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Students' adoption of e-learning in emergency situation: the case of a Vietnamese university during COVID-19

Nguyen Thi Thao Ho (Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia and FPT University, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Subarna Sivapalan (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETaL), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)
Hiep Hung Pham (Center for Research and Practice on Education (RPE), Phu Xuan University, Hue, Vietnam)
Lan Thi Mai Nguyen (FPT University, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Anh Thi Van Pham (FPT University, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Hung Viet Dinh (University of Labour and Social Affairs, Hanoi, Vietnam)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 4 December 2020

Issue publication date: 22 September 2021




By using a technology acceptance model (TAM) on survey results collected from two member schools of a Vietnamese educational institution, this study aims to uncover the key factors that affect students’ acceptance of e-learning during the Covid-19 period.


A bilingual questionnaire in English and Vietnamese was delivered. It was pre-tested on 30 participants before it was finalized. The authors first reviewed the measurement model and made adjustments to the theoretical TAM model. Then the adjusted TAM was used to investigate the relationships of the constructs in the model.


The results of the structural model show that computer self-efficacy (CSE) has a positive impact on perceived ease of use (PEOU). There is also a positive relationship between system interactivity (SI) and PEOU. Surprisingly, the authors documented that PEOU has no significant impact on students’ attitudes (ATT). The results show that SI can moderately affect ATT. Finally, it is noted that the social factor (SF) directly affects the student’s attitudes (ATT).


This study contains three limitations. First, as this study only focuses on undergraduate programs, readers should be careful in applying the findings and/or implications of this study to other education levels such as K-12, vocational training and postgraduate programs. Second, the findings are generated within the context of one type of e-learning, conducted via Google Meet. Therefore, future research is needed to provide further validation and comparison across other forms of e-learning. Finally, to further prevent the common bias problem, future research should use both five-point and seven-point Likert scales for the response options in the survey, as well as use negatively worded items. This will help prevent respondents from providing similar answers to all questions.


This study has both theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical perspective, the study can provide a solid framework for similar studies. From a practical perspective, this study offers implications for governments and universities in the process of adopting e-learning, given that the Covid-19 pandemic is currently in its second and more dangerous wave.



Ho, N.T.T., Sivapalan, S., Pham, H.H., Nguyen, L.T.M., Pham, A.T.V. and Dinh, H.V. (2021), "Students' adoption of e-learning in emergency situation: the case of a Vietnamese university during COVID-19", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 246-269.



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