Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Students' Acceptance of Tablet PCs and Implications for Educational Institutions

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Students' Acceptance of Tablet PCs and Implications for Educational Institutions

Article excerpt


Tablet PC's extend the mobility provided by laptops by providing the ability to capture handwriting using a magnetic pen. Since the introduction of the first commercial Tablet PC in fall 2002, TPC have been steadily gaining market share with sales expected to reach 14 million by 2009 (Ozok, Benson, Chakraborty, & Norcio, 2008). The portability and ease of note taking made possible by TPC have attracted users from various sectors including healthcare, construction, government, and education.

In education, the application of computer technology in collegiate classroom can improve teaching when used appropriately (Barak, Lipson, & Lerman, 2006). Accordingly, with the proliferation of mobile computing initiatives across campuses, evaluation of such initiatives becomes the logical next step. The evaluation ultimately centers on the students' learning and teaching effectiveness. Yet for such initiatives to improve students' learning and teaching effectiveness, these initiatives must be accepted by students and faculty alike. In that regard, the objective of this research is to understand the factors influencing students' acceptance of TPC as a means to forecast, explain, and improve usage pattern. The research builds on prior technology acceptance research to develop a factor model to assess various factors driving acceptance within the context of students' acceptance of TPC technology. The research contributes to a better understanding of the introduction and management of information technology (IT) based initiatives in education with a particular emphasis on TPC.

The next section provides a brief overview of relevant prior research followed by a detailed depiction of our research model. The research model identifies relevant factors and captures dependency relationships among these factors in the form of a number of hypotheses to be tested in this research. Next, we describe the methodology employed highlighting the study design, data collection, and data analysis. We then summarize the results obtained with respect to measurement validity and model testing results followed by a discussion of implications for educational institutions. We conclude with a summary of research contributions, limitations, and venues for future research.

Related Work

Technology acceptance

The technology acceptance literature documents a rich collection of models and theories that could be used to explain the adoption of information technology innovations (Venkatesh, Davis, & Morris, 2007; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). With respect to individual (as opposed to organizational) acceptance of technology these models use intention or usage as a dependent variable. Examples of some of the most influential models include the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975); the theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991), the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis, 1989); along with modifications of these models.

The theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) is anchored in social psychology and particularly in expectancy-value analysis and has been used extensively to study technology acceptance. According to TRA, an individual's acceptance of technology can be explained by his/her intention. This in turn is determined by the individual's positive or negative feelings towards the target behavior (attitude) and the individual's perception that most people who are important to him/her think he/she should exhibit the behavior under consideration (subjective norm). The theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) extends TRA by including perceived behavioral control as an additional determinant of behavioral intention. Perceived behavioral control represents the ease or difficulty of performing the target behavior. Similar to TRA, TPB has been used to predict intention and behavior in a wide variety of setting (Ajzen, 1991). …

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