Unfamiliar technology: Reaction of international students to blended learning

Abstract

This study enquires into learners’ behavioural intentions towards the use of a blended learning program designed for post-graduate international IT students. The aim of this research is to develop a testing mechanism to measure the extent to which international students have built up digital capital. We use the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) as a framework for this investigation, built around social influence (behavioural intention) performance and effort expectancy (attitude), and facilitating conditions (ease and usefulness), using a critical theoretical approach. We further attempt to understand whether motivation for engagement with blended learning comes from intrinsic or extrinsic sources. For this study, 95 Project Management students were introduced to a blended learning approach using Blackboard, a Learning Management System. Following an introductory session, data on attitude, social influence and facilitating conditions was gathered. Hierarchical multiple regressions were used to assess the influence of each variable in determining first behavioural intentions and latter attitude towards blended learning. This study contributes to the body of knowledge through identifying that social influence has a strong impact on both performance and effort expectation as well as behavioural intentions. This suggests that, overall, the social environments from which the cohort originated provided sufficient economic, social and cultural capital to also develop some digital capital.

Keywords

Blended learningInternational studentsDigital capital