YouTube Acceptance by University Educators and Students: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Jun. 10, 2015

Source: Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol. 52, No. 3, 243–253, 2015
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study attempts to predict and compare factors influencing YouTube acceptance among university students and educators in two very different cultures, Japan and the USA, applying the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT).

Five hundred and sixty-nine students (90 from the USA and 479 from Japan) and 56 educators (27 from the USA and 29 from Japan) responded to the survey.


The results of this study show that of the four UTAUT predictors in the UTAUT, only three predictors– performance expectancy (PE), social influence (SI) and facilitating conditions (FCs) - appear influential in predicting YouTube acceptance for educators and/or students in the two countries. The influence of each of these predictor variables varies across all four groups.

Cultural differences
This study confirms the findings of previous studies that culture has a significant impact on all four predictor variables and behavioural intention (BI). However, its influence on each predictor variable appears to vary according to the type of technology involved and role of the technology user.
Role differences
The findings suggest that the impact of SI on BI is stronger for the students than the educators. User autonomy is a possible explanation for this finding. By contrast, SI has an impact on students who have not yet developed strong beliefs about technology integration. This finding demonstrates the importance of teachers having not only technological but pedagogical expertise in technology integration so that they can pass on to their students the most appropriate and effective use of technology in learning.
Furthermore, the results show that PE is also an important factor for predicting students’ acceptance of YouTube. This confirms the importance of ensuring that YouTube adoption improves teaching effectiveness and learning achievement.
Cultural and role differences in BI
This study revealed that educators exhibited stronger intention to use YouTube than the students in both countries. This may be due to the fact that educators have been using videotapes or DVDs in class, and are thus much more aware of the pedagogic advantages of using video clips for arousing interest, showing objects hard to experience or capture in reality and so on.


The authors conclude that even though UTAUT’s four predictors can explain YouTube acceptance to a high degree, the influence of each predictor on YouTube acceptance varies significantly according to the cultural environment and the role of the teachers and the learners. This suggests that there may be a need to add cultural and role-related dimensions to the UTAUT, something worthy of further study.

This study does suggest some ways in which universities and educators can maximise the effectiveness and relevance of technology in education.
Firstly, they should do everything possible to provide favourable conditions for technology adoption in teaching and learning, for example, in the case of YouTube, providing technical support for video creation, offering assistance with copyright clearance, compiling lists of quality educational videos across different subject areas and advising students how and how not to use this technology for individual and collaborative learning. By doing so, educators’ and students’ perceptions about the usefulness of technology will increase, leading to stronger BIs and more effective use of the technology
Secondly, in cultures where dependency upon authority and risk avoidance are high, educators should be trained to encourage and support learners in using their own initiative and developing confidence and competence in selecting and using downloadable educational and information materials, analysing these and valueadding their learning by using them creatively and effectively.
Thirdly, in cultures where SI plays an important role in technology acceptance and context is important, YouTube videos may be initially most effectively employed within classroom environments than in out-of-classroom and self-study contexts. This will enable educators to communicate the means and value of YouTube-based learning to the students face-to-face and promote YouTube acceptance. Having done this, they can encourage use of this technology beyond the classroom and in autonomous learning.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2017


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