Exploring the Characteristics and Attitudes of Electronic Textbook Users and Nonusers





e-Textbooks, Technology adoption, Characteristics of e-Textbook adoption


A technological trend influencing society is the provision and adoption of digital books. Digital books are used in education in the form of electronic textbooks (e-textbooks). The research question examined in this manuscript is which students’ characteristics and attitudes influence their adoption or non-adoption of e-textbooks? The study explores these characteristics and attitudes of students who have made the decision to become either an e-textbook user or nonuser. The empirical analysis is conducted using 1191 student responses to a questionnaire distributed in a mid-sized university in the western United States. Among these 1191 responses, 530 of the students had used an e-textbook and 661 had not used an e-textbook. The e-textbook user and nonuser groups are studied in three different ways. The first is by examining the counts and percentages for five respondent characteristics. The second way is through statistical tests (i.e., t-tests and multiple analysis of variance) on these characteristics across the groups. The results from these analyses did not identify any meaningful differences in characteristics across the user and nonuser groups. The third way was a content analysis performed on an open-ended question (i.e., What factors influenced you on whether to use an e-textbook?) on the questionnaire. The student e-textbook attitudes discovered from the content analysis showed that for e-textbook users, the cost or price of an e-textbook had a significant influence on e-textbook adoption. Two other attitudes influencing e-textbook users’ adoption were usability, both positive and negative. The key attitude of nonusers regarding e-textbook adoption is negative e-textbook usability.



1 May 2024