Predictors of perceived importance and acceptance of digital delivery modes in higher education

  • Anne Mertens Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Joachim Stöter Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Olaf Zawacki-Richter Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
Keywords: digital learning formats, online learning, online learner characteristics, motivation, perceived benefit

Abstract

Teaching and assessment in higher education institutions are increasingly supported by digital tools and services. Students, however, perceive and value the importance of such e-learning offerings in very diverse ways. The goal of this article is to examine which predictors significantly influence students’ perceptions of the value of digital learning formats. Based on Küpper's acceptance model, we generate hypotheses that are subsequently tested using data from a German student survey. The results show that individual-related characteristics, especially motivation and orientation patterns of students, have a high impact on the perceived importance of digital learning formats. Our analyses indicate that besides individual performance and motivation, the practical orientation of a student is also a key predictor for a high rating of the importance of digital learning formats. An analysis of characteristics regarding the field of study shows that students who major in economic sciences, especially those who frequently work with digital learning formats in their classes, find them significantly more important than students who major in social science. Regarding innovation-based characteristics, students who express a need for flexible course offerings rate the use of digital learning formats as particularly important. The discussion provides an evaluation of the results of the student study based on the hypotheses and presents further implications.

Keywords: digital learning formats; online learning; online learner characteristics; motivation; perceived benefit

(Published: 15 April 2014)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 22: 23342 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.23342

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Author Biographies

Anne Mertens, Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstrasse 138, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany
Joachim Stöter, Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstrasse 138, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany
Olaf Zawacki-Richter, Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany

Professor of Distance Education and Learning Technologies

Department of Continuing Education and Educational Management, School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstrasse 138, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany


 

 

Published
2014-04-15
How to Cite
Mertens, A., Stöter, J., & Zawacki-Richter, O. (2014). Predictors of perceived importance and acceptance of digital delivery modes in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 22. https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.23342
Section
Original Research Articles