Knowledge Sharing and Educational Technology Acceptance in Online Academic Communities of Practice

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Campus Wide Information Systems

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Online programs rely on the use of educational technology for knowledge sharing in academic virtual communities of practice (vCoPs). This poses the question as to which factors influence technology acceptance. Previous research has investigated the inter‐relationship between educational technology acceptance (ETA) and the vCoP context insufficiently. Therefore, the paper at hand aims to propose a conceptual model of ETA in the vCoP frame.


To validate the proposed model, a correlation study was conducted in an academic vCoP at a German university. A sample of n=72 faculty members was surveyed regarding attitudes and perceptions towards knowledge sharing in vCoPs.


A regression analysis confirms the expected correlation between technology use intention and corresponding behavior. Further, participation in a vCoP influences technology use intention, and, in turn, is influenced by participants' experience with technology.

Research limitations/implications

Against expectations, participants' attitudes towards technology are weakly correlated with most model variables, thus warranting further research.

Practical implications

Virtual mentoring in online universities can be supported relying on central vCoP participants, who may be helpful initiators of knowledge sharing.


The proposed conceptual model enlarges the scientific understanding of technology‐enhanced learning in vCoPs.