Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding variations in acceptance and use of tablet technology by students at a public four-year university
by Neufeld, Philip Glenn, Ed.D., California State University, Fresno, 2015, 278; 3714940
Abstract (Summary)

The effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is an integral component of 21st century learning experiences and is, itself, a fundamental learning outcome. However, this only becomes possible when students accept and meaningfully use technology to effectively participate in 21st century learning. To improve acceptance and use of ICT, it is important to understand (a) the determinants for acceptance and use of technology, (b) the dynamics of the diffusion of innovation, (c) the factors effecting implementations, and (d) the perspective and context of prospective adopters. Variations exist within populations relative to the acceptance and use of technology such that segments of the population may have differing perceptions and lived-experiences relative to the technology. This instrumental, mixed methods case study investigated variations among student populations relative to the acceptance and use of tablet technology for academic purposes at a 4-year, public university. Most specifically, this study explored (a) variations in students' perceptions of the determinants (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, hedonic motivation, and price value) for behavioral intention and use behavior relative to the demographic constructs of socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender, (b) the strength of the determinants, and (c) the effects of the moderators (self-efficacy, access, experience, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and gender).

Findings from a two-phase electronic survey revealed that these determinants of acceptance and use of technology explained 38% of variance in behavioral intention and 44% of variance in use behavior. The moderators affected to varying degrees the determinants, with differences revealed for Hispanic students, first generation students, and other gender students. Seven thematic findings, derived from photo diary and focus group interviews, reflected students’ expressed meaning associated with tablet technology: the situatedness of technology; new ways of practice; choice continuum and resourcefulness; levels of responsiveness to students’ brought-technology; naturally occurring segments; expertise across social networks; and meaningful experience matters. The study confirmed that differences exist within segments of populations relative to the perceptions and meanings associated with a technological innovation. These segments can best be understood based on the (a) perceptual predictors of acceptance and use and (b) expressed meanings relative to associated technology. Adjustments to design, implementation, and support for technological innovations should be made to improve alignment with these segments of prospective adopters, which will in turn result in faster, less costly, and deeper integration.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hauser, Linda
Commitee: Brown-Welty, Sharon, Delcore, Henry
School: California State University, Fresno
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Educational technology, Information science, Higher education
Keywords: Educational technology, Student technology, Technology adoption, Technology innovation, UTAUT
Publication Number: 3714940
ISBN: 9781321928150
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