MIA - My Internet Assistant: Factors influencing people’s intention to use a digital assistant and its effect on their computer self-efficacy

Becker, O.H. (2011) MIA - My Internet Assistant: Factors influencing people’s intention to use a digital assistant and its effect on their computer self-efficacy.

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Abstract: In the western world, the majority of governments suppose that providing sufficient physical as well as digital access to the Internet would put an end to the digital divide, the information society’s inequality. Although data demonstrate that the saturation point of the Internet access has likely been reached in West-European countries, the digital divide still exists. Therefore people are excluded from the increasingly growing number of available online services and social network platforms because they miss the needed skills to take part in these services. To support people with limited digital skills during online form filling four students developed a digital assistant called MIA (Mijn Internet Assitent / My Internet Assistant) on behalf of Digivaardig & Digibewust. Based on the Social Learning Theory of Bandura (1977) it is investigated, whether MIA is an appropriate means, plus which factors influence the use as well as the success of a digital assistant like MIA. Participants were alternately assigned to a group with or without being supported by MIA during a form filling task. Here participants were shown a scenario that asked them to plan a route on a webpage. An explorative evaluation of the task was emphasized. Next participants had to appreciate MIA’s visual appearance to figure out what kind of affective response the digital assistant evokes, along with participants assessment of MIA’s functions, age, trustworthiness and experience. Based on the Technology Acceptance Model of Davis (1987), it is find out, whether the use of MIA during the form filling task leads to an increased intention to use a digital assistant like MIA. Furthermore it is investigated whether the support of MIA influences people’s computer self-efficacy, their belief in their capacity to complete a task successfully; in this study to be able to fill in online forms. Afterwards participants had to install the plug-in needed to get support of MIA. At the end participant's intention to use a digital assistant like MIA was measured. Findings show that participants, who were supported by MIA, performed the form filling task significantly better than those who were not. Perceived Ease of Use turned out to be the most predictive factor for the intention to use a digital assistant like MIA. MIA’s visual appearance was appreciated positive from almost every participant, who nearly saw no reason to change it. Participants most valued that MIA gives verbal instructions and mostly linked much trust with MIA. MIA’s experience compared to a real person was assessed to be higher. The installation of the plug-in of MIA revealed no problems. Participants, who were supported by MIA, showed in the end a higher level of computer self-efficacy, than those, who were not. So they were much more confident to perform an online form filling task again, knowing of MIA’s support. This study shows that MIA has a fair chance of becoming an appropriate means to support people with limited digital skills and lower levels of literacy
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:GW: Behavioural Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61289
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