User acceptance of Virtual Patients

Authors

Walldén
Sari and Hakkarainen
Kati

Theme

Virtual Patients and eCase Studies

Category

Virtual Patients

INSTITUTION

University of Tampere

Conclusion

 

 

The frequency of using Moodle and the way of studying explained 46,5 %  and 33,9 % of the frequency of using VPs. Previous user acceptance studies have shown similar figures for other two factors, beliefs of usefulness PU and ease-of-use PEOU. Hence, our results didn’t confirm the previous studies conducted mainly in the USA and in Asia. This may follow from different kinds of cultural issues, research methods  and the research approach. 

However, the population was too small for final conclusions concerning the usage of Virtual Patients by Regulars and Non-users.

Background

 

The authors

 

We studied the user acceptance of Virtual Patients (VP) as an optional learning resource. User acceptance refers to users’ decision to start using a new technology [Venkatesh et al., 2003]. The user acceptance concerns both the technical system  and  the learning contents , which are inseparable.

We have studied the use of eight VPs developed on IVIMEDS software during a Problem Based block. The students (n=113, N=116) used VPs   in a Moodle VLE.  

We developed the Technology Acceptance Model for Education Simulations (TAMES) based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) [Davis, 1986]. 


Summary of Work

 

 

The actual use of VPs is measured as the number of use times and duration and way of use [Lee et al., 2009]). We analyzed the uses of VPs in order to find out whether their content, teaching arrangements or usability have effects on usage. 

Figure 1: Virtual Patient Sirkka Saari

Figure 1: Virtual Patient Sirkka Saari

 

Look at interactive X-rays in more details! 

 

We studied whether individual factors, circumstantial factors or perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use explain the usage of VPs. As methods we used a questionnaire with 18 questions. We evaluated the actual usage of VPs by analyzing Moodle log files manually and with a specially written computer program . A heuristic expert evaluation and two usability tests on the VPs were performed.

Take-home Messages

User acceptance data on virtual learning should be used to design better tools and environments. Learners have different needs, expectations and qualifications concerning virtual learning. This should be taken into consideration when virtual learning is designed and implemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Acknowledgement

 

 

This study has been financed by the e learning project funding of Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Results

 

 

 According to the log analysis, 30 students out of 113 used VPs through the block, 29 ceased to use, 28 glanced, and 26 did not open any VP.

 

What kind of users are Regulars, Interrupters, Glancers and Non-users?


 

Look at characters of these user groups in more details!

 

The frequency of use of Moodle and the way of studying were the only individual factors that affected significantly the actual use of Virtual Patients. With respect to the way of studying, Regulars and Interrupters were similar, and so were Glancers and Non-users. The use of Moodle divided both Interrupters and Glancers, while almost all Regulars used Moodle a lot and Non-users a little (see Figure 2). 

 

 

 

 

 


Figure 2: Frequency of Moodle use and the way of studying in the different user groups, which are divided into categories based on frequency of Virtual Patients’ use.

 

The frequency of using Moodle (r=.680, p=.000) explained 46,5 % and the way of studying (r=.319, p=.001) 33,9 % of the frequency of using VPs.

References

Davis, F.D. (1986). A technology acceptance model for empirically testing new end-user information systems: Theory and results. Ph.D. Thesis, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 


Lee, B.-C., Yoon, J.-O., and Lee, I. (2009). Learners’ acceptance of e-learning in South Korea: Theories and results. Computers & Education 53, 1320-1329.


Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B. and Davis, F.D. (2003). User acceptance of information technology: toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly 27, 3, 425-478.

 

Venkatesh, V. and Davis, F.D. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: Four longitudinal field studies, Management Science 46, 186-204.

Conclusion

Our results didn’t confirm the previous studies conducted mainly in the USA and in Asia. This may follow from different kinds of cultural issues (e.g., the educational system), research methods (e.g., the actual use is usually measured by users’ self-reporting) and the research approach (e.g., the actual use is usually measured in a single time point, while we used an eight weeks long follow-up).  

 

A part of Glancers and Interrupters didn’t apparently use Virtual Patients because of technical shortcomings in the system. This can be concluded from the questionnaire answers and log analysis. 

 

Background

The basis of the theoretical framework of this study is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). According to the model, a user forms, based on her perceptions, beliefs on the usefulness (PU) and ease-of-use (PEOU) of the technology in question. PU and PEOU raise an intention to use the technology which then leads to actual use. There is a huge literature on the external factors affecting user acceptance. The present study enlarges the basic TAM model with external factors whose effects are demonstrated in several studies (see, e.g. [Venkatesh and Davis, 2000; Venkatesh et. al.2003]. 

The TAMES model : 


Summary of Work

Interactive Learning Module 1: Pneumonia of VP Sirkka Saari

 

With respect to the goals of the block, five out of eight VPs had more versatile qualities like interactive learning modules or study guides, whereas the remaining three served as simple PBL scenarios containing an image of a typical clinical finding.

 

We studied whether individual factors, circumstantial factors or perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use explain the usage of VPs. Individual factors included age, gender, education after high school, computer experience, subjective norm, motivation to study, and way of studying and use of Moodle. Circumstantial factors included usage context, devices, browser, and telecommunication connection. Factors perceived usefulness and ease of use included 6 items with Likert scale.

Take-home Messages
Acknowledgement
Summary of Results


 

  -- use Moodle much more than the other students

  -- follow the PBL way of learning more often than the others

  -- use more often Firefox and Safari browsers

 

 

  -- are somewhat younger than the others 

  -- follow often the PBL way of learning

  -- use Safari browser more often than the others

 

 

 


 

 

 

  -- follow seldom the PBL way of learning

  -- feel external social pressure more often than the others

 

 

  -- are more often females than males

  -- use Moodle much less than the others

  -- follow seldom the PBL way of learning

  -- play computers games more often than the others

  -- use Opera browser more often than the others

 

 

 

The use of different VPs varied a lot with respect to the number of students using them and to the number of separate use times. The less used VPs were the simple scenario showing shingles lesions, (22 users, 25 use times, average duration a of use time 9,3 minutes) and another scenario of early meningitis, (24 users, 26 use times), and the most used ones were a VP  of a patient with inflamed wound ( 43 users, 55 use times) and a VP of  tuberculosis( 42 users, 56 use times).

 

The students' ways of use of VPs were quite homogeneous. Many students used VPs most before tutor sessions; either during the same morning or during the previous evening (even on Sundays). A few students followed a regular rhythm which didn't coincide with the teaching arrangements of the block.

 

 

With respect to the way of studying, Regulars and Interrupters were similar, and so were Glancers and Non-users. On the other hand, the use of Moodle divided both Interrupters and Glancers, while almost all Regulars used Moodle a lot and Non-users a little (see Figure 2). Of the Non-users, as much as 17 didn’t follow the PBL way of learning and used Moodle and Virtual Patients only a little. Of the Regulars, 24 students followed the PBL way of learning and used Moodle and Virtual Patients a lot.

 

The frequency of using Moodle (r=.680, p=.000) explained 46,5 % and the way of studying (r=.319, p=.001) 33,9 % of the frequency of using VPs. Moodle contained all learning material of the block except the text books, so a variable connected to general learning activity and  to the way of studying measured, if a student followed PBL method as it was purposed (in Tampere Medical School). Perceived ease of use was in 5/6 items almost significantly related to the frequency of using VPs and in 3/6 items to the amount of using VPs.

 

 

 

 

References
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