a * where p.01).
This paper set out to examine the influence of digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and teaching selfefficacy on the adoption of mobile learning. These factors were found to impact both perceived ease of use and usefulness and intention to adopt. Of the 12 hypothesis tested 9 were supported or partially supported in the model. Appendix B outlines and compares the significant hypotheses.
A number of factors were found to be influential in the adoption model. Lecturers’ intentions to adopt mobile learning were impacted by all three new variables. However a direct relationship was shown between the behavioral intention of lecturers’ to use mobile learning and their perceived usefulness of mobile learning and their digital literacy.
The perceived usefulness of mobile learning was further shown to be influenced by two factors:
the level of experience with using advanced features of mobile technology and the self-efficacy of teachers to use ICT in the classroom. Specifically, advanced mobile literacy and ability and atti
Mac Callum, Jeffrey, & Kinshuk
tude to integrating technology into the classroom were shown to have a significant influence on perceived usefulness.
The perceived ease of use of mobile learning was influenced by three factors which were, in order of strength, their perceived self-efficacy of teachers to use ICT in the classroom, their level of anxiety educators felt when using technology, and their experience with the advanced features of mobile technology.
The ability to utilized more advanced computing features, such as modifying images and sounds and using advanced software (such as Skype), was found to have no relationship to the acceptance of mobile learning.
Discussion Based on the results of the analysis a number of relationships were confirmed. In particular, the study was able to confirm that digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and ICT teaching self-efficacy have an impact on the lecturers’ behavioral intention to use mobile learning. Teaching self-efficacy is particularly important. The findings of this research help to identify the role these factors have in influencing the acceptance of mobile learning, thus enabling educators and their institutions to assess and plan a successful introduction of mobile learning.
The results of this paper confirm the role of perceived ease of use and usefulness on the acceptance of mobile learning. These two factors were shown to have a positive effect on the behavioral intention to use mobile learning. This meant that lecturers who see mobile learning as a way to offer a substantial advantage to students’ learning or their own teaching will adopt mobile learning. Though perceived ease of use was not shown to have a direct influence on behavioral intention, the study did indicate that it had a mediating effect on perceived usefulness. This result was not necessarily surprising. A number of studies have shown that perceived ease of use does not necessarily have a direct effect on behavioral intention (Akour, 2009; Donaldson, 2011;
Huang, Lin, & Chuang, 2007; Wang et al., 2009). It is however, more likely to have a direct impact on the perceived usefulness. The perceived benefits of new technology will often be influenced by how much effort users feel is needed to use and learn to use new technology. This therefore highlights the importance of how lecturers perceive mobile learning. Lectures need to feel that the technology is easy to use and beneficial to their teaching and students’ learning. These two findings highlight the need for developers and instructional designers, researchers, and teaching institutions to focus on ease of use and to highlight the benefits of mobile learning. Designers need to remove technical obstacles to ensure that all mobile learning initiatives are as easy to use as possible with little initial learning needed. While institutes and researchers need to provide effective IT support and access to training and pilot initiatives before a major rollout, institutions also need to promote the benefits of the mobile learning initiative so that they are clear and evident to all parties. This can be done by ensuring lecturers are aware of the advantages of mobile learning has to support their students’ learning and their teaching. Opportunities should also be provided to lecturers to enable them to explore mobile learning on their own.
In addition to confirming the basic structure of the TAM, the new variables were also confirmed as playing a significant role in the acceptance of mobile learning. Digital literacy, in particular, was shown to have a major influence on a wide range of factors that mediate the behavioral intention to use mobile learning. It also had a direct influence on the behavioral intention to use mobile learning. The study indicated that digital literacy should be considered in two distinct ways as each will influence acceptance to a different degree.
The first category of digital literacy was the basic ICT literacy of lecturers. This included the competency of users using general computing tasks, such as using word processing software, searching and emailing using the Internet, and doing basic mobile activities, such as texting and
Teachers’ Adoption of Mobile Learning
calling. Basic ICT literacy was shown to have a direct positive impact on behavioral intention to use mobile learning. It also had a positive impact on teaching self-efficacy to use ICT in the classroom. This confirms the importance of ensuring lecturers have a good foundation in basic digital literacy. Other studies have shown that digital literacy will generally play a role in the adoption of new technology and its use in the classroom. For example, in an early study by Cox, Preston, and Cox (1999) teachers who were already regular users of ICT were more likely to have higher levels of confidence in using ICT in their teaching and were more likely to extend their use of ICT further in the future. This finding was further supported Mueller et al. (2008) who found that educators with direct experience of ICT were more confident using a wider range of technologies.
Therefore parties that are interested in implementing mobile technology need to carefully consider lecturers’ confidence and ability with ICT. Strategies need to be set in place to up-skill lecturers’ general ICT literacy and not just to focus on teaching lecturers how to use the mobile technology.
