Measuring E-Learning System Adoption in Universities in Tanzania: An Integration of Trust, Environmental Factors, and University Readiness Into an IS Success Model

Measuring E-Learning System Adoption in Universities in Tanzania: An Integration of Trust, Environmental Factors, and University Readiness Into an IS Success Model

Deogratius Mathew Lashayo (Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, The Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTRAME.2020070101


The success of e-learning systems in Tanzania relies on various factors that influence its measurement. Examples of the key factors include trust, environmental factors, and the university readiness. However, influence of these factors towards e-learning systems is not clear. Understanding their impacts and significance helps decision makers and stakeholders in making informed decisions on how to handle them. This study modifies the information systems (IS) success model whereby it adopts 12 factors that had been suggested by this author in his previous study conducted in Open University of Tanzania (OUT) in 2017. A sample of 1,005 students from eight universities in Tanzania was collected. A structural equation modelling was used in data analysis. The results shows trust (T) has positive and significant impact on e-learning actual use (EAU) while environmental factors (EF) had positive and significant impacts on e-learning actual use and perceived benefits, and at the same time, university readiness had a positive and significant impact on perceived benefits (PB).
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Only 46% of 33 universities, both public and private owned, have managed to adopt electronic learning systems in Tanzania (Lashayo & Md Johar, 2017). Electronic learning system (e-learning system) is regarded as a type of web-based information system which is used specifically in teaching and learning in education institutions. In e-learning, internet is a main means of connecting computing devises for accessing contents (Ahmed, 2013; Ehlers, 2009; Lwoga & Komba, 2015). Adoption of e-learning in this context means accepting and using e-learning systems in university teaching and learning (Maina & Nzuki, 2015). A university is the higher education institution, devoted to professional and intellectual development of mankind, and society in general (URT, 1999). Success in adoption and use of e-learning in University context means achieving the objective that particular information system was meant for (DeLone & McLean, 2016).

Since 2011, Tanzania has been systematically increasing her investment in e-learning systems (Adkins, 2013). For example, investment in e-learning in the country increased from $4.9 million in 2011 to $11.73 million in 2016, which is a massive investment considering economic power of Tanzania (Adkins, 2013). Figure 1, shows increase in investment in e-learning in Tanzania from 2011 through 2016.

Figure 1.

Tanzania E-learning Investment from 2011 to 2016 showing duration in years against amount invested in million dollars (Adkins, 2013)


Despite massive investment in e-learning, study by Lashayo and Md Johar (2017) reported that only 46% of 33 universities, both public and private owned universities in Tanzania have managed successfully to have e-learning systems in their universities. Furthermore, statistics shows that 78% of e-learning systems in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) (which include all education institutions registered by either National Council of Technical Education (NACTE) or Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU)) are Moodle-based platforms while in universities (institutions registered by TCU only), 75% are Moodle-based platforms (Munguatosha, 2011). Global rate of adoption of e-learning systems is 65%, while in developing countries is 52% and in Africa is 49% (Aparicio, Bacao, & Oliveira, 2016; Isaacs, & Hollow, 2012; Unwin et al., 2010). Therefore, adoption of e-learning systems in Tanzania which is 46% is still low compared to global rate, developing countries and Africa region. Meanwhile both universities and non-universities institutions prefer Moodle-based platforms.

There is a problem of finding comprehensive model to measure e-learning systems in universities in the world and particularly in Tanzania (Hassanzadeh, Kanaani, & Elahi, 2012; Lwoga, 2014; Mohammadi, 2015; Tossy, 2017; Samarasinghe, & Tretiakov, 2012). As a result, there exist measurement models which are lacking important factors such as Trust, Environmental factors, University readiness and also Intention to use and Actual use been combined as one factor. In an effort to solve this problem of incomprehensiveness of existing models for measuring e-learning systems in Tanzania, this study validates and integrates missing factors into DeLone and McLean (2003) IS model through the following specific objectives:

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