Towards the acceptance of RSS to support learning: An empirical study to validate the technology acceptance model in Lebanon

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Tarhini, A, ; Hassouna, M. ; Abbasi, M. S. ; Orozco, J. (2015)
  • Publisher: Academic Publishing Ltd.
  • Subject: L1 | LB

Simpler is better. There are a lot of "needs" in e-Learning, and there's often a limit to the time, talent, and money that can be thrown at them individually. Contemporary pedagogy in technology and engineering disciplines, within the higher education context, champion instructional designs that emphasize peer instruction and rich formative feedback. However, it can be challenging to maintain student engagement outside the traditional classroom environment and ensure that students receive feedback in time to help them with ongoing assignments. The use of virtual learning platforms, such as Blackboard Learn, and web feed syndication, using technology such as Rich Site Summaries (RSS), can help overcome such challenges. However, during an initial pilot at an institution in Lebanon, only 21% of students reported making use of both these facilities. In this study, the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to guide the development of a scale to be used to investigate antecedents to the use of web feeds. The proposed scale was reviewed by 4 experts and piloted with 235 students. The collected data were analysed using structural equation modeling (SEM) technique based on AMOS methods. The results revealed adequate face, content, and construct validity. However, perceived ease of use was not a significant predictor of attitude towards use. Overall, the proposed model achieves acceptable fit and explains for 38% of its variance of which is lower than that of the original TAM. This suggests that aspects of the model may lack criterion validity in the Lebanese context. Consequently, it may be necessary to extend the scale by capturing additional moderators and predictors, such as cultural values and subjective norms. We concluded that the existence of RSS feeds in education improves significantly the content presented by the instructors to the e-learning user decreasing at the same time the size and access cost.
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