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

Hock Hai Teo, Hock Chuan Chan, Kwok Kee Wei, Zhongju Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-697
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • Engineering(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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