Influential factors on e-learning adoption of university students with disability: Effects of type of disability

YILDIZ G., Sahin F., Doğan E., OKUR M. R.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.53, pp.2029-2049, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/bjet.13235
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), INSPEC, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.2029-2049
  • Keywords: disability, e-learning, special education, special needs, technology adoption, university students, TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTANCE MODEL, BEHAVIORAL INTENTION, PRESERVICE, PEOPLE
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The number of studies providing empirical evidence on e-learning in the field of special education is limited. From this point of view, the aim of this study is to examine whether the factors influencing the e-learning adoption of university students with disability differ according to the type of disability and gender. The participants of the study consist of 809 university students with a single disability (orthopaedic, visual or hearing). Confirmatory factor analysis and two-way ANOVA were used in the analysis of the study. The factor analysis showed that validity and reliability of the measurement tool was established and the model fit was good. The results revealed that for all dependent variables (social influence, self-efficacy, compatibility and facilitating conditions), students with orthopaedic disability and visual impairment had higher scores than students with hearing impairment. On the other hand, contrary to expectations, there was no difference between students with orthopaedic disability and students with visual impairment in any of the factors according to the type of disability. In addition, none of the factors differed by gender. The findings provide empirical evidence that can contribute to the planning of online education processes of students with disability by revealing the similarities and differences in the use of e-learning systems according to the type of disability. Practitioner notes What is already known about this topic The field of special education deals with the special needs of individuals and frequently uses technology to provide the support they need. It is observed that educational processes have been moved to online environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the field of education nowadays and e-learning systems in online environments have become indispensable for students with special needs. With their flexible structure, e-learning systems create universal and inclusive learning environments for all students. Accessibility and special education adaptations are needed for individuals with special needs to use e-learning systems effectively. For this, first of all, the effects of the disabilities of these individuals in using e-learning systems should be determined. What this paper adds The results showed that social influence, self-efficacy, compatibility, and facilitating conditions all differed significantly by type of disability. The research findings revealed that all factors differed significantly in terms of orthopaedic and visual impairment versus hearing impairment. The main contribution of the study can be summarized as investigating the relationships between technology adoption and types of disability with empirical evidence and the fact that the implications and inferences made for theory and practice have the potential to make critical contributions to technology acceptance and use of individuals with special needs. It can be stated that the tool adapted in this study offers a valid and reliable tool for future studies with university students with special needs. Implications for practice and/or policy There is a need for considering the individual differences of participants and adaptations for hearing in the adoption of e-learning systems. Individual differences should be taken into account in the designs of e-learning systems, and user-oriented designs should be given priority.