The mediating effects of intrinsic motivation, ease of use and usefulness perceptions on performance in first-time and subsequent computer users
- ISSN: 09535438
- DOI: 10.1016/S0953-5438(01)00034-0
This study examines how certain software interfaces and prior exposure to other interfaces lead to effective learning. In particular, it studies the roles of the interaction style and the learner's prior exposure to other interaction styles mediated by the engagement of the learning environment, users' perceptions of the usefulness of the software, and users' perceptions of their ability to use the software successfully. In the experimental paradigm, two groups that learned a menu-driven or command-driven word processors after prior exposureto the assimilative context of a direct manipulation interaction style were compared to groups that learned those same interaction styles with no prior exposure to the assimilative context of the direct manipulation style software. The results confirm the importance of directness in the interaction style and of a prior assimilative context for learning. However, they also indicate that engagement has a strong effect on performance via its effect on perceived ease of use (PEU). This suggests that software designers should not only give special attention to creating software that promotes interface directness, but that also promotes engagement. Our results also suggest that it may be difficult to create engaging learning environments for learners who do not possess a relevant assimilative context to support software learning.