1 COLLEGE STUDENT S ACCEPTANCE OF TABLET PERSONAL COMPUTERS: A MODIFICATION OF THE UNIFIED THEORY OF ACCEPTANCE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY MODEL by Mark, J. Moran A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Capella University August 2006
2 Mark Moran, 2006
3 COLLEGE STUDENT S ACCEPTANCE OF TABLET PERSONAL COMPUTERS: A MODIFICATION OF THE UNIFIED THEORY OF ACCEPTANCE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY MODEL by Mark, J. Moran has been approved August 2006 APPROVED: ACCEPTED AND SIGNED: CLIFF BUTLER, Ph.D., Faculty Mentor and Chair VALERIE COXON, Ph.D., Committee Member MARK HAWKES, Ph.D., Committee Member CLIFF BUTLER, Ph.D. Kurt Linberg, Ph.D. Dean, School of Business & Technology
4 Abstract Information technology can enhance the learning process for post secondary students. Many universities have implemented ubiquitous or required notebook or tablet personal computing for their students but have not studied the acceptance of the technology by their student populations. This research examines student acceptance of mobile computing devices using a modification of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) recently developed by leading researchers in the technology acceptance field. The objective of the study is to evaluate students acceptance of Tablet PC (TPC) as a mean to forecast, explain, and improve usage patterns of UTAUT in alternate contexts. The research contributes to UTAUT s theoretical validity and empirical applicability and to the management of information technology (IT) based initiatives in education.
5 Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my family who has been giving me their unwavering support throughout this life-changing experience. To my wife, Mary, who has been so strong and supportive all through this educational journey. To my children, Matthew and Marin, you are my inspiration to reach beyond my potential and reach goals I thought unattainable. I love you all so much.
6 Acknowledgments First, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Cliff Butler, who has been a compassionate and diligent mentor during my voyage at Capella University. I thank you for the guidance and support as my dissertation chair, professor, and mentor. Your work ethic and leadership inspire me and I look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come. I want to thank Dr. Valerie Coxon for agreeing to join my committee in a time of need, and for your many insightful comments during the comprehensive and dissertation process. Dr. Coxon, your supportive remarks often were inspirational and kept me moving forward. Dr. Mark Hawkes, thank you for joining me on this trek your knowledge of instructional technology in education was critical to this task. Because of all of you I look forward to joining my academic peer in the pursuit of knowledge. I wish you all the best in life. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Omar El-Gayar for being the catalyst that spurred my dissertation process. Your tireless efforts at research and academia are something I will strive to attain. Thanks for all your contribution to this dissertation especially in the area of technology acceptance and the analysis of the data. iii
7 Table of Contents Acknowledgments iii List of Tables viii List of Figures x CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 21 Wireless Data Communication 3 The Device 5 Pen Based Computing Background 7 The Adoption of Technological Innovations 9 Objective of the Study 10 Research Questions 11 Significance of the Study 13 Scope of the Study 14 Study Context 14 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 16 iv
8 History of Technology Acceptance Models 17 The Technology Acceptance Model 20 The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology Model 24 UTAUT Supporting Research 27 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN 28 Performance Expectancy 31 Effort Expectancy 32 Social Influence 32 Facilitating Conditions 32 Supplementary Variables 33 Pilot Study 33 The Survey 35 Sample Size 40 Survey Sample Population 40 Human Subjects Protection 41 Survey Questions 42 v
9 Data Analysis Methodology 50 Measures 52 CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS 54 Data Sample 54 Data Validation 59 Model Validity 73 Reliability 74 Construct Validity 77 Partial Least Squares 82 Model Analysis 82 Structural Model Analysis 86 Freshman vs. Upper Classmen 88 CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS 93 Discussion 98 Moderating Conditions 100 Limitations 101 vi
10 Future research 102 REFERENCES 105 APPENDIX A: SELECTION OF COURSES TO SURVEY 113 APPENDIX B: SURVEY QUESTIONS 116 APPENDIX C: CROSS TAB REPORTS 120 vii
