Determinants of college students' use of online collaborative help-seeking tools

Ding L., Er E.

JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LEARNING, vol.34, no.2, pp.129-139, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jcal.12221
  • Page Numbers: pp.129-139


Research has noted the effectiveness of online tools (e.g., discussion boards) for supporting help seeking among class members. However, help seeking is not necessarily warranted via online learning tools because some factors (e.g., low Internet self-efficacy) may influence students' intention to use them. This study aims to identify the determinants of students' use of a web-based help-seeking tool called EchoLu. For this purpose, a structural model was developed based on technology acceptance model and tested using a structural equation modelling approach. According to the data analysis results, general Internet self-efficacy, information-search self-efficacy, web-based learning self-efficacy, and EchoLu-specific self-efficacy play a significant role in students' intentions to use online help-seeking tools. Contrary to the previous research, no statistically significant relationship was found between general Internet self-efficacy and EchoLu-specific self-efficacy, and between web-based learning self-efficacy and perceived usefulness. Implications of the findings for guiding practitioners in supporting effective help-seeking are presented. Limitations of the study and future research prospects are discussed as well.