Impact of Collaborative Work on Technology Acceptance: A Case Study from Virtual Computing

Abdullah Konak, Sadan Kulturel-Konak, Mahdi Nasereddin, Michael R. Bartolacci
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 16  •  2017  •  pp. 015-029
Aim/Purpose This paper utilizes the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to examine the extent to which acceptance of Remote Virtual Computer Laboratories (RVCLs) is affected by students’ technological backgrounds and the role of collaborative work.

Background RVCLs are widely used in information technology and cyber security education to provide students with hands-on experimentation. However, students may not exploit their full benefits if they do not accept RVCLs as a viable educational technology.

Methodology In order to study the impact of collaborative work on technology acceptance, an empirical study was conducted using collaborative and individual versions of an introductory level computer networking exercise in an RVCL. Trials for the empirical study included students from technology intensive and non-technology intensive programs.

Contribution The relationship between the technological background of students and their acceptance of an RVCL and the effect of collaborative work on this relationship were explored for the first time in the literature.
Findings The findings of the study supported that collaborative work could improve non-technology students’ acceptance of RVCLs. However, no significant effect of collaborative work on technology acceptance was observed in the case of technology students.

for Practitioners Educators should consider the benefits of collaborative work while introducing a new technology to students who may not have background in the technology introduced.

for Researchers In this study, student technological background was found to be a significant factor for technology acceptance; hence, it is recommended that technological background is included in TAM studies as an external factor.

Future Research Repeating similar studies with multiple exercises with varying degrees of challenge is required for a better understanding of how collaborative work and student technological background affect technology acceptance.
collaborative learning, technology acceptance, virtual computer laboratories
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