High school learners’ continuance intention to use electronic textbooks: A usability study

  • Helene Gelderblom
  • Machdel MattheeEmail author
  • Marié Hattingh
  • Lizette Weilbach


E-textbooks are often considered as having several advantages over printed textbooks. However, research shows conflicting results regarding school learners’ satisfaction with e-textbooks. In South Africa a particular e-book platform, EduBook for e-textbooks, is currently used in 170 schools across the country. In this study the satisfaction and continuance intention of 10 learners from a South African high school where cross-subject implementation of the EduBook platform was piloted, were considered. In this mixed method study, a control group of 7 non e-textbooks users from other schools were used to compare the findings. Guided by the adapted ECM model of Baker-Eveleth and Stone (2015), quantitative data was collected through eye tracking tests and qualitative data was collected through individual interviews and a focus group discussion. The findings confirm the influence of usability, expectations and perceived usefulness on satisfaction and continuance intention to use the e-textbook platform. In addition, it highlights post-adoption expectations created by cross-subject implementation and its influence on learners’ satisfaction. The important role played by the way in which teachers use the platform is emphasised and learners provided useful suggestions on how teachers can be prepared and assisted in the use of the platform.


E-textbooks Continuance intention Usability Eye-tracking tests 



  1. Baker-Eveleth, L., & Stone, R. W. (2015). Usability, expectation, confirmation, and continuance intentions to use electronic textbooks. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(10), 992–1004. Scholar
  2. Bhattacherjee, A. (2001). Understanding information systems continuance: An expectation-confirmation model. MIS Quarterly, 25(3), 351–370. Scholar
  3. Chen, I. Y. L. (2007). The factors influencing members' continuance intentions in professional virtual communities — A longitudinal study. Journal of Information Science, 33(4), 451–467. Scholar
  4. Chow, W. S., & Shi, S. (2014). Investigating students’ satisfaction and continuance intention toward E-learning: An extension of the expectation – Confirmation model. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 141, 1145–1149. Scholar
  5. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education. Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd..Google Scholar
  7. Daniel, D. B., & Woody, W. D. (2013). E-textbooks at what cost? Performance and use of electronic v. print texts. Computers & Education, 62, 18–23. Scholar
  8. Djamasbi, S. (2014). Eye tracking and web experience. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(2), 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Duchowski, A. T. (2017). Eye Tracking Methodology: Theory and Practice (third Edition ed.). Switzerland: Springer International AG.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eicker-Nel, S., & Matthee, M. (2014). The Adoption of Tablet Based e-Textbooks in a South-African Private School. In Paper presented at the Proceedings of the e-Skills for Knowledge Production and Innovation Conference. South Africa: Cape Town.Google Scholar
  11. Embong, A. M., Noor, A. M., Ali, R. M. M., Zulqarnain, A. B., & Amin, A. M. (2012a). Teachers’ perceptions on the use of E-books as textbooks in the classroom Abd Mutalib Mahari. International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 6(10), 2638–2644.Google Scholar
  12. Embong, A. M., Noor, A. M., Hashim, H. M., Ali, R. M., & Shaari, Z. H. (2012b). E-books as textbooks in the classroom. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 1802–1809. Scholar
  13. Gu, X., Wu, B., & Xu, X. (2015). Design, development, and learning in e-textbooks: What we learned and where we are going. Journal of Computers in Education, 2(1), 25–41. Scholar
  14. Hayashi, A., Chen, C., Ryan, T., & Wu, J. (2004). The role of social presence and moderating role of computer self efficacy in predicting the continuance usage of e-learning systems. Journal of Information Systems Education, 15(2), 139–154.Google Scholar
  15. Ifenthaler, D., & Schweinbenz, V. (2013). The acceptance of tablet-PCs in classroom instruction: The teachers’ perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 525–534. Scholar
  16. Joo, Y. J., Park, S., & Shin, E. K. (2017). Students' expectation, satisfaction, and continuance intention to use digital textbooks. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 83–90. Scholar
  17. Lazar, J., Feng, J. H., & Hochheiser, H. (2017). Research Methods in Human Computer Interaction. Elsevier Science & Technology Books.Google Scholar
  18. Lim, E.-L., & Hew, K. F. (2014). Students’ perceptions of the usefulness of an E-book with annotative and sharing capabilities as a tool for learning: A case study. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51(1), 34–45. Scholar
  19. Lin, C. S., Wu, S., & Tsai, R. J. (2005). Integrating perceived playfulness into expectation-confirmation model for web portal context. Information & Management, 42(5), 683–693. Scholar
  20. Mouakket, S. (2015). Factors influencing continuance intention to use social network sites: The Facebook case. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 102–110. Scholar
  21. Nicholas, A. J., & Lewis, J. K. (2011). The net generation and E-textbooks. International Journal of Cyber Ethics in Education (IJCEE), 1(3), 70–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. O'Dwyer, L. M., & Bernauer, J. A. (2014). Quantitative Research for the Qualitative Researche. Thousand Oak: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Roca, J. C., Chiu, C.-M., & Martínez, F. J. (2006). Understanding e-learning continuance intention: An extension of the technology acceptance model. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 64(8), 683–696. Scholar
  24. Rockinson- Szapkiw, A. J., Courduff, J., Carter, K., & Bennett, D. (2013). Electronic versus traditional print textbooks: A comparison study on the influence of university students' learning. Computers & Education, 63, 259–266. Scholar
  25. Shenton, A. K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22(2), 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sorebo, O., & Eikebrokk, T. R. (2008a). Explaining IS continuance in environments where usage is mandatory. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 2357–2371. Scholar
  27. Sorebo, O., & Eikebrokk, T. R. (2008b). Explaining IS continuance in environments where usage is mandatory. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 2357–2371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stone, R. W., & Baker-Eveleth, L. (2013). Students’ expectation, confirmation, and continuance intention to use electronic textbooks. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 984–990. Scholar
  29. Sun, J., Flores, J., & Tanguma, J. (2012). E-textbooks and students’ learning experiences. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 10(1), 63–77. Scholar
  30. Tan, M., & Shao, P. (2015). An ECM-ISC based study on learners’ continuance intention toward E-learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 10(4), 6. Scholar
  31. Thong, J. Y. L., Hong, S.-J., & Tam, K. Y. (2006). The effects of post-adoption beliefs on the expectation-confirmation model for information technology continuance. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 64(9), 799–810. Scholar
  32. Van Horne, S., Henze, M., Schuh, K. L., Colvin, C., & Russell, J.-E. (2017). Facilitating adoption of an interactive e-textbook among university students in a large, introductory biology course. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 29(3), 477–495. Scholar
  33. Weilbach, L., & Matthee, M. (2015, 22–26 May). Using the PSIC Model to Understand Change in an Educational Setting: The Case of an E-Textbook Implementation. Paper presented at the proceedings of the ECIS 2015 conference. Completed research papers. Paper 30, Munster, Germany.Google Scholar
  34. Weisberg, M. (2011). Student attitudes and behaviors towards digital textbooks. Publishing Research Quarterly, 27(2), 188–196. Scholar
  35. Woody, W. D., Daniel, D. B., & Baker, C. A. (2010). E-books or textbooks: Students prefer textbooks. Computers & Education, 55(3), 945–948. Scholar
  36. Writer, S. (2017). Android vs iPhone in South Africa: The winner is clear. Retrieved from MyBroadband website: Accessed 12 Mar 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations