The Effects of UTAUT and Usability Qualities on Students’ Use of Learning Management Systems in Saudi Tertiary Education

Ahmed Alshehri, Malcolm J Rutter, Sally Smith
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 19  •  2020  •  pp. 891-930

This study proposes a theoretical framework that amalgamates Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) variables with usability metrics to investigate the impact on students’ intention and use of the Learning Management System (LMS) in Saudi higher education.

There is a dearth of academic research on Saudi higher education to examine the effects of usability factors on students use of LMSs, so significant issues have not yet been examined.

Based on survey data from 605 respondents, the Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) technique was employed to assess the model.

The findings of the study may help colleges and universities to gain insights into the best way to promote e-learning system perceived usefulness and acceptance among students.

The results confirmed that the UTAUT parameters are valid and robust in the context of LMS in Saudi Arabia. The dimension of social influence emerged to significantly influence the students’ intention and usage behaviour. The performance expectancy was affected by information quality and the system interactivity whereas the effort expectancy was influenced by system navigation, system learnability, and instructional assessment. The usability feature of interactivity was also demonstrated to influence students’ willingness to use the system.

University policymakers are expected to benefit from this research for e-learning system acceptance in an academic setting and eliminate any impediments to its implementation. University students will be able to identify the factors and motivations driving their adoption of the system. In particular, usability, social, and organisational factors that affect their use of an e-learning system would be better understood.

The study should aid the research community in technology acceptance and usability studies to determine the students’ perceptions and experiences towards e-learning usability, social, and organisational factors that influence their acceptance, specifically in a Saudi context where students have unique psychological and social characteristics. Administrators and designers could also better understand areas of improvement for usability issues and develop design solutions based on the findings of this study.

The suggestions have been offered in order to accelerate and increase the use of e-learning services in Saudi higher education. System designers and administrators should have a better insight into the user interface design, considering system-independent metrics that could enhance user acceptance of e-learning systems.

The study focused on the students’ perspective, a natural progression of this work is to involve other e-learning stakeholders (teachers and administrators). This could enrich the research by providing a better understanding of undisclosed issues, offering different views about the implementation and use of an e-learning system in Saudi Arabia.

UTAUT, technology acceptance, usability, e-learning systems, LMS, PLS-SEM, developing country
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