An Integrated Model For Examining The Intention To Use The Metaverse In Higher Education Through The SEM-ANN Approach

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has become the norm, posing challenges to academic effectiveness. This study examines the adoption of Metaverse in higher education. Using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) and the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), a model was developed to assess the adoption of Metaverse technology in an educational setting from a student’s perspective. 368 undergraduate students in the United Arab Emirates participated in the survey. These students had extensive exposure to technology, particularly online learning tools. Structural equation modeling and deep learning analysis were used for data analysis. The results highlighted significant factors influencing the initial intention to adopt Metaverse technology in education. The most distinguishing success factors were identified as Habit, Self-Efficacy, Response-Efficacy, and Response-Cost. This research contributes to theory by presenting and empirically validating a novel model that investigates the factors influencing the initial intention to adopt Metaverse technology in higher education. The practical implications of the study's findings are that they inform the development of diffusion strategies and marketing techniques for the adoption of Metaverse technology in higher education. This is accomplished by evaluating the impact of diverse user requirements on the intention to use the Metaverse for educational purposes. The findings may also help Metaverse technology designers create platforms that are user-friendly to nurture self-efficacy, and successful in accomplishing learning outcomes i.e., increasing response-efficacy, and cost- and time-efficient (cutting response-cost).
metaverse, higher education, virtual reality, augmented reality, UTAUT2, PMT, academic effectiveness