Factors Affecting the Adoption of E-Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Factors Affecting the Adoption of E-Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Omar Ikbal Tawfik, Omar Durrah
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5849-5.ch018
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This study investigates the factors influencing of adoption of e-learning at Dhofar University in Oman. This study is carried out after five semesters since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Structural equation modelling (SEM) has been used in the present investigation to assess the hypotheses and model. The findings showed infrastructure factor (INF) and economic and technological factors (ETF) have an effect on e-learning system (ELS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, this study revealed the lack of effect of the human factors represented by skills and knowledge (SKF) and compatibility factor (COF) on the e-learning system in light of this unprecedented pandemic.
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1. Introduction

Educational institutions are always striving to use new and advanced technologies to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between teachers and students. The rapid progress in information and communication technology has increased the use of modern technical means in various areas of life. Therefore, it was necessary to think about the necessity of using it and benefiting from it in education. ICT has improved the educational process, especially in the use of the Internet as an educational tool. E-learning has changed the teaching paradigm to help lecturers and students organize and coordinate their interactions and access online educational materials and resources at any time and from anywhere (Al-Rahm, 2019). E-learning is one of the most promising models of education, as it is one of the ways in which the gap between traditional education and smart education is bridged (van Biljon and van der Merwe, 2018). (Cidral et al., 2018) describes e-learning in general as the use of information and communication technology in education using any digital device, this device may be a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet (Mayer, 2017; Manzoor et al., 2019). The use of the Internet in education led to a complete restructuring of the learning and training model, and had an impact on education in universities in terms of content and style. E-learning has resulted in major changes in the organizational style of educational practice. Where the student is no longer required to attend the university at regular intervals, the student can carry his digital surroundings anywhere, and this has been linked to a great development in the services provided by networks, through large storage spaces and high Internet speeds. The Internet and the World Wide Web have opened unlimited space for communication, interaction and education without physical and temporal restrictions (Azizan, 2010). The Internet, with its many uses, can act as a teacher, classmate, and tool for improving the learning process (Lockman and Schirmer, 2020)

E-learning is not a new topic, but the Corona pandemic contributed to its emergence greatly and pushed it to the fore. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption in the history of education, with near-global impacts on students and teachers around the world. During the pandemic period people were forced to stay at home and by mid-2020 all malls, schools, colleges and universities were closed. Even hospitals were closed for patients without coronavirus. Many universities have decided to transfer the method of teaching from the traditional method (face to face) to online learning, with the cancellation of all activities on campus until further notice. As a result, nearly 120 countries have ended face-to-face learning, with nearly a billion students worldwide dropping out of face-to-face education (Shahzad et al.2021).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology: It describes communication, information and technological tools used to enhance learning, teaching, and assessment.

E-Learning: Online learning which is essentially a type of technology-based training and education.

Coronavirus Pandemic: Is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Skills: The ability to be independent and self-directed in your learning while effectively managing time is key to success in online learning.

Infrastructure: Is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country. It is a key factor in adopting any new technology.

Compatibility: The degree to which a new technology is perceived to be compatible with the needs of new adopters.

Knowledge: As the process of having an understanding of something and the information, education, practical experience, and the facility in applying that information.

Dhofar University: A university in the Sultanate of Oman.

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