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Elementary and secondary school students' perceptions toward the use of e-learning under the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study

Kaifei Xu (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China) (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Xin Bao (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China) (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Lu Lu (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 30 December 2022

55

Abstract

Purpose

The lockdown of schools to control the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has adversely affected elementary and secondary school students in China. However, little evidence is available that documents their perceptions toward the use of e-learning under the pandemic context. This study aims to explore (1) the underlying determinants influencing the students' intentions to continue e-learning and (2) the role that the COVID-19 pandemic plays in this decision. This study extends the expectation–confirmation model (ECM) through a mixed-methods study.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a mixed-methods approach. Phase 1 draws conclusions and extracts significant elements related to e-learning during the pandemic by analyzing students' user reviews from platforms. Based on the findings, the authors identify the relevant variables and develop an extended ECM by integrating attitudes and the perceived threat of COVID-19. In Phase 2, the research model is empirically validated using data collected from 36,920 elementary and secondary school students in China. This study uses a mixed-methods approach. Phase 1 draws conclusions and extracts significant elements related to e-learning during the pandemic by analyzing students' user reviews from platforms. Based on the findings, the authors identify the relevant variables and develop an extended ECM by integrating attitudes and the perceived threat of COVID-19. In Phase 2, the research model is empirically validated using data collected from 36,920 elementary and secondary school students in China.

Findings

In Phase 1, the results reveal that students' most concern elements in the COVID-19 pandemic are user perceptions toward e-learning and threat perceptions of COVID-19. In Phase 2, the results reveal that perceived usefulness and attitude are the most significant factors in students' intention to continue. The perceived threat of COVID-19 indirectly influences their intention to continue.

Originality/value

The study extends the ECM with a mixed-methods study to understand students' perceptions toward e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study can be helpful in related studies in the context of COVID-19-related diseases or other novel scenarios.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2017YFB1401800), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 71774042), and Key Consulting Project of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (grant number GCZY20190001).

These authors contributed to the work equally and should be regarded as co-first authors.

Citation

Xu, K., Bao, X. and Lu, L. (2022), "Elementary and secondary school students' perceptions toward the use of e-learning under the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study", Information Technology & People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2021-0019

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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