11 List of Tables Table 1. Theory of Planned Behavior Constructs...19 Table 2. TAM Research...23 Table 3. UTAUT Components...26 Table 4. UTAUT Moderators...26 Table 5. Performance Expectancy Questions...44 Table 6. Effort Expectancy Questions...45 Table 7. Attitude Toward Using Technology Questions...45 Table 8. Social Influence Questions...46 Table 9. Facilitating Conditions Questions...46 Table 10. Behavior Intent Questions...47 Table 11. Self Efficacy Questions...48 Table 12. Anxiety Questions...48 Table 13. Usage and Other Information Questions...49 Table 14. Scale Reliabilities...52 Table15a. Statistical Analysis of the Variables...60 Table15b. Statistical Analysis (continued)...61 Table 16. Cross tab report for PE1 by Gender...63 Table 17. Cross tab report for PE1 by Class Status Table 18. T test and p Values for Participating Groups and PE Table 19. Cross tab report for PE1 by College Major...67 Table 20. Mean, Standard Deviation, Skewness, and Kurtosis for College and PE viii
12 Table 21. Cross tab report for PE1 by First Computer Use...69 Table 22. Basic statistics for Computer Experience and PE Table 23. T test and p values for Participant Groups and PE Table 24. Cross tab report for PE1 by First Tablet PC Use...71 Table 25. Basic Statistics for Tablet PC Use and PE Table 26. T-test and p-values for Tablet PC Use and PE Table 27a. Reliability of Performance Expectancy Construct Variables...75 Table 27b. Reliability of EE, ATUT, SI, FC, SE Variables...76 Table 28. Reliability of ANX, BI, & USE Variables...77 Table 29. Internal Consistency Factor Analysis for PE1 PE Table 30. Correlation Coefficients for Performance Expectancy Indicators...80 Table 31. Internal Consistency & Factor Loading Analysis for other Indicators...81 Table 32. Individual Loadings, Weights, and Internal Consistencies...84 Table 33. AVE Scores and Correlation of Latent Variables...86 Table 34. Comparison of Freshman and Upper Classman Model Contributions...91 Table 35. Comparison of All, Freshman, & Upper Class Models...92 Table A-1. Course on which Survey Tool was Administered Table A-2. Individual Course Section Participation ix
13 List of Figures Figure 1. Theory of Planned Behavior...18 Figure 2. Technology Acceptance Model...20 Figure 3. Extended Technology Acceptance Model...22 Figure 4. Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT)...25 Figure 5. Dissertation Research Model...30 Figure 6. Research Page Link...36 Figure 7. Web Survey Link...37 Figure 8. Questions and Concerns Information...38 Figure 9. Web Survey Instrument...39 Figure 10. Research Relationship Equations...53 Figure 11. Survey Participants Class Status...55 Figure 12. Survey Participants College Affiliation...56 Figure 13. Survey Participants First Computer Use...57 Figure 14. Survey Participants Length of Use of Table PC...58 Figure 15. Histogram of PE Figure 16. Tablet PC Structural Model...88 Figure 17. Freshman PLS-Graph Model...89 Figure 18. Upper Classman PLS-Graph Model...90 x
14 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION The application of computer technology in collegiate classrooms has been demonstrated to improve teaching when used appropriately (Surry & Land, 2000). In the past few years many universities have introduced mobile computing to their campus as a way to improve the productivity of and communication between students and faculty. But some faculty have raised concerns about the distractions caused by mobile computer hardware (Groves & Zemel, 2000). However, even with philosophical differences among faculty, many universities including Bentley College (Lowe, 2004), Notre Dame (Abbott, 2004), University of Texas (Mock, 2004), and the University of Washington (Willis & Miertschin, 2004) have implemented, or are in the process of starting, mobile computing initiatives. Some colleges and universities have adopted computing initiatives that require every student to acquire their own portable computing device or in some cases participate in experiments with university supplied computers, more than fifty colleges and universities have, or are in the process of, implementing various mobile computing initiatives. A website administered by Dr. Ray Brown, of Valley City State University, contains a list of over seventy institutions that are involved in various levels of mobile computing implementation (Brown, 2000). Many of these implementations included reengineering of the institutions data communication facilities. Several of these have decided to adopt a specialized development of notebook computers that allow pen based data entry and screen manipulation.
