University of Almeria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 8405-8414
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0835
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Within the current educational framework (EHEA), the information and communication technologies have become extremely important. Given the technological advances, there are new technological tools that teachers can incorporate to their teaching portfolio. Among them, one of the most popular are the knowledge pills. Based on the definition of Maceiras et al. (2010), knowledge pills can be described as small units of educational content that synthesize specific and key procedures of a subject and that are provided by the teacher, usually using the format of short videos. Among the benefits derived from their use, we can mention immediateness of accessing specific knowledge, customizing students’ learning (Allende, 2008), and the possibility of connecting different subjects (Antolín-Lopez & García-de-Frutos, 2015).

In recent times, students have increasingly showed preference to access to information through multimedia means and their fluency on internet usage. These changes in students’ habits make it reasonable to expect students to have positive attitudes towards the use of knowledge pills (see Antolín-Lopez & García-de-Frutos, 2015). However, little is still known about their real willingness to use knowledge pills as a learning tool. Most of the existing research has been mainly focused on addressing their advantages and benefits rather than students’ attitudes, use intentions and factual use. However, an effective implementation and exploitation of the knowledge pills as a learning tool requires insights on how this technology is accepted among students. In addition, it is relevant to know if there are demographic and behavioral factors that may exert influence on the acceptance and use of knowledge pills.

This study aims to contribute to overcome such research gap by:
(1) conducting a descriptive analysis on students’ perceptions and preferences towards the use of knowledge pills as a tool to learn concepts and develop skills related to specific subjects,
(2) applying the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000) to determine use intention and
(3) whether and how different demographic and behavioral factors influence attitudes and willingness to use knowledge pills.

Our sample comprises the responses of 178 students enrolled in different courses offered by the Department of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Almeria.

Taken all together, the results support the notion that Knowledge Pills are considered by students as a useful tool for learning and that they are very interested in and willing to use them. Besides that, linear regression analysis showed that in line with the hypotheses of the TAM, students holding more positive attitudes towards the knowledge pills are more willing to use them. Finally, ANOVA analyses performed to discover differences between groups’ attitudes, perceived easiness, usefulness and willingness to use knowledge pills, showed no differences regarding demographic variables such as gender or academic degree. However, some significant differences were found across individuals spending more vs. those spending fewer hours on Internet.
Knowledge pills, technology use, innovation.