Date of Conferral





Information Systems and Technology


Robert Haussmann


U.S. student enrollment in online classes in the higher education sector has grown rapidly since 2001. Researchers have found that student satisfaction often leads to higher student retention, yet more research was needed to understand reasons for student satisfaction with online education. The purpose of this nonexperimental study was to examine the relationship between students' early exposure to technology (i.e., before college) and their satisfaction with online education in college. The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology were the theoretical framework. A convenience sample of 103 participants from the population of online students at colleges and universities in the United States took a survey on their past exposure to information and communication technology (ICT); their expectations for, and willingness to continue using ICT; and their satisfaction with online education. Several statistical tests, such as ANOVA, Spearman Rho correlation, and t-tests were conducted to analyze collected responses. Results indicated there was an indirect relationship between the early exposure to technology and student satisfaction based on the statistically significant correlation found between the early exposure to technology and effort expectancy, then between effort expectancy and use behavior and finally between use behavior and student satisfaction. By implementing study findings, educators and managers may be better able to bring positive social changes necessary to prepare all students and workers for the technology-driven education and the workplace regardless of their socioeconomic status.