15 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 2 Tablet Personal Computer (TPC) based mobile computing initiatives have been documented in the literature with programs ranging from a preliminary pilot study at the University of Houston (Willis & Miertschin, 2004) investigating TPCs in a mobile learning laboratory used by faculty. A university that integrates the TPC into student teacher interaction is the University of Washington where a Classroom Feedback System (CFS) is being used to give students the ability to provide feedback and ask real time questions during an instructor mediated lecture (Steel, et al., 2003). Every student enrolled in Bentley College gets a TPC (Lowe, 2004). Other universities with TPC programs include Purdue, MIT, Temple, Seton Hall, Chatham, and many others (Brown, 2000) (Wachsmuth, 2003). One of these institutions to make significant commitment to ubiquitous, mobile computing is a small Midwest public university located in South Dakota. This institution started investigating pen based mobile computing in 2002 when thirteen wireless access points were installed on their campus (DSU goes wireless, 2002). Approximately twenty Center of Excellence (CEX) students were given tablet PC devices and given the assignment to investigate the device as a learning instrument. The initial project was found to be beneficial resulting in expansion of both wireless network availability and students with table PCs. A task force was then organized to examine strategies for taking mobile computing to scale at the university, and to investigate computing device options. In the fall of 2004, this university moved wireless mobile computing from a small number of Center of Excellence students and scaled it to include all first and second year enrolled students (Knowlton, 2004). This initiative required each full time student to
16 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 3 lease a wireless, mobile tablet/laptop personal computing device. The program has been entitled the wireless mobile computing initiative (WMCI). By the spring of 2006 all students at this university should have their own TPC (Zolnowsky, 2006). Wireless Data Communication Wireless networks, by themselves, can not support the typical communication traffic on a modern campus. The wireless aspect supports a continuous communication environment but a high speed wired network backbone must be in place to support the broadband applications that present applications require. Modern college student s use many bandwidth hungry applications such as instant messaging, music downloads and peer-to-peer programs (Henderson, Kotz, & Abyzov, 2004). These data intensive applications make it difficult to a consistent quality of service (QOS) for all of the developing applications. Over the past decade the nation s commercial, academic, and telecommunications sectors have made considerable improvements in their telecommunications infrastructure (Decusatis, 2002). According to Dr. Kenneth Green (Green, 2004), who has been conducting surveys of college campus computer use since 1990, roughly 4 out of 5 private and public four year colleges claim they have functional wireless LANs that can be used by their students, faculty and staff in parts or all of their campus facilities. This expansion of wireless connectivity capacity has been augmented with many universities adopting pen based computing initiatives. Considering the mobility of laptops and TPCs in a wireless LAN environment steps need to be taken to allow the mobile computing device to keep one Internet
17 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 4 Protocol (IP) as the user moves across campus. Each access point covers about an area with a radius of about 100 feet so computing devices moving from one area of campus to another will move through several different AP zones. Most campuses need to segment their networks to reduce data traffic congestion in any one zone or building. Mobile users will move from their original zone to other zones as they move across campus requiring them to obtain a new IP address for each subnet. Obviously this would not be an acceptable requirement of a WLAN. The solution is to place all the wireless access points on their own virtual LAN (VLAN) (Ciampa, 2001). Using a VLAN all wireless devices exist in the same LAN segment so they are not required to change their IP address until they leave the campus area. The development of mature wired campus networks has enabled many