Information Systems Faculty Publications and Presentations

Student characteristics and e-textbook experiences: The direct and moderating effects of technology savvy and gender

Document Type


Publication Date



The adoption of e-textbooks in universities by the majority of students has yet to materialize, requiring a better understanding of the differences among users to cater for their different needs. The main focus of this study is to examine the role of technology savvy in terms of the experiences, skills and self-efficacy of students in using information technologies. It is hypothesized that technology savvy directly affects major e-textbook experiences, including perceived e-textbook helpfulness, student involvement and learning outcome, as well as moderates the relationships among them. Based on the data gathered through a survey, the results suggest that the e-textbook experiences of students vary significantly across technology veterans and novices, suggesting a salient direct effect of technology savvy on e-textbook experiences. Also, the mediating relationship between e-textbook helpfulness and learning outcome through student involvement is stronger for technology veterans than novices, suggesting a salient moderating effect of technology savvy on the relationships among e-textbook experiences. An additional comparison based on gender is performed to find out whether the gender stereotyping regarding technology usage holds true for the new generation of students in the use of e-textbooks. The results show that gender does not fully account for the differences in e-textbook experiences, and its moderating effect on their relationships is not as strong as that of technology savvy. To enhance the adoption of e-textbooks, therefore, it is important for publishers and instructors to customize training and support for students at different levels of technology savvy.

Publication Title

Information Systems Education Journal