Investigation of the Factors Affecting Open and Distance Education Learners’ Intentions to Use a Virtual Laboratory
Laboratories, which are an integral part of education in disciplines that require hands-on training and application, can now be presented using new technologies, and application activities can be realized at a distance. In this study, virtual laboratories (VLs) are discussed, and factors affecting the students’ intention to use VLs are investigated. The study was conducted within laboratory applications of circuit analysis within an associate degree program of a distance teaching university in Turkey. In this study, which used exploratory sequential design approach, the learners’ intentions to use a VL were examined within the framework of the technology acceptance model (TAM). Content analysis was used for the analysis of qualitative data, and the partial least squares structural equation model was used for the analysis of quantitative data. As a result of the study, the developed TAM-based research model is a useful conceptual framework towards understanding and explaining the intentions of learners’ virtual laboratory usage. The results of this study will guide institutions to integrate VLs effectively into the education process and to increase and disseminate the use of VLs by learners.
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