Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 736931, 11 pages
Research Article

Tool Use in Computer-Based Learning Environments: Adopting and Extending the Technology Acceptance Model

1Center for Instruction Psychology and Technology, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2Leuven Language Institute, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3Interdisciplinary Research Team on Technology, Education and Communication-IBBT, KU Leuven-kulak, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium

Received 13 November 2013; Accepted 29 December 2013; Published 11 February 2014

Academic Editors: M. Akman, S. Cessna, and K. Kiewra

Copyright © 2014 N. A. Juarez Collazo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study adopts the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and extends it to study the effects of different variables on tool use. The influence of perceptions on tool use was studied in two different conditions: with and without explanation of the tool functionality. As an external variable, self-efficacy was entered in the TAM and the main research question thus focused on the mediating effects of perceptions (perceived tool functionality and perceived tool usability) between self-efficacy on the one hand and quantity and quality of tool use on the other. Positive effects of perceived usability on perceived functionality were hypothesized as well as positive effects of quantity and quality of tool use on performance. Positive effects were expected in the condition with explanation of the tool functionality. Ninety-three university students were provided with concept maps as the learning tools within a hypertext. Using path analysis, we found—similar to the TAM—a significant positive relationship between perceived usability and perceived functionality. Whereas perceived usability had a positive influence on the quantity of tool use, which positively influenced performance, perceived functionality had a negative influence on quantity of tool use. Self-efficacy showed a relationship with perceived usability only with the explained functionality condition.