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The Technology Interface and Student Engagement Are Significant Stimuli in Sustainable Student Satisfaction

Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala 147004, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7923;
Submission received: 31 March 2023 / Revised: 2 May 2023 / Accepted: 7 May 2023 / Published: 12 May 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Learning for Education Sustainability)


The technology interface and student engagement are important factors that can contribute to sustainable student satisfaction. Technology has become an integral part of the recent teaching–learning setup and it can significantly impact student satisfaction. Additionally, student engagement is vital for sustainable student satisfaction. Engaged students are more likely to take an active role in their education, participate in discussions, and ask questions. When students are engaged, they feel a sense of ownership over their learning experience, which can lead to higher levels of satisfaction. Therefore, educational institutions should strive to provide students with technology that is intuitive and easy to use and create an environment that fosters engagement and collaboration. By doing so, institutions can increase student satisfaction and improve overall academic outcomes. This research study was primarily conducted to understand the potential of the technology interface (TI) and student engagement (SE) in enhancing student satisfaction (SS). The study uses a survey to collect responses from 400 respondents from higher educational institutions (HEIs). PLS-SEM has been used to test the proposed hypothesis. Three dimensions of the technology interface (TI) include cyber infrastructure, quality of e-content, and technology-assisted facilities. It is essential to understand how the technology interface influences student engagement (SE) through three dimensions, viz. new skills development, active involvement, and academic achievements. The student satisfaction scale has an employability perspective, teaching perspective, and learning perspective as subscales. Initially, the study examines the influence of the technology interface on student engagement. The findings support a positive impact on student engagement. The next step was to study the direct effect of the technology interface on student satisfaction. The results lend support to a positive influence. An attempt was also made to investigate the mediation of student engagement between the technology interface and student satisfaction. The findings highlight that with the mediation of student engagement, the influence of the technology interface on student satisfaction is improved. This study is one of the pioneering empirical studies highlighting the importance of the technology interface on the mediation of student engagement in student satisfaction. Technology may be a prerequisite, but it needs to be translated to student satisfaction by using it with student engagement (new skills development, active involvement, and academic achievements). The study has meaningful implications for policymakers at universities to enable them to strategize around practices conducive to the implementation of technology, and for student engagement activities to enhance student satisfaction in higher education institutes (HEIs).

1. Introduction

To enhance the learning process, the use of emerging technologies has been enumerated time and again [1]. There is sufficient evidence from global researchers regarding ever-increasing technology applications in areas such as learning management systems [2], online course enrolment and attendance [3], and academic administration [4]. The benefits of emerging technologies include shortening paperwork, tackling distance challenges [5,6], and improving learning procedures [7]. As an outcome of these benefits, HEIs are embracing and embedding new technologies. In 2018, as highlighted by D’Angelo [8], technology plays a prominent role in promoting student engagement and facilitating academic success. Applying technology to the curriculum enhances the opportunity for student engagement (SE) and promotes academic success. Regarding SE, students, through digital platforms, would be able to interact actively with peers and be more creative using new software and new technology. Active enquiry-based learning synthesizes information and enhances learning interaction. Implementing technology in the curriculum shifts the learning environment to be more learner-centric, where instructors play a facilitating role to assist students attain their learning goals. Both students and teachers consider technology to have a positive impact on learner satisfaction. For instance, Edmodo, an educational social media platform, functions to improve the learning process by improving awareness about the technology and assists in communication with instructors beyond teaching hours [9]. Technology-based learning (TEL) endorses the transfer of content and supports e-assessment approaches. Further, in 2019, as opined by David Baneres and Denise Whitelock [10], TEL contributes to developing the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills of learners. Teachers’ efficiencies improve as they also aspire to know the learner’s status quickly and, thus, organize the feedback system.
Restrictions on physical gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic have also compelled higher education institutions to embrace digital technologies to support teaching and learning [11]. While the use of digital technologies offers an apparent solution, this also calls for understanding the appropriateness of pedagogies to understand how students engage and learn in the spaces supported by these technologies.
When students have access to up-to-date technology and user-friendly interfaces, they are more likely to be engaged and interested in their coursework. Technology can provide students with a range of interactive and multimedia learning opportunities, which can enhance their learning experience and improve their understanding of complex concepts. Technology has become an integral part of modern education, and it can significantly impact student satisfaction [12]. In this paper, we have analysed whether the technology interface with SE enhances student satisfaction (SS). Moreira et al. [13] highlighted that SE is positively correlated with emotional well-being. Teng et al. [14] suggested that educational technology has a positive influence on SE. More specifically, new technologies, such as the learning management system (LMS), influence SE significantly and have surpassed social networking systems (SNS). The LMS provides an effective platform for both teachers and learners. Teachers can upload lectures, assignments, videos, and teaching materials, besides using the LMS for discussion activities. Students have this active platform for peer learning and uploading their project assignments and videos.
According to Aldhafeeri et al. [15], technology-embedded curricula provide instructors with an opportunity to enhance SE through enquiry-based learning [16]. This may not be feasible without the active role of teachers [17]. Another aspect that needs to be considered is whether the technology interface always leads to student satisfaction. Technology-driven learning has a positive influence on SS [18]. Active learning increases student satisfaction (SS) [19]. Following the outcomes of [20], technology-based applications encouraged SE, leading to enhanced SS. Understanding the need for carrying out research in this area, this study was undertaken to understand how the technology interface and student engagement impact student satisfaction. There is a need to examine the direct impact of technology on student satisfaction. However, there is also a need to understand whether the technology interface, with the mediation of student engagement, enhances student satisfaction.

2. Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses Development

Student satisfaction refers to the extent to which students feel content, fulfilled, and pleased with their educational experience. It is a measure of overall well-being and can be influenced by factors such as academic success, social experiences, and the quality of instruction and resources provided by the educational institution. Student satisfaction is important because it can impact retention rates, academic performance, and overall success in college or university.

2.1. Technology Interface and Student Engagement

The technology interface refers to the way in which users interact with technology, which includes the design, functionality, and usability of software, hardware, and other digital tools [21]. In education, the technology interface can refer to the design of learning management systems, online course platforms, and other educational technology tools [22]. The level of involvement, interest, and motivation that students have in their learning is referred to as student engagement. Engaged students are more likely to retain information, perform well academically, and feel satisfied with their learning experience. These engaged students participate actively in class, ask questions, and seek out opportunities to learn [23].
A technology interface (TI) refers to the point of interaction between users and technology systems or applications [24]. It is the bridge that allows users to access and interact with technology effectively and efficiently. TI encompasses various components, including cyber infrastructure, e-content, and technology-assisted facilities, which are factors or variables that contribute to the availability of information technology.
The cyber infrastructure underlying technological infrastructure supports the functioning of technology systems. It includes the hardware, software, networks, and other technical components that enable the transfer and processing of data and information. The availability and reliability of the cyber infrastructure are crucial for a seamless technology interface [25]. Cyber infrastructure refers to the underlying physical and virtual resources that are necessary for the proper functioning of information technology systems. The availability of a robust cyber infrastructure is essential for the smooth operation of information technology systems [25].
E-content refers to digital content such as electronic books, online courses, and multimedia resources that can be accessed through information technology systems. The availability of high-quality e-content is critical for enabling users to access relevant information and learn new skills through online platforms. The quality of e-content is the digital content that is accessed and consumed through technology systems. The quality of e-content plays a significant role in the effectiveness of a technology interface [26]. E-content should be accurate, relevant, up-to-date, and user-friendly, providing a meaningful experience for users. The quality of physical facilities or resources enabled by technology improves the overall user experience. The technology-enabled classrooms, laboratories, or other facilities that are equipped with advanced tools and resources support learning, research, or other activities.
Technology-assisted facilities include hardware and software systems that are designed to support specific activities or functions, such as video conferencing systems, virtual classrooms, and online collaboration tools. The availability of these facilities can enhance the effectiveness of information technology systems and enable users to work more efficiently and collaboratively. Technology-assisted facilities contribute to the availability and accessibility of information technology, enhancing the technology interface for users [27]. In general, a technology interface encompasses the interaction between users and technology systems, and factors such as cyber infrastructure, quality of e-content, and technology-assisted facilities play critical roles in determining the availability and effectiveness of information technology. These factors contribute to the availability of information technology by providing the necessary infrastructure, resources, and facilities for users to access and utilize technology effectively.
The technology interface is a multidimensional construct, consisting of cyber infrastructure, quality E-content, and technical-assisted facilities.
A dominant aspect of higher education recently is digital technology, and it is touching all aspects of the student experience [28]. This latest technology has also been connected to an increase in affective, behavioural and cognitive student engagement. It is noticed when students are engaged within their learning community, they will undoubtedly be able to give rise to their learning levels, thus leading to a variety of outcomes. The Internet of Things (IoT) stands to change the way universities work by enhancing student learning in many disciplines [29]. The IoT has a huge prospect for universities or any other educational institution. The IoT enhances learning outcomes by providing more successful learning know-how, better competence, and the attainment of a real-time understanding of student performance [15].
