Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

The Impact of Student Expectations in Using Instructional Tools on Student Engagement: A Look through the Expectation Disconfirmation Theory Lens

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

The Impact of Student Expectations in Using Instructional Tools on Student Engagement: A Look through the Expectation Disconfirmation Theory Lens

Article excerpt


1.1 Student Engagement

Student engagement has become a desired outcome of the university. As early as 1975, researchers declared that student engagement is most directly related to an individual's continuance in college (Tinto, 1975). Since then, it has been proven to impact graduation rates, classroom motivation, and course achievement (Lee, 2014; Flynn, 2014; Kuh et al., 2008). It is clear that student engagement is critical to motivate students in the learning process. The more students are motivated to learn, the more likely they are to be successful in their studies. Student engagement is widely accepted as a proxy for effective learning (Sharma, Jain, and Mittal, 2014). Moreover, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has increased their focus on engagement, and universities are responding by developing strategies to increase student engagement.

Faculty has increasingly been using online homework software (OHS) and in-person discussion groups as tools and methods used as the classroom evolves. Specifically, OHS enables faculty to automate some of the homework assignment and grading processes, which can be time-consuming. We seek to determine the effect of online homework software and in-person discussion groups on student engagement. Specifically, we posit that expectations influence this relationship, and we apply Expectation Disconfirmation Theory (EDT) to determine whether a student's expectations about Groups or OHS lead to Student Engagement. Moreover, with EDT, we are assessing whether these impacts are direct or mediated by another factor (i.e. whether the relationship between OHS Disconfirmation and Student Engagement is mediated by Satisfaction with the OHS technology).

1.2 Defining Engagement

Researchers have struggled to develop a consensus view of the student engagement concept (Hazel et al., 2014; Reschly and Christenson, 2012) as the definition and measurement of Student Engagement (SENG) has evolved over the past two decades (Fredricks et al., 2011). Earlier definitions tended to focus on the perception and behavior of students, with more recent definitions incorporating emotional and cognitive processes (Wolters and Taylor, 2012; Fredricks et al., 2011).

We sought a conceptualization that incorporates emotional and cognitive processes and includes multiple dimensions of the complex concept of student engagement. Schaufeli et al. (2002b) conceptualizes student engagement as a fulfilling and positive state of mind that is characterized by dedication, absorption, and vigor in an academic environment. Therefore, we adopted the definition from Schaufeli et al. (2002b).

We will next discuss our theoretical lens--EDT.


Extant research demonstrates the importance of managing expectations in various contexts. In the psychology literature, it has been suggested that lowering a perspective employee's expectations by presenting realistic job previews results in desirable organizational outcomes such as reduced turnover and increased satisfaction (Buckley et al., 1998). Moreover, Expectation Disconfirmation Theory (Oliver, 1980) has been utilized by researchers to understand consumer satisfaction and repurchase intentions in marketing and psychology (i.e. Martinez-Tur et al., 2011; Diehl and Poynor, 2010; Gotlieb, Grewal, and Brown, 1994; Woodruff, Cadotte, and Jenkins, 1983). EDT has also been applied to study IT adoption, IT usage, IT outsourcing success, and user satisfaction (i.e. Schwarz, Schwarz, and Black, 2014; Brown, Venkatesh, and Goyal, 2014; Lankton, McKnight, and Thatcher, 2014; Schwarz, 2011; Premkumar and Bhattacherjee, 2008; Kettinger and Lee, 2005). We posit that EDT also influences satisfaction with factors relating to student engagement.

EDT explains the process through which users determine their level of satisfaction based upon their expectations. …

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