The Moderating Effects of Gender on Factors Affecting the Intention to Use Mobile Learning

Ayad Shihan Izkair, Muhammad Modi Lakulu
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 199-233

The main aims of this research are to explore the moderating effects of gender on the relationships of such factors and the intention to use mobile learning, to examine the factors that influence m-learning acceptance in the universities and higher education institutions (HEI) in Iraq, and to investigate the influence of the intention to use on the actual use of mobile learning in (HEI).

Over recent decades, mobile learning has played an increasingly important role in the teaching and learning process, especially for higher education. As such, acceptance and use of mobile learning has become a topic of interest within the education sector. In this regard, UTAUT is one of the widely used models for examining users’ intention for use and acceptance of information technology.

A survey method was used in this study involving a sample of 323 participants recruited from several universities in Iraq.

This study has made significant contributions to the advancement of m-learning in Iraq by developing a mobile learning model that can help guide practitioners to promote and facilitate the use of such an approach in universities.

The findings showed that gender moderated the relationships of social influence (SI), effort expectancy (EE), and performance expectancy (PE) with respondents’ intention to use m-learning. In addition, the findings confirmed the perceived enjoyment, performance expectancy (PE), effort expectancy (EE), self-efficacy (SE), and social influence (SI) had significant direct effects on intention to use m-learning. Furthermore, the respondents’ intention to use or behavioral intention had a significant impact on the actual use of m-learning.

It is vital for university management and practitioners to encourage students about the advantages of mobile learning in higher education institutions. In Iraq, the research in mobile learning is still very new and there are few studies have analyzed the gender effect on the mobile technology acceptance in learning. This study provides a roadmap of the gender effect on variables that could influence mobile learning acceptance in higher education institutions in Iraq.

The gender moderation effect on the factors that influence the mobile learning acceptance is important, thus the new researchers are advised to examine the gender effect on other factors that could influence mobile learning acceptance. Moreover, cross-nation studies are needed to further validate the findings of this research because it was conducted from the perspective of a developing nation where mobile learning is still in its infancy. Future studies may broaden the research to examine additional potential elements, such as the quality of services in future models, which can help enhance the understanding of learners’ acceptance and continuous usage of mobile learning as well as to improve the utility of UTAUT.

The use of mobile learning has increased in its importance for higher education around the globe, including Iraq. Clearly, mobile learning has been pervasively used in education throughout the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, students were required to study at home for months as per governments’ orders in order to avoid being affected by the virus. With mobile learning, students were able to continue their studies; otherwise, they would have missed the academic year. Academic staff and administrators should therefore encourage and employ mobile learning for instruction, student communication, and exam administration.

Given that the UTAUT model was used in higher educational settings for this research, it is advised to look into its application in corporate settings to see if comparable results can be repeated or not. More research is advised to look at the moderating effects of demographic factors, such as age and place of origin, in order to shed more light on students’ adoption of mobile learning in HEIs in developing nations.

Iraq, M-learning acceptance, gender moderator, HEI
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