ACCEPTANCE OF ONLINE LEARNING AMONG AFRICAN GRADUATES
Main Article Content
In the current globalized world, the pursuit of knowledge has progressed beyond the physical boundaries of educational institutions. The acquisition of education and the learning process take many different forms in the modern world which has granted members of the public easy access to educational opportunities. Among the numerous convenient forms available, online
learning is the most acceptable and widely used method of advancing education utilized by reputed educational institutions across the globe. This research focuses on investigating factors that influence student utilization and adapting of online learning in some selected countries of Africa. The research is based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) which is widely used as a theoretical paradigm for explaining students’ acceptance of online learning. The factors under investigation include Perceived Usefulness (PU), Perceived Ease of Use (PEU), Perceived Cost (PC), Compatibility (COMP), Perceived Online Service Quality (POSQ), Infrastructure Enablers (IE) and Online Learning Acceptance and Satisfaction (OLAS). Data was collected through structured questionnaires from a sample of 310 students from different countries in Africa and analyzed using partial least squares - structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) software to test the relationship between the factors. The results of this research show that PU, PEU, COMP, and POSQ have a positive and significant relationship with OLAS. In other words, these factors contribute positively and efficiently towards the acceptance and spread of online learning in selected African countries. However, PC and IE have an insignificant relationship with OLAS. In other words, African students perceive online learning as a high-cost option. Comparing the education costs in different African universities, this study has found that the International Open University (IOU), the Gambia, provides quality education with the lowest customized costs. The findings of this research are of great importance for educational institutions and policy makers in Africa and worldwide and may help them promulgate effective solutions for the challenges impeding the spread of online learning in Africa, in the hope of serving developing societies.