Evaluating information accessibility and community adaptivity features for sustaining virtual learning communities

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

211 Scopus Citations
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  • Hock-Hai Teo
  • Hock-Chuan Chan
  • Kwok-Kee Wei
  • Zhongju Zhang

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-697
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


Virtual communities have been identified as the "killer applications" on the Internet Information Superhighway. Their impact is increasingly pervasive, with activities ranging from the economic and marketing to the social and educational. Despite their popularity, little is understood as to what factors contribute to the sustainability of virtual communities. This study focuses on a specific type of virtual communities - the virtual learning communities. It employs an experiment to examine the impact of two critical issues in system design - information accessibility and community adaptivity - on the sustainability of virtual learning communities. Adopting an extended Technology Acceptance Model, the experiment exposed 69 subjects to six different virtual learning communities differentiated by two levels of information accessibility and three levels of community adaptivity, solicited their feelings and perceptions, and measured their intentions to use the virtual learning communities. Results indicate that both information accessibility and community adaptivity have significant effects on user perceptions and behavioural intention. Implications for theory and practice are drawn and discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Community adaptivity, Community sustainability, Information accessibility, Sense of belonging, Technology acceptance model, Virtual learning community

Citation Format(s)