Factors that Influence the Adoption of Postgraduate Online Courses
Keywords:acceptance model, higher education, intention-to-use, online learning.
A research about factors that lead students to choose online courses, as well as the acceptance of these courses, can provide very relevant information for higher education institutions’ decision makers to amend these offers to students’ interests and needs. An investigation through questionnaire was developed involving students who attended online post-graduate courses. It was intended to know which factors affect students' decision to opt for postgraduate online courses. A model, based on the TAM (Technology Acceptance Model), was tested to find out what factors determine the intention to use online learning. The results shows that most respondents favour online courses and that their decision, when choosing this type of course, is mainly influenced by time management flexibility, avoiding going to school and the course curriculum interest. The test of the model, with structural equations, shows that attitude regarding online courses and perceived usefulness are factors that predict the intention to use. It was also concluded that the perceived ease of use induces a direct and indirect effect on the intention to use. The most significant results are consistent with published studies and can help the higher education institutions to define offer and communication strategies to reach a greater number of candidates for online learning.
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