Determinants of E-learning success

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


E-learning systems have been emerging globally. These systems are facilitators in the learning process, playing a key role in universities and organizations' educational strategies. Due to the recent increase in the use of e-learning systems in different scenarios, the way people learn and access knowledge consequently leads to a paradigm shift. Not only does e-learning enable individuals to develop skills in several areas but it is also genuinely flexible. New trends reveal that e-learning systems will likely grow massively. This medium may seem to be the answer to all learning barriers, but users' characteristics and their level of involvement in e-learning systems' success have yet to be better explored. Understanding the determinants of e-learning success is crucial for defining instructional strategies. This thesis seeks to theorize, proposing successful models of e-learning systems, taking into account user characteristics, pedagogical perspectives, and technological aspects. This thesis presents three successful theoretical models and reports the empirical studies for each of the models' validations. The first model determines the impact of satisfaction on the success in e-learning systems. The second model assesses the cultural impact (long-term orientation) and its effect on the success of e-learning. The third model evaluates the e-learning system in a cross-country comparison. The studies were carried out through an electronic survey distributed to higher education students at various education levels and from multiple universities. The studies apply quantitative methods and validate theoretical models using structural equation modeling (SEM). This thesis offers important insights as it presents a theoretical framework to guide e-learning studies. The results demonstrate that first, user’s perceived satisfaction and use are determinants in the individual impact of e-learning. Also, students' long-term orientation influences the positive relationship between e-learning systems' use and the perceived net benefits, demonstrating cultural impact on e-learning success. Furthermore, the cross-country comparison findings revealed that e-learning use and e-learners’ satisfaction are significant determinants of individual impact and the organizational impact of e-learning success for Brazilian and Portuguese students. Another finding was that in both countries, information quality impacts positively on e-learning systems’ use and learners’ satisfaction. These results demonstrate that the quality of the information and system quality explain the user's satisfaction with the e-learning systems and the success at the individual and organizational levels. For future work, we suggest empirical tests with machine learning.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS)
  • Oliveira, Tiago, Supervisor
  • Aparicio, Manuela, Supervisor
  • Felice, Massimo Di , Supervisor, External person
Award date10 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021


  • E-learning success
  • User’s perceived satisfaction
  • Success model
  • Long-term orientation
  • E-learning cross country comparison
  • Sucesso no e-learning
  • Satisfação percebida do usuário
  • Modelo de sucesso
  • Orientação de longo prazo
  • Comparação de e-learning entre países


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