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Modelling e-learning adoption: the influence of learning style and universal learning theories

Al-Azawei, A. H. S. (2017) Modelling e-learning adoption: the influence of learning style and universal learning theories. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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E-learning faces a high failure rate, particularly in developing nations due to a lack of public acceptance. One of the most commonly adopted theories for investigating this is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). However, TAM fails to consider the effect of individual and cultural differences, and environmental variables on users’ technology acceptance. The present research therefore sought to address TAM’s limitations in the elearning context, by considering individual differences adopting the Felder and Silverman Learning Styles Model (FSLSM) and environmental learning factors using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. It also attempts to identify any barriers to effective e-learning implementation in Iraq. A survey research design comprising analytical and descriptive methods was consequently adopted. Two experiments were conducted in Iraq to validate the proposed research framework from the perspective of undergraduate students. A third experiment was dedicated to in-depth understanding the hindrances to e-learning application in Iraq’s public-sector universities, from the standpoint of undergraduates and academic staff. The findings suggest that the explanatory power of TAM can be improved by integrating learning styles as moderators, although this psychological trait has limited ability to predict e-learning acceptance and learners’ perceptions as well as it is uncorrelated with academic performance. However, combining the UDL model with TAM enhances its power to predict e-learning acceptance and learners’ perceptions. Furthermore, the qualitative outcomes identify many barriers to e-learning implementation in Iraq, supporting the quantitative analysis and highlighting other factors that could influence e-learning acceptance. This study should provide valuable information for scholars, leadership, e-learning providers and instructors, while also contributing to TAM, learning styles and universal learning theories. It is the first of its kind to examine e-learning acceptance in Iraq, in terms of the integrated factors. This research is also the first to compare the influence of learning styles and universal learning theories on e-learning experience. Accordingly, it extends the existing literature and fills a research gap in the Iraqi context, with empirical implications being discussed for further research.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Parslow, P. and Di Fatta, G.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Computer Science
ID Code:77921
Date on Title Page:2016
Additional Information:Copyright material redacted from Appendix C, content of Appendix D is published with a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence.


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