Longitudinal investigation of collaborative e-learning in an end-user training context
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The growth in the application of information technology to learning/ training underscores the need to understand the impact of thes e technologies. Drawing on the two foundational disciplines, i.e., IS and Education, this study de velops a theoretical model that focuses on the learning process involved in collaborative e-learning. Th e model, based on Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST), describes the eff ect of learning methods using the structures embedded in the technology, teams and technique s. Further, the mode l conceptualizes the important role of faithful appropriation on learning outcomes. The research model focuses on the three enha ncements to existing learning methods, i.e. use of e-learning, collaboration and combined treatment. A 2X2 interrupted multi-period quasi- experiment was used to empirically investigat e the impact of these treatments, as well as appropriation of these treatment s. Hypotheses were developed based on the model presented. Data is analyzed using MANOVA and contemporary structural e quation modeling called Latent Growth Modeling and Stacked Group Analysis. Results of the study show a significant influen ce of e-learning and collaboration as well as the combined treatment on specific learning outcomes. E-learning treatment significantly enhanced self-efficacy and quiz scores of the pa rticipants while the collaboration treatmentositively influenced self-efficacy and satisfaction. The combined treatment has a positive effect on all three outcome variables. In addition, the study finds that faithful appropriation is an important determinant of the exte nt of effect. For technology st ructures, the initial level of appropriation is an important factor in initia l self-efficacy, score and satisfaction as well as changes self-efficacy and satisfaction over time. Changes in technology appropriation, more specifically attitude towards technology, influe nced changes in satisfaction. In case of collaboration methods, team stru ctures were developed over time. Consequently, initial team structures did not show any significant impact. However, changes in team structure appropriation influenced satisfaction. The study provides important research impli cations for theory and practice. Most importantly, the study provides empirical validity for using AST for investigating learning. Researchers and practitioners need to focus not only on the structures in the learning method, but also on the appropriation.