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Open AccessArticle

Online Learning Tools in the Era of m-Learning: Utility and Attitudes in Accounting College Students

Department of Business Economics and Accounting, National Distance Education University (UNED), 28040 Madrid, Spain
National Distance Education University (UNED) (Madrid Sur-Tutor in Computing Teaching Area), 28935 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5171;
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 22 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 24 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Era of Mobile Learning)
Learning in the Era of Mobile means an expansion in the range of learning tools, which are much more accessible thanks to the use of mobile devices. The greater possibilities of applying online tools for learning do not eliminate problems related to distance learning, such as personal factors related to attitude and student’s perception in virtual learning environments. It is necessary to consider whether the mere application of online tools in m-learning is enough or whether the context and the way in which online learning tools are applied are what is really important, even more so when the program is directed towards students using a distance learning system. Seen from this point of view, the utility of online tools is a key factor for successful learning. Furthermore, it is known that the personal attitude can affect the student’s perception about different aspects of learning, such as the perceived utility of the tools online. Considering the above arguments, the objective of this research is to measure the perceived utility of online learning tools by university students in a teaching environment accessible by mobile devices. Likewise, as a complementary objective to the measurement of perceived utility, the explanatory variables that could cause some effect on the perceived utility were analyzed. The analysis of explanatory variables is focused on personal attitudes, such as attitude towards accounting or the perceived role of the teacher. The data were collected through a questionnaire. Scoring indicators were applied to quantify the scores of university students for each variable. The analysis showed that mature students in a distance education program in Accounting assign high value to online tools and give a high score to their own attitude towards Accounting and the teacher’s role in virtual learning. Regression analysis indicates that about 34% of the perceived utility of online tools could be explained by their positive attitude towards Accounting and by the role of the teacher in m-learning. The identification of explanatory variables of perceived utility of online tools could improve the design and adaptation of the virtual environment, according to personal needs of college students. View Full-Text
Keywords: m-learning; online learning tools; perceived utility; attitude towards Accounting; teacher’s role m-learning; online learning tools; perceived utility; attitude towards Accounting; teacher’s role
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Herrador-Alcaide, T.C.; Hernández-Solís, M.; Hontoria, J.F. Online Learning Tools in the Era of m-Learning: Utility and Attitudes in Accounting College Students. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5171.

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