A digital tool ‘Nearpod’ combines formative assessment and active learning in digital environments and it has improved student engagement [30] significantly. Such digital tools help students to be involved in shared knowledge creation [31,32], such as digital quizzes, polls, and open-ended questions, which have improved student engagement to a greater extent. The use of WhatsApp has also promoted student engagement and learning [33]. On the other hand, it is understood that access to technology is a forthcoming problem, which may impact a student’s level of confidence [34]. However, this basic problem can be eased through preliminary sessions on technology usage [35] or by having a continuous support team. Additionally, providing explanations of how technology is to be used [36] and why technology is being introduced in a specific course setting is also helpful [37,38,39], and letting students choose the type of technologies to be used [40] also makes them comfortable with its usage. The glitches of low technology confidence [41] can be removed by using recognized technology, and it is also mentioned in studies that out-of-class technology arrangements in the evaluation process also improve student engagement [39,42].
Technology engages students behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively. Students are given more chances to engage themselves and interact with the faculty in the learning process [43], which is technologically integrated. Digital games, as new learning arrangements, followed by web-conferencing, impact different types of student engagement. Computer-based technologies such as discussion forums, websites, LMS, and on-campus software also influence student engagement (SE) [28,43]. The student also gets access to the entire course material, assignments, assessment reports, and other appropriate information around the clock because of the computer-based technology used in teaching. Thus, technology plays an important role in higher education and acts as an influential factor to engage students [32]. Numerous studies have set up an affirmative association between student engagement and technology usage. There is also a survey that suggests a positive association of computer use for educational purposes with GPA. Information technology, when used for learning purposes, is linked to student engagement, which is demonstrated in active and collaborative learning [44,45,46]. The study highlights that the use of electronic devices for educational purposes is beneficial for academic performance [45,47]. SE also assists in achieving holistic learning. The strong association between engagement forms and learning has possible value for planning systems to check student engagement. Observing engagement might be used to identify irregularities and differences in the behaviour of students and also to assist teachers in providing support and care to these students [48,49].
Technology has a positive impact, but university stakeholders are also of the view that operational challenges may not allow the complete benefits of technology to appear in educational institutions [50]. The most important challenge is to train the existing faculty in how to adopt new technology. The significant upgrading of skills may be expensive as well as a challenging process [51]. The adoption of new ERP, HRM, or CRM practices poses a severe threat [52]. Technology is also disruptive, e.g., the increase in plagiarism, cheating, etc., due to mobile technologies [53]. Adopting the latest technology and imparting training for new software is also very expensive. Despite these challenges, there is increasing evidence that the benefits are much greater than the cost, hence educational institutions are adopting new technologies at a faster pace in developing economies such as India [54]. The common scenario is that higher education is responding to globalization [55]. The need for a global presence will soon be the need of most universities. Institutions either already have foreign campuses or are planning to come up with an off-campus in a foreign land in the next few years. Distance education is also becoming progressively global. Universities are leveraging progressive technologies to place education within the range of many more people around the world [56]. With the latest technology, new developments are appearing every day along with the new hopes of all stakeholders, particularly teachers and learners [57]. Enhanced technology is helping to develop new teaching methodologies, and researchers have examined the impact of digital capabilities, self-organization, and self-learning abilities on the student acceptance of digital learning and the results were considerably encouraging [58].
Some new policies implemented by the Indian government, which include “Diksha, Swayam Prabha Channel”, “Shiksha Van, E-Pathshala”, and “National Repository of Open Educational Resources”, help bring changes in the Indian education system. Each state government also has numerous online education initiatives that are customized to the needs [59] of students and overall higher education.
The technology interface has a positive influence on student engagement.

2.2. Technology Interface, Student Engagement, and Student Satisfaction

To enhance student-centeredness, cognitive skill-enhancing activities may be embedded in the curriculum [60]. Weimer [61] weighs highly on the student-centred approaches where the focus is on learning, viz. what, how, and the condition under which the student is learning [62]. Flipped classrooms are correlated with the perception of increased motivation, active engagement, and learning, and are positively conceived by the students. Low achievers reported considerably more positively compared to high achievers regarding attitudes towards the use of technology learning tools, perceived learning, and the perception of more active learning [63].
Thus, HEIs need to continuously upgrade their technological facilities in keeping with the latest trends. The curriculum needs to embed and synchronize with the new e-learning environment. Even basic reading, writing, logic, and arithmetical skills have to be upgraded with the latest technology, and skills need to be imparted to students to sustain themselves in the competitive setting [64]. Although online methods of teaching facilitate learning–teaching activities, there is a need to evaluate the pros and cons of technology and harness its potential [65]. Students generally show a positive response towards online classes, especially during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, and were found to be helpful as they provided both convenience and flexibility. However, to optimize the learning experience, students also showed the necessity for shared sessions through quizzes and group assignments. It is seen that online learning also has some cons associated with it, such as technological limitations, late feedback, and the incapability of the coach to handle ICT effectively. This demands that education systems use online platforms in a blended mode with regular classes [66].
Assessment has an important role in this changing e-learning environment. Technology proposes new scenarios for assessment. ICT has facilitated the assessment process starting from designing assignments to marking, recording, and keeping the results and the statistical analyses [67]. For improving the assessment processes, the technology used includes multichoice tests [68,69,70], rubric-based assessments [71], peer reviews [72], etc. Wong and Chapman [73] suggested numerous features of student satisfaction and confirmed that the most important are “teaching, contentment with the program, campus facilities, self-learning, and overall university experience”. Technology is a powerful contributor to student support to learn if it is used to deepen students’ engagement in a significant and intellectually genuine curriculum [74,75,76,77]. Students perform well when they learn in the classroom with technology-enhanced facilities, whereas those who were deprived of these facilities [78] were lower achievers. It has also been seen that technology integration has a positive impact on student satisfaction, promotes active engagement, and facilitates academic success in the entire course [78,79]. Educational social media platforms assist in promoting the learning process and allow students to be technology conversant. This enables students to achieve goals focused on learning and to also collaborate with peers and teachers, even after classes. It is seen that technological applications can be applied in numerous ways in the curriculum to boost the quality of the teaching and learning process [8].
Some direct benefits could be derived from high levels of student satisfaction with the quality of services [80], which is driven by exceptional learning processes followed by a great level of agreement with the services. The loyalty of students is one of these benefits. It is a value-added aspect for HE institutions as these loyal students are more likely to engage in alumni activities, bring in financial support, and could also help create occupation opportunities for graduating students [77,81]. Quality of service is an important feature of HE institutes that sets them apart from competitors [76]. As shown in research studies, student satisfaction has been connected to the achievement of learning outcomes and also affects outcomes such as student motivation, retention, and educational accomplishment [80,82,83,84].
The learning outcomes and overall student performance also have a great impact on student satisfaction. The practice of active learning pedagogical techniques has greater acceptance from students and thus improves their total learning experience. However, this indeed requires greater effort by the instructors to plan, execute and strategize the teaching and learning process. The pedagogical techniques of active learning can considerably back the teaching and learning process, displaying it to be a possible substitute for reducing failure in learning.
Generally, students and teachers feel that technology integration has positive impacts on learner satisfaction, endorses engagement, and enables academic success. They have affirmative attitudes toward technology integration [8]. However, there is a persistent gap between education research and practice in the design of educational technology. The related hypotheses are:
The technology interface and student satisfaction are positively associated.
The technology interface, with a mediating role in student engagement, enhances student satisfaction.
This study proposes that it is essential to understand how the technology interface (TI) influences student engagement (SE) and further affects student satisfaction. The technology interface (TI) covers three dimensions, viz. cyberinfrastructure, quality of e-content, and technology-assisted facilities. SE covers three dimensions, viz. new skills development, active involvement, and academic achievements. Student satisfaction (SS) refers to the extent to which students feel content, fulfilled, and pleased with their educational experience [85]. It is a measure of overall well-being and can be influenced by factors such as academic success, social experiences, and the quality of instruction and resources provided by the educational institution. Student satisfaction is important because it can impact retention rates, academic performance, and overall success at university [86]. Broadly, student satisfaction has three dimensions: employability perspective, teaching perspective, and learning perspective. Initially, the study examines the impact of TI on SE. The results highlight that the technology interface (TI) influences student engagement (SE). The next stage was to explore the direct effects of the technology interface (TI) on student satisfaction SS. The results again support that the TI influences SS. In HEIs, a lot of focus is being imparted to SE, thus this study tried to examine how the TI, through the indirect effect with the mediation of SE, impacts SS.
Higher educational institutions should strive to provide students with technology that is intuitive and easy to use and to create an environment that fosters engagement and collaboration [87]. By doing so, institutions can increase student satisfaction and improve overall academic outcomes. The technology interface, student engagement, and student satisfaction are all important factors in the field of education because they can have a significant impact on student success and academic outcomes. The technology interface can affect how easily and effectively students use digital tools and resources for learning. When technology is intuitive, user-friendly, and accessible, it can enhance the learning experience, promote greater engagement, and improve academic outcomes [88].
Student engagement promotes deeper learning, greater retention of information, and improved academic performance. Engaged students are more likely to take an active role in their education, seek out opportunities for growth and development, and remain motivated throughout their academic careers. Students are satisfied with their learning experience, they are more likely to continue their education, perform well academically, and achieve their personal and professional goals. A study by Wijaya et al. [89] indicated the usefulness of technology for stimulating student satisfaction, even for mathematics, through micro-lectures covering video-based learning mediums. Overall, technology interface, student engagement, and student satisfaction are interconnected and can have a significant impact on the success and outcomes of students in the field of education. The significant influence of personal factors, engagement of teachers in their work, and the role of environment factors on distance learning technology (DLT) usage are supported by other studies in the field of primary teacher training implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic [90].

3. Research Design and Methods

3.1. Proposed Model

In this research study, the TI indicator is measured through cyberinfrastructure, quality of the E-content, and technology-assisted facilities. The scale items under TI include the availability of internet accessibility all over the campus and the quality of IT resources, technologically equipped systems and spaces, and organised teaching and learning in terms of advanced technology development. To measure students’ engagement in online learning environments [91], the scale developed by Sun and Rueda [91] in 2012 has been used. This scale was also applied by Ergun and Usluel in 2015 in their research study on the analysis of density and degree-centrality according to the social networking structure formed in an online learning environment [92]. The aspects of the scale are behavioural engagement, cognitive engagement, and emotional engagement. This scale had a five-point Likert-type rating structure. The reliability and Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient were acceptable. Some items from the scale adopted in this study are as follows: “Active learning in online classes through discussion and participation is promoted.”, “continuously monitoring to derive desired learning outcomes”, “Feedback is provided in a way that helps the student to learn”, “Teachers demonstrate concern for student learning”, etc. The other scale items considered for the measurement of the SE parameter include involving students in experiential learning and entrepreneur activities. Active learning helps students to be engaged with the content through engaging in discussions and learning by doing [93]. In web-enabled technologies in 1:1 classrooms, students can search for information online. The concept of being constantly online forces instructors to implement completely different strategies of active learning, both online as well as in hybrid formats, especially before COVID-19 [94]. The SE indicator covers learning new skills, active involvement in the learning process, and academic achievements. Research studies highlighted educational technology as a positive factor influencing student engagement. The students are allowed to take part in collaborative problem-solving activities and discussions, expand their digital competencies, and develop higher-order thinking due to the use of technological applications [43].
The indicators for student satisfaction include employability perspective, learning perspective, and teaching perspective. Incorporating technology into the curriculum increases student skills and thus success, academically. It also makes students ready for real-world problems. The satisfaction of students is measured using three dimensions of satisfaction [95] defined as the content of learning, which means the satisfaction felt by students in their chosen preferred courses; the conditions of learning, which means student satisfaction with the terms and conditions of the academic programs; and personal coping with learning, which is student satisfaction with their self-ability to cope with academic stress. These scale items are considered in the current study also. The acknowledgement that student satisfaction (SS) is a multidimensional construct is also obvious in the records of numerous studies that compensate for HE students’ complete satisfaction levels. Academic aspects related to reflections such as the “perceived quality of teaching”, “teaching styles of instructors”, “feedback provided by instructors”, and “quality of learning experiences” [74,77,82,84,85,96,97]. So, the academic facet is one such set of significant contributors to student satisfaction in higher education. Based on the literature, another set of contributors to student satisfaction is employability skills. Although employability skills such as communication skills, team working, problem-solving and technical skills are a must to be possessed by students, most of the predictable employability skills in the future will be dominated by technological skills [98].
To summarize, this study attempts to inspect the factors inducing the satisfaction of HEI students via a model associating the parameter of TI with SE. The satisfaction of students is the measure of employability skills achieved and the enhanced teaching and learning perspectives. Employability skills are measured through several companies revisiting campus placement, the salaries offered to students, and the graduate employability rates of the institute. The literature indicates the prominence of active learning plans in higher education. Active learning increases student performance and improves student outcomes [99,100]. Active learning methods are effective, improve student outcomes, and narrow achievement gaps in engineering learning programs [101].

3.2. Sample

This is a perception-based study that obtained inputs through a survey. The study used multistage sampling. Initially, for short-listing engineering institutes, the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was used. NIRF is a ranking framework that was set up on 29 September 2015, and approved by the Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. In the first stage, the top 50 ranked institutions located in North India were selected. From these 50 Institutions, in the next stage, 15 engineering institutions in North India were selected. Finally, responses were collected from these 15 engineering institutions. Six institutes were public and nine were private. In total, 400 respondents were included in the sample, which covered 150 faculty members and 250 student respondents from top-rated public and private higher education institutes. Informed consent was taken from the respondents. The respondents were duly informed about the reason for undertaking this research. This research has been carried out to design a model for embracing a balanced emphasis on the necessity for quality technology infrastructure and facilities, creating the basics for SE in a learning environment leading to enhanced SS. Data were collected in two waves, from Sept 2020 to June 2021 and from January 2022 to June 2022. In the first wave, data were collected from 230 respondents through Google Forms. In the second phase, data were personally collected from selected institutions. There was not much difference in data collected in both waves (Wave 1 Mean: S.D., Wave 2 Mean: S.D.). Before proceeding further, we employed Harman’s common method bias test to see if the data were free from bias. Common method bias (CMB) occurs when variations in responses are caused by the instrument rather than the actual predispositions of the respondents that the instrument attempts to uncover. This may affect the results and there may be inflated variation. Harman’s single-factor score suggests loading all items (measuring latent variables) into one common factor. We applied this and the total variance for a single factor was less than 50% (43.5), suggesting that CMB does not affect the data [102].

3.3. Scales

The study uses structured scales for student engagement, the technology interface, and student satisfaction. A pilot review was conducted on 50 respondents to finalise the scales. Moreover, the scales were validated by 20 experts and faculties from engineering institutions. The student engagement scale had three subconstructs, viz. academic involvement, academic achievement, and new skills development. The technology interface scale comprised cyber infrastructure, technology-assisted facilities, and e-content quality. The student satisfaction scale covered satisfaction in terms of teaching expertise; learning environment and employability perspective. The details of the scales are provided in Appendix A.

3.4. Research Methods

Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was applied as it has high statistical power and is an alternative to CB-SEM, which has many restrictive assumptions, as suggested by [103]. PLS-SEM combines principal components analysis with ordinary least squares regressions [104]. While CB-SEM (AMOS) is covariance-based, PLS-SEM is variance-based. The latter applies total variance to estimate parameters, thus leading to its increasing acceptance among researchers [105,106,107]. As the current research is based on numerous constructs with several items and complex relationships, PLS-SEM was chosen. PLS-SEM is a nonparametric procedure; a bootstrapping procedure was also applied to examine the loadings and to interpret the indirect effect of a construct. We have used Smart-PLS in this study. Bootstrapping is a resampling procedure used to assess the precision of the estimates [108]. Figure 1 exhibits the conceptual framework, depicting the associations of the independent variables with the mediating variable and outcome variables.

4. Analysis

4.1. Measurement Model

The model adequacy is measured by the reliability of items and internal consistency between items. The mean, standard deviation, and factor loadings for all variables are provided in Table 1. Cronbach’s alpha, average variance extracted (AVE), and composite reliability, along with the correlations of all constructs, are depicted in Table 2 and Table 3. Cronbach’s alpha of all constructs is beyond the acceptable range of 0.70, reflecting good internal consistency [109].
As shown in Table 2, discriminant validity is good, composite reliability is greater than 0.6, and AVE (average variance) is ≤0.50. In addition, the square root of the AVE (latent variables) value is greater than the absolute value of the correlation coefficient among latent variables. Moreover, as shown in Table 2, the diagonal values are higher than the squared inter-construct correlations, indicating that discriminant validity is in an acceptable range. The HTMT ratio (Table 3) also suggests that AVE was within the suggested limits.
Since, in this study, survey participant responses were used, the common method bias problem must not be reflected in the results. Common method bias (CMB) occurs when variations in responses are caused by the instrument, rather than by the actual predispositions of the respondents. This may result in inflated variation. Harman’s single-factor score, which suggests loading all items (measuring latent variables) into one common factor, was applied, and the total variance for a single factor was less than 50%, thus reflecting that CMB does not affect the data [102]. The occurrence of a VIF greater than 3.3 is proposed as an indication of pathological collinearity, and also as an indication that a model may be contaminated by common method bias. We also checked whether all VIFs from a full collinearity test were less than 3.3, thus indicating the absence of common method bias. The details provided in Table 4 depict that all VIF values for variables used in the model were also less than 3.3, thus, we proceeded with the analysis.
Factor loadings (Table 5) for all subdimensions were greater than 0.70 for all except e-content quality ← the technology interface. In this case, it was 0.696 and close to 0.070. As all subdimensions of all scales, viz. TI, SE, and SS were as per the defined statistical criteria, we were able to validate the measurement model. This was enough to suggest moving further with the structural model to find the status of the proposed hypotheses.

4.2. Structural Model

The current research study pointed not only to deliver a more in-depth exploration of different features of HE student satisfaction in the HEIs of India but also to provide a more nuanced analysis of associations between these aspects of student satisfaction and different forms of engagements in which HE students are engaged. The association between satisfaction and engagement is significant and positively correlated (See Figure 2), as per the earlier research, which is in line with the findings of this study [110].
The subsequent section deliberates the findings of the study in greater depth to address the three articulated research queries. The results lend support to the mediation effect of SE which enhances the impact of TI on SS. Thus, given these results, it can be inferred that TI has a pertinent role to play in assisting SE, which leads to student satisfaction.
The research study examines how TI and SE can enhance the satisfaction level of students. The results of TI highlight that the outer weights of cyberinfrastructure, e-content quality, and technology-assisted facilities lie in the range of 0.696 and 0.871 and all of these are significant. Thus, H1: The technology interface is a multidimensional construct consisting of cyberinfrastructure, e-content quality, and technology-assisted facilities that have been empirically supported, and hence accepted. Cyber infrastructure, e-content, and technology-assisted facilities are key factors that contribute to the availability of information technology. Cyberinfrastructure emerges as the key dimension from these three dimensions, followed by technology-assisted facilities and e-content quality. The availability of robust and reliable infrastructure, such as telecommunications networks, internet connectivity, data centres, and power supply, is crucial for the availability of TI. Without adequate infrastructure, TI systems may not function optimally or may not be available at all [111].
TI also has a positive significance in enhancing SE, as per the results seen. Thus, H2: The technology interface has a positive influence on student engagement, which is supported by an earlier study by Bond et al., highlighting that digital technology has become a central aspect of higher education, affecting all aspects of the student experience [28]. There is a lot of evidence to show that the importance of course organisation and structure, SE, learner interaction, and instructor presence have accounted for enhanced SS and perceived learning in online learning environments [112]. Among the three dimensions of student engagement, new skill development emerged as a key dimension, followed by active involvement and academic achievement. H3: The technology interface has a positive influence on student satisfaction, as shown by the values, is also accepted.
The direct impact of TI on SS is 0.22 (with T: 0.643 and p: 0.521), which is insignificant (See Table 6). For TI with SE as a mediating variable, the indirect effect is (0.329 × 0.842 = 0.277). As suggested by the results, TI–SS explains a 72% variation in SS. Thus, H4: The technology interface, with the mediating role of student engagement, enhances student satisfaction statement has been empirically supported. The SRMR value is 0.078, which is below the accepted range of 0.08. The normed fitness index (NFI) is 0.920. Thus, the model is a good fit. Hence, it can be inferred that the technology interface, with a mediating role of student engagement, enhances student satisfaction.

5. Discussion

This research was undertaken to find answers to questions such as how the technology interface and student engagement impact student satisfaction. The results indicated all three dimensions of the technology interface (TI), viz. cyberinfrastructure, technology-assisted facilities, and e-content quality [26] had high loadings, and these were significant [25]. Cyberinfrastructure emerges as the key dimension from these three dimensions, followed by technology-assisted facilities and e-content quality. As per the findings, the availability of reliable infrastructure is crucial for the availability of a technology interface (TI). Without adequate infrastructure, TI systems may not function optimally or may not be available at all [111]. This is in agreement with the research studies, where the education sector has been positively affected by technological progress and its rapid evolution. The education sector has benefited the most from technological advancements, as published in the education and technology overview [113].
To find a link between TI–SE, the findings supported that there is a positive and significant relationship and TI influenced SE. This bears testimony to the fact that technology, without its application for SE, will not be important in educational development. The development of new skills in students is the key dimension of student engagement that is significantly impacted by the technological interface, followed by active involvement and academic achievement. This is supported by the report of Education 4.0 in the application of the latest technologies along with advanced pedagogical procedures and top practices including components such as competencies, learning methods, information and communication technologies, and infrastructure. These four core components of Education 4.0 are used as a reference for the planning of fresh projects in the educational revolution [114]. According to the research, the framework of technology for resources transformation includes technoware (object-embodied), humanware (person-embodied), inforware (document-embodied), and orgaware (institution-embodied) [115].
The next research focus was to understand how the technology interface directly influences student satisfaction (SS). SS, as a construct, had three dimensions, viz. employability perspective, learning environment, and teaching expertise. A direct positive relationship emerged; however, it was not statistically significant. Our SS scale was an improved scale that focussed on holistic satisfaction covering learning to enhance employability completeness. Students also are conscious of their role and want to learn from tech-savvy teachers who wanted feedback for enhancing their role by actively involving the learners using digital technologies. The students aspired to a rich learning environment with well-structured courses and clearly defined outcomes and assessment strategies used.
As the direct relationship between TI and SS was not significant, we tried to measure TI–SE–SS with the mediating role of SE. The related question was “Does the technology interface, with the mediation of student engagement, enhance student satisfaction”? This emerged as statistically significant. The technologies offer answers and substitutes for the functions such as delivery methods, teaching approaches, collaborative work, knowledge improvement, location, industry requirements, job-specific knowledge, etc., [116]. The use of technology in education has been shown to have a positive impact on student engagement and satisfaction. The technology interfaces with the mediation of student engagement can enhance the overall learning experience by providing opportunities for active learning, collaboration, and personalized instruction.
Technology-mediated engagement can take many forms, such as online discussion forums, virtual simulations, interactive multimedia resources, and personalized learning platforms. These technologies can help to create a more engaging and interactive learning environment that encourages students to take an active role in their own learning. This, in turn, can lead to increased student satisfaction as students are more likely to feel motivated and engaged with the course content.
In addition, technology can help to facilitate communication and collaboration between students and instructors, which can also contribute to student satisfaction. For example, online discussion forums can provide a platform for students to ask questions, share ideas, and receive feedback from their peers and instructors. Virtual collaboration tools can enable students to work together on projects and assignments, even if they are not physically in the same location. Improvement and usage of intelligent educational infrastructure are essential for realizing the Education 4.0 concept [116]. Overall, the use of technology in education has the potential to enhance student engagement and satisfaction by providing opportunities for active learning, collaboration, and personalized instruction. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of technology-mediated engagement depends on how well it is integrated into the overall teaching and learning experience.

6. Implications of the Study

Any research has significance if it leads to academic and practical implications. Similarly, the current research has theoretical as well as pragmatic implications.

