STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION TO LEARN IN BLENDED COURSES: TECHNOLOGICAL ANTECEDENTS ARE NOT ALONE!
Many studies have tried to determine the most important factors in the acceptance of e-learning systems by students thanks to existing information systems (IS) models such as the technology acceptance model (TAM, Martínez-Torres et al., 2008) or the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT, Keller et al., 2007). However, such studies have little, if any, interest towards the social interactions that can also have a great impact on the students' perception of e-learning designs or the students' motivation to learn by using e-learning systems.
Yet, social interactions that occur inside and outside the classroom are important in the learning process (Woo & Reeves, 2007). Schematically, these social interactions can occur among students, or between students and teachers. While the latter have almost no regulation power on interactions among students, they control how they interact with their students.
This theoretical piece of paper aims to go beyond traditional research that is focused on the technological dimension of e-learning systems by re-introducing the influence of the social interactions between the teacher and the students. To do so, it is suggested to rely on the concepts of dialogue and structure that were proposed by Moore (1991).
Dialogue “describes the interaction between the instructor and learner when one gives instruction and the other responds” (Moore, 1991 – 3, in Lemak et al., 2005). Thus, dialogue can be face-to-face or distant thanks to ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). Structure refers to the “rigidity or flexibility of the program’s educational objectives, teaching strategies and evaluation methods” (Moore, 1991 – 4, in Lemak et al., 2005).
The theoretical framework proposed in this paper suggests that (1) both dialogue and structure influence the quality and quantity of the interactions between students and the teacher, and that accordingly (2) the quality and quantity of these interactions influence the students' motivation to use e-learning systems.
Keller, C., Stefan Hrastinski and S.A. Carlsson. “Students’ Acceptance Of E-Learning Environments: A comparative study in Sweden and Lithuania.” Proceedings of the Fifteen European Conference on Information Systems (2007): 395-406.
Lemak, David J., Shung Jae Shin, Richard Reed, and Joseph C. Montgomery. “Technology, Transactional Distance, and Instructor Effectiveness: An Empirical Investigation.” Academy of Management Learning and Education 4, no. 2 (2005): 150-59.
Martínez-Torres, M.R., S.L. Toral Marín, F. Barrero García, S. Gallardo Vázquez, M. Arias Oliva and T. Torres. “A technological acceptance of e-learning tools used in practical and laboratory teaching, according to the European higher education area.“ Behaviour & Information Technology, vol. 27, no. 6 (2008): 495-505.
Woo, Younghee and Thomas C. Reeves. “Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation.” The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 10, no. 1 (2007): 15-25.