Integration of ICT in Education in Mainland China

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Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework and Research Model

In light of the research gap identified in Chapter 2, this chapter introduces the theoretical framework and proposes a research model for the current study. It starts with a brief account of technology acceptance. Next, it presents some well-established theoretical models pertinent to technology acceptance and pedagogical use of ICT. Finally, it discusses the proposed model and hypotheses for this research.

Technology Acceptance

Technology acceptance is defined as “a user’s willingness to employ technology for the tasks it is designed to support” (Teo, 2011b, p. 1). With the ever-increasing availability of technology, a large body of research has shown that besides system usability, users’ perceptions towards, and beliefs in, technologies could also influence the technology integration (e.g., Davis, 1993; Davis et al., 1989; Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992; Taylor Todd, 1995). In view of the importance of these technology-related psychological constructs, technology acceptance research in the information system (IS) discipline has gained increasing momentum since the 1990s (King & He, 2006).
The basic tenet for technology acceptance research is that users’ beliefs, attitudes, and intentions could influence their actual use of technology (Taylor & Todd, 1995; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). Figure 1 presents the fundamental concept underlying this tenet. Since prior acceptance research has underpinned the close relationship between intention to use and actual use in technology acceptance research (Ajzen, 1991; Davis, 1989, 1993), both actual use and behavioural intention to use technology have been frequently employed as reliable anchors to predict users’ technology acceptance.

Theoretical Models in Technology Acceptance Research

It is generally acknowledged that the underpinning research into technology acceptance is the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), and the decomposed theory of planned behaviour; (DTPB; Taylor & Todd, 1995). With the increasing development of technology since the 1990s, several models focusing on the investigation of users’ technology acceptance sprang from TRA, TPB, and DTPB. These models include the technology acceptance model (TAM; Davis, 1989, 1993; Davis et al., 1989; Davis & Venkatesh, 1996), TAM Version 2 (Venkatesh, 2000; Venkates Davis, 2000), TAM Version 3 (Venkatesh & Bala, 2008), and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT;Venkatesh et al., 2003). Each of these models is briefly discussed below.

Theory of reasoned action.

As a strong theoretical backbone for the attitude-behaviour research, especially technology acceptance research, TRA (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) was first developed to model consumers’ volitional behaviour and intention in the business context and was later extended to other contexts, including the education sector (Madden, Ellen, & Ajzen, 1992). The model posits that behavioural intention serves as a trigger and predictor of human behaviour and is under the co-influence of an individual’s attitude and subjective norms towards certain behaviour of interest. Furthermore, attitude towards the behaviour is seen as being determined by behavioural beliefs and outcome evaluations, while subjective norms are determined by normative beliefs and motivations to comply (Figure 2). According to Ajzen and Fishbein (1980), external variables are related to behavioural intention through their influence upon the behavioural and normative beliefs. Thus external variables, such as characteristics of the tasks, organisational structures, and political influence, may not determine an individual’s behavioural intention directly.
The empirical research for TRA was meta-analysed by Sheppard, Hartwick, and Warshaw (1988), who suggested that TRA possesses strong predictive utility for most human behaviour. With TRA adopted as a fundamental theoretical framework in explaining individuals’ technology acceptance, Davis et al. (1989) also showed that TRA could explain a large portion of the variance in users’ behavioural intention to use computer technology.

Theory of planned behaviour.

