oa South African Journal of Information Management - An investigation into e-learning acceptance and gender amongst final year students : original research
Background: The use of electronic learning (e-learning) systems is gaining popularity especially within a Higher Education (HE) context. However, scholars have identified some factors that affect the utilisation and the acceptance of such systems, one of which is the gender divide, which favours mostly males ahead of females.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the acceptance of the e-learning system within a South African HE setting, including the influential role of gender in the acceptance of such a system.
Method: Quantitative data was collected through a cross-sectional survey using 113 registered final year students at a South African university who were making use of an e-learning system as part of their teaching delivery. The measuring instrument used was the technology acceptance instrument (TAI) and included measures of computer self-efficacy (CSE), perceived ease of use (PEU), perceived usefulness (PU), and behavioural intention to use (BIU).
Results: The presence of a gender divide was found to exist in this study. Women's ratings of the acceptance of e-learning systems were found to be slightly higher than those of the male respondents. In addition to this, elements of the TAI were found to be related to one another.
Conclusion: The study concludes by arguing that lecturers and facilitators need to pay attention to usage patterns of e-learning systems as they affect how such systems are adopted by their students. Therefore, preceding student acceptance of electronic learning systems should be efforts to address any issues that affect the acceptance and effective utilisation of such systems
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