universities to provide both faculty and students with a ubiquitous wireless mobile computing environment (Barkhuus, 2005). Initially mobile notebook computers filled this need but gradually tablet PC devices have become more prevalent on college campuses. Tablet PC technology is the newest development of pen based computing. Security is an issue with wireless networks. Most wireless standards require some configuration to provide a secure communication tool. Many university networks require user authentication before a user is allowed access to the information on a network. A common frame work to evaluate security is referred to as the CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability) of security (Maconachy, Schou, Ragsdale, & Welch, 2001). Confidentiality addresses issues associated with the unauthorized disclosure of information. Integrity refers to the actions taken to prevent and detect the unauthorized
18 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 5 alteration of the information being transmitted. Availability refers to the issues associated with ensuring that information is reliably provided to authorize users. The provision of adequate security in wireless networks requires that the network be configured to require user identity. That can be accomplished by using provisions built into existing wireless networking standards b and g can be set to support security equivalent to desktop computer workstation by using windows equivalent privacy (WEP) and wireless application protocol (WAP). User authentication can be accomplished by using proprietary applications or which is built into Microsoft windows XP. Any organization planning on adding wireless access to a network must evaluate their desired level of security and implement solutions to ensure a secure computing environment. The Device The tablet PC is the current state of pen based computing. Since their initial release in 2002 TPCs have gradually gained acceptance as a useful tool for educators, professionals, and casual users. The devices are currently in their third generation and now possess sufficient computing power to put them on par with the average desktop computer (Mock, 2004). The TPC device is essentially an x86 microprocessor based notebook with an active screen digitizer running Windows XP Tablet Edition. This is a new version of Windows XP with add-ons that support pen-based input. Microsoft became the leading provider of software for TPC devices when it introduced the Tablet PC edition of Windows XP in 2002 (Microsoft, 2002). The pen can be used as a navigation tool and an input device that allows users to write on the screen using digital ink. This digital ink can be stored directly as a graphic or it can be converted to
19 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 6 text. A TPC can execute any program written for the Windows XP operating system without a translation as needed on most personal data assistant (PDA) devices. Models available now are either slate or convertible devices. A slate form factor is similar to a PDA with a larger screen and, usually includes, a detachable keyboard. The convertible TPC form factor is very similar to a traditional notebook computer with the screen display attached with a single swivel hinge to the main portable PC body that can rotate 360 degrees allowing the screen to lie flat on the keyboard, with the screen up, to emulate a slate arrangement. Several manufacturers have slate and convertible notebook tablet models available (Tablet PC 2004 Quick Comparison, 2004). The TPC is usually used by the instructor in a classroom setting as a presentation device that eliminates the need for a blackboard or whiteboard. The presentation is typically projected onto a screen using an overhead projection device. With products such as Microsoft OneNote, PowerPoint, or Journal, the instructor has the ability to use prepared lecture notes or slides and annotate them on the fly. Teaching faculty at this university are able to connect to the projection device wirelessly which eliminates the need of providing a TPC docking station in each presentation classroom. All students also have a TPC and, at the discretion of the instructor, can assume control of the projector allowing them to share what is on their TPC desktop with other class participants. This capability fosters an active learning environment where students are actively participating in the presentation which has been shown to increase learning (Barkhuus, 2005).
