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Learning to use the internet in a developing country: Validation of a user model

Klobas, J.E.ORCID: 0000-0003-2146-7059 and Clyde, L.A. (1998) Learning to use the internet in a developing country: Validation of a user model. Libri, 48 (3). pp. 163-175.

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This article describes how a model of networked information resource use was used in a study of Internet training for Namibian information workers, and how the study informed the model. The model is based on Ajzen's (1988) theory of planned behaviour and Klobas's (1997) planned behaviour in context (PBiC) model of networked information resource use. The model describes networked information resource use as a function of intention to use a networked information resource such as the Internet or an intranet. It explains how attitudes towards outcomes of use, perceived control of use, social influences, and information resource quality together influence intentions to use a networked information resource. An e-mail survey and questionnaire based on the PBiC model were used to measure attitudes and intended Internet use among participants in a course for Namibian information workers being trained to train others to use electronic information resources. This was the first group to undertake a substantial formal course of Internet user training in Namibia, at a time when Internet access was being extended to towns and rural regions outside the capital city. All trainees referred to the value of the Internet as a source of information, while only one quarter were concerned about potential barriers to use. The trainees' perceptions of Internet quality were mostly positive, with the most appreciated quality being the currency of the information. Perceived ease of use was relatively low. Perceptions of Internet quality appear to have two dimensions reflecting perceptions associated with working with the Internet and with the initial impact of the Internet. Internet quality characteristics associated with initial impact were correlated with intended use, but quality characteristics associated with working with the Internet over time were not correlated with intentions. Ongoing use of the Internet for work reflects attitudes to the Internet more closely than perceived Internet quality characteristics. Attitudes associated with intentions to use the Internet include perceived usefulness in work and career advancement, enjoyment of use, and a sense that all necessary facilities for use are conveniently available. Trainers and educators who are trying to encourage ongoing Internet use among individuals and to promote more widespread use throughout a community should pay attention to developing positive attitudes towards use in their trainees.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Copyright: © Saur 1998
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