TPB was developed on the basis of TRA by adding a third determinant of behavioural intention—perceived behavioural control (Ajzen, 1991). In TPB, perceived behavioural control refers to “an individual’s belief in how easy or difficult performance of the behaviour is likely to be” (Blue, 1995, p. 107). According to Ajzen (1991), the incorporation of perceived behavioural control into TPB provides additional explanatory power for the situations where individuals do not have the volitional control necessary to perform the intended behaviour.
TPB posits that an individual’s behaviour is determined by an individual’s behavioural intention and perceived behavioural control. Under the framework of TPB, in a non-volitional situation, the influence from motivational factors upon behaviour should be mediated through behavioural intention and perceived behavioural control. Behavioural intention is, therefore, under the direct influence from three constructs: (a) attitude towards certain specific behaviour, (b) subjective norm, and (c) perceived behavioural control. In turn, the three constructs are under the influence of three corresponding underlying beliefs: (a) behavioural beliefs, (b) normative beliefs, and (c) control beliefs (Figure 3).
In brief, TPB theorises that with more favourable attitude, greater subjective norm, and stronger perceived behavioural control, an individual’s behavioural intention increases. Similar to TRA, the application of TPB in technology acceptance research has also been quite successful, revealing a close relationship between attitudes towards technology, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and intention to use technology. For example, Teo and Lee’s (2010) research on 157 Singaporean pre-service teachers’ intention to use technology found that a TPB-based model could explain 40% of the variance in their intention to use technology.

Decomposed theory of planned behaviour.

In their probe into behavioural intention towards using information systems, Taylor and Todd (1995) further expanded the TPB by proposing DTPB, in which, the attitudinal, normative and control beliefs specified in TPB are further decomposed into underlying beliefs, to accommodate the research needs in technology acceptance. Specifically, attitudinal beliefs are decomposed into perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and compatibility; normative beliefs are decomposed into peer’s influence and superior’s influence; and perceived behavioural control beliefs are decomposed into self-efficacy, resource facilitating conditions, and technology facilitating conditions.
According to Taylor and Todd (1995), in this decomposition approach, the clarification of relationships between these belief structures and the antecedents of behavioural intention can facilitate future research and managerial decisions. Employing DTPB, Sadaf, Newby, and Ertmer (2013) found that 71.5% of the variance in pre-service teachers’ intention to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classroom could be jointly explained by their attitude towards Web 2.0 technologies, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control.

Technology acceptance model.

As a widely tested model for predicting user acceptance, the development of TAM underwent three stages: original TAM (Davis, 1989, 1993; Davis et al., 1989, 1992; Davis & Venkatesh, 1996), TAM Version 2 (Venkatesh, 2000; Venkatesh & Davis, 1996, 2000), and TAM Version 3 (Venkatesh & Bala, 2008; Venkatesh, Davis, & Morris, 2007). On the basis of TRA, Davis (1989) proposed the original TAM. Compared with TRA, TAM focuses specifically on the adoption of IS. Figure 5 shows the generic TAM model.

Chapter 1 Introduction 
1.1 ICT Development in Mainland China
1.2 Integration of ICT in Education in Mainland China
1.3 English-Language Education in Mainland China
1.4 EFL Teacher Preparation in Mainland China
1.5 Research Problem
1.6 Research Questions
1.7 Significance of the Research
1.8 Research Methodology
1.9 Terminology
1.10 Structure of the Thesis
Chapter 2 Literature Review 
2.1 Web 2.0
2.2 Promises of CALL 2.0
2.3 Challenges in Implementing CALL 2.0
Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework and Research Model
3.1 Technology Acceptance
3.2 Theoretical Models in Technology Acceptance Research
3.3 Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge Model
3.4 Research Hypotheses
3.5 Summary
Chapter 4 Methodology 
4.1 Research Paradigm and Research Approach
4.2 Research Design and Research Methods
4.3 Participants
4.4 Instruments
4.5 Data Collection Procedures
4.6 Quantitative Data Analysis
4.7 Qualitative Data Analysis
4.8 Ethical Considerations
Chapter 5 Phase-1 Study
5.1 Survey Study
5.2 Interview Study
5.3 Summary
Chapter 6 Phase-2 Study
6.1 Demographics
6.2 Analyses
6.3 Results
Chapter 7 Conclusion 
7.1 Findings.
7.2 Limitations
7.3 Theoretical Implications
7.4 Practical Implications
7.5 Contribution
Appendix
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Towards an Understanding of Mainland Chinese Pre Service EFL Teachers’ Intention to Use CALL 2.0 Bing Mei A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education, The

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