E-collaboration

Despite my dislike for all things “e-” prefixed, I was hoping this article would tie to the previous one on collaboration. The introduction (to me) of the technology acceptance model was enlightening, but most of the article seemed to offer obvious or questionable findings. The idea that “perceived ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” independently influence attitude which influences use is helpful, as is the impact of self-efficacy; however, I found myself wondering why the authors did not consider the following hypotheses (both of which seem possible):

  • that self-efficacy influences attitude
  • that perceived usefulness influences perceived ease of use

Several findings seemed obvious:

  • greater Internet experience led to greater use of e-mail, IM, and P2P
  • greater Internet experience led to greater self-efficacy
  • greater e-learning experience led to greater self-efficacy
  • greater Internet experience led to greater use of Web and communicative applications

Other findings did not seem supported:

  • that students had a poor perception of the availability and of the value of the IT infrastructure at their university
  • that students expressed a general negativity towards the incorporation of technology in the curriculum

However, several findings seemed interesting if the results are replicable:

  • Males report greater self-efficacy, but there is gender neutrality on “perceived ease of use” of the virtual class room
  • Older students report heavier use of spreadsheets
  • Students report heavier use of “office” tools (such as word processing, spreadsheets, database, and presentation software) in learning applications than in general use
  • Students report heavier use of “communication” tools (such as email, IM, chat, forums, and mobile phones) and “Web” tools (such as browsing, search, and P2P) in general use than in learning applications
  • Females report  heavier use of mobile phones while makes report heavier use of the Internet
  • Preference for mobile phone use did not seem affected by length of Internet experience except when the phone is used for Web surfing

The conclusions seemed obvious but not completely supported:

  • Greater self-efficacy produced greater use
  • More positive attitude produced greater use
  • Greater self-efficacy produced greater perceived ease of use
  • Greater perceived ease of use produced a more positive attitude
  • Greater perceived ease of use produced a somewhat greater perceived usefulness
  • Greater perceived usefulness did not produce a more positive attitude