To read this content please select one of the options below:

The adequacy of UTAUT-3 in interpreting academician’s adoption to e-Learning in higher education environments

Asanka Gunasinghe (Graduate School of Management, Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Junainah Abd Hamid (Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Ali Khatibi (Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
S.M. Ferdous Azam (Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 11 December 2019

Issue publication date: 28 February 2020




This study aims to assess the adequacy of unified theory of acceptance and use of technology-3 (UTAUT-3) model in understanding academician’s adoption to e-Learning, with intent of getting more academicians to accept e-Learning in the Sri Lankan higher education context. Limited validity of the model in an educational context led to this study. The emergence of internet-based technology has changed the way people live, work and study. Technological platforms such as e-Learning have advanced educational systems by enhancing learner experience while benefiting teachers and educators in many ways.


The study used a deductive approach and quantitative methodology, in which a theoretical model was tested using hypotheses to assess causality between study variables. The simple random sampling was used to collect data using a self-administered questionnaire that was sent via Google Forms to targeted respondents. The final sample consisted of 441 academicians who responded to factors of e-Learning adoption on a seven-point Likert scale. Structured equation modelling was used for data analysis.


It was revealed that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, facilitating conditions, habit and hedonic motivation were significant influences of academician’s adoption to e-Learning. However, social influence and personal innovativeness in IT were not significant predictors of e-Learning.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the scope of the study, the factors that determine e-Learning adoption were limited to UTAUT-3 variables. Additionally, the concept was tested from only an academician’s perspective using quantitative methodology.

Practical implications

The findings are useful to higher education institute (HEI) administration, instructors and teaching assistants, policymakers to design and implement their online strategy as well as to make appropriate decisions in getting e-Learning accepted among a higher number of local HEI academicians. It is recommended for the decision-makers in the HEIs to consider the effect of the above findings in setting plans for higher e-Learning adoption. For instance, staff training catering to specific departmental needs, continuous awareness building, periodic reviewal of e-Learning system, e-Learning champions, introduction of policies and guidelines to encourage trial usage would be useful in this aspect.

Social implications

Successful use of e-Learning would help HEIs to overcome certain issues that exist in a traditional classroom. e-Learning facilitates education delivery beyond time and space while supporting enhanced performance monitoring and skill development which ultimately improve quality of output and institutional performance.


The study examined the adequacy of UTAUT-3 in understanding the adoptability to e-Learning. Second, it recognised a set of factors that affect the academic staff acceptance of e-Learning in higher education environments. A useful framework is provided to the HEI’s administration to successfully implement e-Learning systems. This study contributes to the growing body of information system literature by examining the validity of UTAUT-3 framework in the use and acceptance of educational technology in a developing country.



Gunasinghe, A., Hamid, J.A., Khatibi, A. and Azam, S.M.F. (2020), "The adequacy of UTAUT-3 in interpreting academician’s adoption to e-Learning in higher education environments", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 86-106.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles