Validating learner-based e-learning barriers: developing an instrument to aid e-learning implementation management and leadership

Muhammad Basir, Samnan Ali, Stephen Gulliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had global repercussions on use of e-learning solutions. In order to maximise the promise of e-learning, it is necessary for managers to understand, control and avoid barriers that impact learner continuance of e-learning systems. The technology, individual, pedagogy and enabling conditions (TIPEC) framework identified theoretical barriers to e-learning implementation, i.e. grouped into four theoretical concepts (7 technology, 26 individual, 28 pedagogy and 7 enabling conditions). This study validates the 26 theoretical individual barriers. Appreciating individual barriers will help the e-learning implementation team to better scope system requirements and help achieve better student engagement, continuation and ultimately success.

Data were collected from 344 e-learning students and corporate trainees, across a range of degree programs. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was used to define and validate barrier themes. Comparison of results against the findings of Ali et al. (2018) allows comparison of theoretical and validated compound factors.

Results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis combined several factors and defined 16 significant categories of barriers instead of the 26 mentioned in the TIPEC framework.

Individual learner barriers, unlike technology and pedagogy barriers which can be directly identified and managed, appear abstract and unmanageable. This paper, considering implementation from the learner perspective, not only suggests a more simplified ontology of individual barriers but presents empirically validated questionnaire items (see Appendix) that can be used by implementation managers and practitioners as an instrument to highlight the barriers that impact individuals using e-learning factors. Awareness of individual barriers can help the content provider to adapt system design and/or use conditions to maximize the benefits of e-learning users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1296
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


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