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Use and acceptance of learning platforms within universities

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Abstract

Virtual Learning Environments(VLEs) are learning platforms within uni‐
versities aiming to enhance students’ learning. In order to determine the success
of VLE adoption in universitiesitis essentialto identify the factors which influence
the students’ acceptance and use of VLE systems and potentially to develop a
theoretical model which can predict the influence of these factors on the students' learning activities. We are adopting the Unified Theory of Acceptance and
Use of Technology (UTAUT) model developed by Venkatesh et al. (2003)to identi‐
fy and test the underlying factorsinfluencing VLE acceptance and use. UTAUT is a
relatively new and untested model especially within cross‐culturalsettingsin the
context of Higher Education (Straub, 2009). The adoption ofUTAUT to explore the
use and acceptance oftechnology – and particularly VLEs – in educationalsettings
is somehow limited. We posit that this model is appropriate for this context and
we position our research to fill these gaps. We are testing the model in three
business schools in universities in two different countries. We are aiming to test
the model within UK and Russian educational settings using factor analysis by
deploying Venkatesh et al.’s (2003) questionnaire among students. If UTAUT has
been used in varioussettings, its adoption appearsto lack rigourin explaining the
significance of the identified factors which can shape acceptance and use. The
results would help enhancing and hopefully strengthening the theory by testing
the factors’ loadings and their impact on VLE acceptance and use within educa‐
tional settings to enhance knowledge creation, sharing, mapping and collabora‐
tion. The results demonstrate the validity oftheUTAUTmodel in different cultural
settings as well as the deeper cultural differences in the perceptions of use and
acceptance of VLEs which highlightthe crucialrole of culture on technology adop‐
tion