20 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 7 Pen Based Computing Background Many information systems professionals view the TPC to be the next release of an existing technology. Pen based computing has been around since the 1950 s. The Semi- Automated Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system used a light gun to interact with the computer screen (Ray, 2002). Computerized automated drafting programs in the 1970 s used light pens or pen based drawing tablets to manipulate objects on the computer screen (Fisher, 1999). The first pen based desktop computer system was introduced by Wang in This computer allowed users to annotate screen captures with ink from an electronic pen on an opaque tablet attached to a serial port of the computer (Francik 1991). This Wang Freestyle later allowed voice recordings to be attached to a pen event that could then be ed to another Wang user. The first tablet computer introduced was the GRiDPad in 1989 by Jeff Hawkins, the founder of Palm and Handspring. It was a PC (Intel based) computing device that used a pen attached by a cord. GRiDPad could recognize hand printed characters and was used for data collection, such as filling out forms. GRiDPad devices were used by several state police agencies and some specialized form filler applications (Jones, 2002). In 1993 Apple jumped onto the pen based computing bandwagon with the Newton. This device was the first palm based computing device and was marketed by Apple from 1993 to The official name of the device was the MessagePad but the devices operating system called Newton (Apple Newton, 2006) became the devices
21 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 8 name. The Apple ipod is the latest version of this device since it operates by using the original Newton operating system. The most successful pen based device, prior to the TPC, was the Palm Pilot. Jeff Hawkins, originally of Grid computing, founded the company in Later the company was acquired by US Robotics and soon after that by 3com, the communications company (Dillion, 1998). The Pilot was essentially a personal organizer device capable of storing thousands of phone numbers and addresses. The device suffers from a number of limitations including; small viewing screen, low processor power, insufficient memory, and crippled applications. But the devices became popular with frequent travelers due to their convenience features. Computer Business Review reports that makers shipped nearly one million units in 2005 and projects that nearly two million units will be sold in 2006 (Fujitsu claims top tablet spot in EMEA, 2006). In the eighteen years since the original GRiD computer introduction computer hardware has significantly come down in price while micro processors have become much more powerful. For these reason, and other developments of computer hardware components, TPC devices are more affordable and powerful. The entry of Microsoft into the market in 2000 (Gates, 2000) is the most recent event in TPC development. The combination of a larger screen, increased computing capacity, and the way people use computers today contribute the success of TPCs. With the ubiquitous availability of the Internet more users are reading information on their mobile computing devices (Taylor & Todd, 2001). Students use their devices to read , news, web pages and other information. The present college environment is an ideal environment for TPC adoption
22 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 9 (Abbott, 2004). As the TPC models have matured they have become very price competitive with their notebook counterparts. Jeff Van West, of Microsoft, estimates that a TPC will cost about $ more than a comparably equipped notebook computer (West, 2005). When the performance, features, and convenience of use are considered the TPC is a viable alternative to notebook computing devices. The Adoption of Technological Innovations Many information systems (IS) researchers have published on various theories that could be used to explain the adoption of information technology innovations. These theories include; the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989); the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975); the theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) among others which are modifications or developments of these models. The various lines of research are more extensively discussed in chapters two and three in this dissertation. The models were developed to help estimate and measure IS innovation success. An estimate of the success rate of new IS technology implementation projects since the 1980s is about 50% (Westland & Clark, 2000). Explaining the adoption of new information technologies has been described as the most mature research area in contemporary information systems research literature (Hu, Chau, Sheng, & Tam, 1999). Research in this area has generated adoption metrics that can be used to determine the probability of successful implementation of information system initiatives. The combination of these metrics into a single model entitled the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was proposed by several of the fields
23 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 10 leading researchers (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). The models used for technology adoption were able to successfully predict the acceptance of an innovation in only 40%of the cases (Davis et al., 1989) (Taylor & Todd, 2001) (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000). The new proposed model UTAUT has been demonstrated to be up to 70% accurate at predicting user acceptance of information technology innovations (Venkatesh et al., 2003). By generating a significantly higher percentage of technology innovation success the UTUAT is deemed a superior metric than the prior metrics. Objective of the Study The objective of this study is to measure the acceptance of TPCs by students at this university. This setting provides a unique context for the study of adoption of technological innovations because of the ubiquity of TPCs, and wireless computing in general on the campus. The primary instrument used to gather adoption data is a web survey based on the variables defined in the UTAUT and other TAM studies. The UTAUT constructs are performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions. Other technology research variables included are self efficacy, attitude towards using technology, and anxiety. These were added to ensure a thorough investigation of the acceptance of technology in this environment. The survey instrument was constructed to enable the researcher to determine differences among the students acceptance of TPC based on their major area of study, their year of attendance at the university, and their experience with computers including tablet PCs. The acceptance of TPC was measured using the UTAUT model proposed by Venkatesh and Davis (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Additional discussion of the appropriateness of this model is
24 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 11 presented in chapter two and three of this dissertation. The primary research question guiding this research is to understanding the level and rate of technological buy-in (adoption) at this campus in order to identify the aspects of the environment that most contribute to the adoption process, and identify the support structures (social, environmental, etc.) that facilitate this process. Research Questions The primary reason for the study is to measure if college students, at this campus, accept the wireless mobile computing initiative. The second question examined is the efficiency of technology adoption as determined by the UTAUT model. The third question addressed by this study is the impact of the various UTAUT variables, and other variables not included in the UTAUT model, on user acceptance of the TPC. From a null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis approach, the research questions are expressed below. H 01 : University students, in the study environment, reject the Tablet PC. H 02 : The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) does not predict the successful acceptance of the Tablet PC H 03 : The constructs of the UTAUT will not demonstrate an effect on users acceptance of the tablet PC. H 04 : Computer self efficacy does not impact students acceptance of the Tablet PC.