However, teaching lectures to use the mobile technology is also important. The study indicated that advanced mobile literacy played a significant role on adoption. The second category of digital literacy was the advanced mobile skill; this related to using mobile technology for more complex mobile learning activities, such as accessing the Internet, emailing and sending photos. This factor was shown to have a direct impact on the perceived ease of use and usefulness of mobile learning, as well as having a positive impact on the perceived teaching self-efficacy of lecturers to use ICT in the classroom. Previous research has shown that past experience with a specific technology is a key determinant of the future adoption of technology (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980;
Kidwell & Jewell, 2008; Saadé & Kira, 2009). The study highlighted that lecturers’ experience with mobile technology will impact their perceptions of its ease of use and usefulness. The mobile literacy of lecturers’ enables them to better evaluate how valuable mobile learning will be in supporting their learning and teaching. It will also give them confidence it its use. The familiarity with mobile technology will help support the extension and experimentation of its use in other areas – such as for teaching. Conversely lecturers that seldom use mobile technology or have a low level of skill with technology will be less likely to experiment or deviate from existing use. It will therefore be less likely that they see mobile learning as easy to use or useful for learning. Lefoe et al. (2009) found that educators who became more familiar with their mobile devices developed a better understanding of how mobile learning activities could be developed and incorporated.
Along with the skills to use technology generally, the study also clearly indicates that lecturers will also need specific skills to use the technology in the classroom. General use of technology does not necessarily translate its effective use inside the classroom. Specific skills and pedagogies are needed to translate this general literacy in using ICT in teaching. In addition to these skills, the lectures’ attitudes toward the inclusion of ICT into the classroom will play a mediating role on their behavioral intention to implement mobile learning. This study confirms that teachers who fail to see the value of technology in the classroom will resist its introduction. They are therefore less likely to seek out new technology and integrate it into their teaching (Duncan-Howell & Lee, 2007).
As described by Lim and Khine (2006), support is needed when introducing new technology into education. Duncan-Howell and Lee (2007) argued that “teachers need access to more training, more information and more opportunities to see and use new technologies for themselves” (p. 229). The role of time and support will be vital to mobile learning adoption as it has been for general ICT adoption.
One factor shown to have a negative mediating effect on behavioral intention to implement mobile learning was ICT anxiety. ICT anxiety was shown to influence the digital literacy of lecturers, their attitudes toward the use of ICT in the classroom, and the perceived ease of use of mobile
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learning. ICT anxiety is an emotional response resulting from the fear that use of ICT may result in a negative outcome, such as damaging the equipment or looking foolish (Barbeite & Weiss, 2004). Little previous research has specifically investigated the effect that ICT anxiety has on mobile learning; however, the effect ICT anxiety has on an individual’s adoption and use of technology in education has been identified in a number of studies (Barbeite & Weiss, 2004; Beckers & Schmidt, 2003; Rahimi & Yadollahi, 2011; Wang, 2007). Other studies have shown that anxiety about computer use will negatively influence an individual’s use and adoption of ICT in their teaching and learning (Phelps & Ellis, 2002; Teo, 2011; Wilfong, 2006). For lecturers, ICT anxiety also influenced the perceived ease of use of mobile learning. Phelps and Ellis (2002) found that lectures who perceived their technological competence to be low often felt threatened and overwhelmed when using ICT in the classroom, a finding confirmed later by Jeffrey, Hegarty, Kelly, Penman, Coburn, & McDonald (2011). Therefore, anxiety will make the adoption of new technology seem harder and will ultimately result in lecturers avoiding the introduction of new technology into their teaching. This study therefore establishes the role of ICT anxiety on mobile learning adoption, a finding not been previously discussed in the literature.
ICT anxiety also influences the digital literacy of lecturers. As found in other research, as a user becomes more experienced with computers they are more likely to form a positive attitude to them (Shih, Munoz, & Sanchez, 2006). Anxiety typically arises from the fear of the unknown and the confidence to cope with changes (Beckers, Rikers, & Schmidt, 2006). When individuals become more secure and positive about their technology usage, they are more likely to relax and not feel as anxious about its use (Beckers & Schmidt, 2003; Cowan & Jack, 2011). This is because they have developed an assurance that they can cope with learning new technology and can solve issues that may arise.
Support is therefore needed for lectures that have negative attitudes toward technology. Additional support and training may therefore be needed over and above the standard support given.
ConclusionThis study extends the TAM with digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and teaching self-efficacy to model the acceptance of mobile learning by lecturers. The study helps predict the influence of
each factor on the adoption and discusses the impact these factors will have on the successful implementation of mobile technology into the education setting. In particular this study had the following major contributions:
1. This research found that digital literacy, ICT anxiety, teaching self-efficacy, and perceived ease of use and usefulness were critical factors for lecturers’ behavior intentions to implement mobile learning.
2. This research confirmed the role of perceived ease of use and usefulness on the acceptance on mobile learning and confirmed that the TAM provides a valuable tool for modelling lecturers’ adoption of mobile learning.
3. The research indicates the negative role of ICT anxiety in digital literacy, teaching selfefficacy, and perceptions of mobile learning.
4. The study highlighted that digital literacy has a distinct role on acceptance. Specifically, basic ICT literacy and advanced mobile literacy each play a separate but vital role on acceptance.
5. The findings also differentiated between digital literacy and the ability to use technology within the classroom. The study highlights the notion that lecturers not only need to be digitally literate but also be able to implement the technology into the classroom. This research indicated that ability and attitudes played a strong role in acceptance of mobile learning.
Teachers’ Adoption of Mobile Learning
6. This research fills the current gap in mobile learning adoption and addresses an oftenoverlooked area of research addressing lecturers’ adoption.
7. This research identifies the role of three new research constructs – digital literacy, ICT anxiety, and teaching self-efficacy – within the limited research investigating mobile learning adoption.