Unit 3, Activity 1: Theoretical Framework

The focus of my research is how to enhance online learning and promote learner engagement in a large public sector organization. The client that I design curriculum for operates in a highly regulated and security conscious environment where new learners are exposed to this training as part of their on boarding to the organization. The learners will access their learning within a restricted online platform without access to the Internet. Therefore, their learning experience, including learning activities, will take place solely within that environment.

The theoretical framework (TF) that I intend to use to help guide my research is the technology acceptance model (TAM). The TAM focuses on two factors that may influence peoples’ acceptance of technology (Davis, 1989). The first, is perceived usefulness, which is defined as the end-user’s level of belief that the technology will improve their job performance (Davis, 1989). The second factor is, perceived ease of use, which is defined as the end-user’s level of belief that the technology will be easy to use. The research behind the TAM suggests that these factors may determine user behaviour (Davis, 1989).

I would also like to incorporate the connection between learner engagement and the community of inquiry (CoI).  As you may recall, from LRNT528, the CoI frames learning as both an individual experiences as well as a collaborative one (Vaughn, Cleveland-Innis, Garrision, 2013). I would like to include CoI in the scope of my research to explore how it might affect learner engagement.

As the image I chose for this blog suggests, I’d like to explore this research with the mentality of thinking outside of the box. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly13(3), 319–339. Retrieved from https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/stable/249008?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Chapter 1: Conceptual Framework. (p. 17-28). Retrieved from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120229/ebook/03_Vaughan_et_al_2013-Teaching_in_Blended_Learning_Environments.pdf

Disseminating my Research

In my role as a learning designer at my organization, I design e-learning for external clients and their learners. My intention is to utilize the technology acceptance model (TAM) as the framework for my research. I believe the TAM framework is an excellent way for me to explore the areas of perceived usefulness (how a learner perceives the value of learning as it relates to their ability to perform in their job) and perceived ease of use (how a learner judges how easy an application or system is to use) (Davis, 1989).

Although I haven’t decided on a research question or sub questions just yet, my overall direction will be to research how e-learning can be designed to increase the level of engagement of learners. In conjunction with that I would like to include how this in turn will be of value to our clients from an employer perspective.

One of the ways I will be disseminating my research is to share it with my employer and peers as I am hoping it will prove to be a valuable resource in the work that we do. Another avenue I would like to pursue is the possibility of professional publications such as, trainingmag.com, td.org, and elearningjournal.com. However, this is very much a work in progress that I’m looking forward to refining during LRNT622 as my own thinking evolves and is enhanced by feedback/comments from our instructor, as well as my classmates.


Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technologyMIS Quarterly13(3), 319–339.

 Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash