Exploring the affordance and acceptance of an e‐reader device as a collaborative learning system

Boon‐Chong Seet (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Tiong‐Thye Goh (School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Publication date: 3 August 2012



The aim of this research is to identify users' perceived affordances and explore how they influence the acceptance of an e‐reader device collaborative learning system.


The paper reports on two studies conducted to identify and explore perceived affordances. The first study enabled four users to experience a collaborative problem‐solving task to elicit perceived affordances. The second study developed and used a survey instrument based on a modified technology acceptance model with 54 participants to investigate the influences of the affordances on users' acceptance using the partial least square technique.


Five major affordance factors were found to be significantly influencing users' acceptance of the proposed system. These affordance factors are: mobility affordance, support affordance, connectivity affordance, immediacy affordance, and collaborative affordance. Surprisingly, sustainability affordance was found to have limited influence on the acceptance of the proposed system.

Research limitations/implications

The findings can be applied to other e‐reader devices with features similar to iLiad such as Sony PRS, Kobo, Nook, PocketBook and Viewsonic. Prototyping is a critical design process which aims to elicit user experiences. The research implies that the prototype system is capable of generating perceived affordances that are useful for e‐reader device development in order to enhance acceptance. The convenience sample used in the survey is biased towards male participants. As male and female users perceive information and communications technologies (ICT) differently, caution should be taken when applying the findings to the general population.

Practical implications

Practitioners should focus on utilising the support affordance of the system and identifying clear learning goals with the help of collaborative affordance as the learning pedagogy. System designers should focus on creating a good range of visible support affordances that are intuitive, while enhancing or complementing the collaborative learning affordances. The design of an integrated chat application is important as it lays the foundation for ensuring that collaborative learning with e‐reader devices is possible.


E‐reader devices have not been studied extensively as collaborative learning systems. This research is believed to be the first to integrate and explore the use of an e‐reader device in a collaborative learning environment. This study introduces the concept of composite affordance with a modified technology acceptance model for investigating users' acceptance of an e‐reader device as a collaborative learning system.



Seet, B. and Goh, T. (2012), "Exploring the affordance and acceptance of an e‐reader device as a collaborative learning system", The Electronic Library, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 516-542. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471211252229

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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