Towards a Sustainable Adoption of E-Learning Systems: The Role of Self-Directed Learning

Ahmad Samed Al-Adwan, Muhmmad Nofal, Huma Akram, Nour Awni Albelbisi, Manaf Al-Okaily
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 21  •  2022  •  pp. 245-267

This study seeks to investigate the factors that influence online students’ continued usage intention toward e-learning systems by presenting an extended model that is based on the Delone and McLean (2003) IS success model (D&M ISS model).

The use of e-learning systems in this era has become a vital element of delivering higher education. Learning via e-learning systems has significant benefits that support conventional learning. Thus, it is crucial to measure the success of e-learning systems’ implementation.

This study was conducted with 590 undergraduate and postgraduate students from three private universities in Jordan, and data was gathered via an online self-report questionnaire.

Theoretically, this study advances the literature and empirically examines a modified version of the D&M ISS model by including context-specific factors that are drivers of successful implementations of e-learning systems.

The path analysis with structural equation modelling confirms that students’ satisfaction and their continued usage intention regarding the e-learning system are positively related to service quality, system quality, and information quality. Self-directed learning, however, has a negative effect on satisfaction and continued usage intention. Furthermore, the findings reveal that both satisfaction and continued usage intention positively influence students’ perceptions of perceived academic performance.

The quality of learning content format and design are recognized as fundamental factors for e-learning success. Thus, both instructors and e-learning developers should provide reliable, accurate, and up-to-date learning materials. This directs e-learning developers toward designing systems with simple and useful functionalities that embrace the essential features that enable students to perform the required tasks effectively and to access and share learning materials flexibly. Furthermore, the current study reveals that self-directed learning (SDL) is a key barrier to successful e-learning system employment. It has a negative impact on satisfaction (SAT) and continued usage intention (CUI). Thus, developing students’ skills related to SDL is deemed a necessity. This could be attained by designing contemporary pedagogical curricula that are based on student-centered learning. This approach to learning encourages students to acquire self-regulatory skills and be accountable for their learning. This environment has to be supported by pedagogical tools (e.g., synchronous/asynchronous communication channels and multimedia tools) to enable effective interaction between instructors and students.

The current study does not investigate the role of potential moderators that might influence the research model’s relationships. Future studies might tackle such limitation by examining the moderating effect of computer self-efficacy and culture.

This study reveals that the success of e-learning systems depends not only on the quality of the information, system, and service but also on student self-directed learning.

The sample employed for this study was selected from three private universities in Jordan; consequently, the results cannot be generalized to the entire student population of Jordan. Further research, therefore, should focus on targeting a larger scope by including public universities, which in turn would enhance the generalizability of the findings. In addition, this cross-sectional study was conducted using a quantitative method based on the use of self-reported online survey to gather data. Thus, future research should consider longitudinal study that employs a mixed methods approach to reveal additional constructs and insights regarding e-learning system adoption by students.

success factors, e-learning, Moodle, information quality, continuous usage, self-direct learning, IS success model
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