25 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 12 H 05 : Anxiety about computer use does not impact students acceptance of the Tablet PC H 06 : Students use pattern of the Tablet PC does not impact their acceptance of the device. The alternate hypotheses are listed below. H a1 : University students, in the study environment, accept the Tablet PC. H a2 : The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) does predict the successful acceptance of the Tablet PC H a3 : The constructs of the UTAUT will demonstrate an effect on user acceptance of the tablet PC. H a4 : Computer self efficacy does have an impact on students acceptance of the Tablet PC. H a5 : Anxiety about computer use does have an impact on students acceptance of the Tablet PC. H a6 Students use of the Tablet PC does not impact student s acceptance of the device. The survey questions were mapped to constructs of the UTAUT model with some constructs included from the TAM to measure the acceptance or rejection of the
26 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 13 individual hypothesis. The mapping of the questions is described in Chapter 3 of this dissertation. Significance of the Study There are several studies that focus on the adoption of information technology beginning in 1975 with the theory of planned behavior by Ajzen (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). The technology acceptance model was proposed by Davis in 1989 (Davis, 1989) followed by several studies that offer support and suggested modification of the TAM model (Mathieson, 1991) (Legris, Ingham, & Collerette, 2003). This is a significant project because it will study a relatively new model, UTAUT, to determine the acceptance of an information technology initiative by college students. This dissertation will test the validity of the UTAUT model in a context that is unique to other study settings. Many corporate and educational institutions have the existing infrastructure to support a ubiquitous wireless computing environment. This study will support the migration to a more mobile computing environment by identifying the structural and contextual factors that facilitate the adoption of wireless technology and mobile computing devices. There are many benefits, and some disadvantages, of ubiquitous computing in a wireless environment. Ubiquitous wireless access to electronic classrooms and overhead projectors allow teachers to use all the things teachers can use to enrich their presentations with multimedia (Burton, 2004, p. 55). The study could aid academic institutions with their decisions whether or not to implement a new information system technology. The findings of this research can
27 Acceptance of Tablet PC s 14 indicate areas that could improve the acceptance of technology implementations. Although this study does not investigate the financial impact of TPC initiatives it may aid academic institutions with the decision of adopting this new technology. Scope of the Study This study examines the acceptance of TPC by students newly enrolled in the fall of The results of the study should not be applied to all university students as other educational environments may lead to different acceptance decisions. The population size was chosen to attempt to provide some statistical significance to the study but the best predictive efficiency of the UTAUT model is only 70%. Technology adoption scenarios are not correctly predicted in nearly 30% of the cases. An examination of the studies conducted using technology adoption models reveals that many have been conducted on undergraduate and graduate students. A fair number of research has been conducted using IS adoption models on business services such as mobile internet (Pederson & Ling, 2002), text messaging, contact services, mobile payment (Pederson, Nysveen, & Thorbjornsen, 2003), mobile gaming, and mobile parking services (Pederson & Nysveen, 2003). Study Context This study was conducted at a small Midwestern university where freshman and sophomore students are required to lease a TPC since the fall semester of In subsequent years new freshman, and transfer students have been required to lease a TPC. The result of this initiative is that all freshman, sophomore, and junior students at this