Non-significant intention-behavior effects in educational technology acceptance: A case of competing cognitive scripts?

Ambar Murillo Montes de Oca
Nicolae Nistor, Walden University


Current technology acceptance research insufficiently considers complex educational settings. Recent research in educational technology acceptance has found weak or non-significant intention–behavior effects. To understand this finding, this paper presents a learning scripts approach to acceptance. A mixed methods approach is used to examine the intention–behavior effect in the context of informal learning in the workplace, focusing on the use of a virtual community of practice (vCoP) where participants share knowledge about the technical use of a software used in daily work tasks. Alternatively, users can access expert knowledge by contacting a Help Desk. As expected, the quantitative results show that the participants develop an intention to use the vCoP, however this intention has a limited effect on the actual vCoP use behavior. Qualitative results reveal that users have two cognitive scripts: an acceptance script, resulting in intention formation, and a help-seeking script, a well-established script in users which is leading them away from the technology and toward alternative help-seeking strategies. The help-seeking script is therefore interfering with the acceptance script, thus explaining weak or non-significant intention–behavior effects. Further research is needed to explore additional scripts that play a role in educational technology acceptance.