6.1. Theoretical Implications

The theoretical contribution of this study helps in providing increased satisfaction and thus employability to students. Especially post-COVID-19, the scope of technology-assisted learning has increased. Thus, an important implication of this study would be that HEIs focus on enhancing the technology interfaces. This research extends the existing TI–SS relationship by suggesting the TI–SE–SS relationship, and, further, it confirms that, with SE as a mediator, the impact of TI on SS has accelerated. Extensive research has focused on an increased appetite from HEIs in embedding technology in education [114]; however, little attention has been paid to taking the indirect TI effect on SS with SE mediation. Hence this study fills the void by integrating TI with SS through the mediation of SE. Thus, it can be suggested to HEIs that mere investment in technology infrastructure is not the need of the hour, but rather that it is the interface through SE that will be of utmost priority for the students to considerably enhance their satisfaction.
It contributes to the knowledge of the HEI’s role in the context of developing countries. There are many studies with diverse findings in developed nations; however, few have considered them from a developing country’s perspective, such as India. HEIs have many takeaways from this study. HEIs need to focus on the SE perspective deeply to link TI to SS.

6.2. Practical Implications

The findings of the study suggest that cyberinfrastructure and technology-assisted facilities are important indicators; however, in terms of e-content quality, there is still a pecuniary need for improvement as it has fewer loadings. This suggests that developing countries such as India still rely more on cyberinfrastructure and ignore the quality focus. A shift towards e-content quality may help in increasing the rankings of HEIs in a global context. In the case of SE, all subconstructs, viz. new skills development, active involvement, and academic achievements have high loadings and, thus, are significant. The three aspects of SS, viz. learning environment, teaching expertise, and employability perspective all have high loadings, suggesting their perceived importance for SS. TI has an affirmative impact on SE; however, it has a wider role as a mediating variable TI–SE–SS as the indirect effect is stronger than the direct effect. Thus, to expedite TI–SS interaction, the state govt. may take initiatives to ensure that TI leads to new skills development, active involvement, and academic achievements. Due to recent uncertainties, such as the recession and COVID-19, the implications have been a severe decline in GDP to rising unemployment, and the relevance of TI–SE–SS cannot be under-gauged [117,118]. Since such studies will help in improving SS in HEIs, The TI–SE–SS link can go a long way in promoting job prospects too.

7. Limitations and Future Areas of Research

The study recommends conducting more research into the methods of successfully implementing technology into the course curriculum. It is true that educational technology shifts the learning environment from being teacher-centred to student-centred, but it is also important that teachers carefully exhibit effective methods of application. Currently, there are so many technological applications out there, each with a distinctive feature, so the most important job for teachers is to teach students the process of learning these technologies. It is also recommended that teachers also provide continuous feedback to students while using technology. Personalised metacognitive feedback based on learning analytics in online learning is a useful approach. It has a different value in probing the effect of personalized metacognitive feedback based on the learning analytics of student engagement [119]. Furthermore, the study has only examined the effectiveness of specific technologies or interventions, which may not apply to other educational settings or populations. Thus, developing further research on methods of effectively implementing technology into the curriculum is needed. While this research has focused on the impact that technology has on SE, the research could be performed to understand methods that educators can use to accelerate this process. In addition, these findings are based on a cross-sectional design, and future research may examine this proposed model through a longitudinal study for validation and additional outcomes. Technology is constantly evolving and new technologies are continuously being introduced in educational settings. Future research could investigate the effects of emerging technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, or artificial intelligence, on student engagement and satisfaction. Understanding how these technologies influence student experiences can inform the design of effective technology interfaces that promote student engagement and satisfaction.

8. Conclusions

The outcomes of this study support a need to redefine the role of technology. TI has to be linked with SE leading to new skills development, academic achievement, and active involvement. In addition, the mixed multifactorial scale for educational engagement [120] has displayed strong reliability levels for its factors linked to academic engagement, motivations, values, learning contexts, emotional state, and management strategies. There is an emergent need for the use of technology for interactive learning and experiential learning. Technology can offer realistic simulations and virtual experiences that allow students to apply what they have learned in real-world contexts. This can be particularly valuable in fields such as medicine, engineering, and business. This conclusion is in line with some recent research, e.g., the key challenge for decision makers is in their ability to harness the power of technology, learn the key lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure that the world is better prepared for future waves of the virus or other states of emergency [121,122]. Technology can contribute to sustainable student satisfaction by providing consistent and reliable access to learning materials, facilitating communication between students and instructors [123], and promoting a sense of community and belonging among students [124]. Overall, technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing student satisfaction and success [125]. However, it is important to ensure that technology is used in a way that supports student learning and engagement, rather than as a substitute for quality teaching and personal interaction.

Author Contributions

The work presented here was conducted by A.P. under the supervision of R.K. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the Institutional Review Board of Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (protocol code TIET/EC/2023-06; Approved on 2 May 2023).

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The data for this study is available upon request from the corresponding author.


We acknowledge the support provided by the higher engineering institutions selected for the collection of data.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted without any commercial or financial assistance. The authors also declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Appendix A

Table A1. Scale Items.
Table A1. Scale Items.
S. NoScalesLiterature Support
Technology Interface
1.Cyber Infrastructure ← Technology Interface
Academic infrastructure is updated frequently
The institute offers New software and hardware facilities
The institute has LMS platform for interactive learning
IoT; ICTs; Data mining, DBMS are regularly updated
2.E-content Quality ← Technology Interface
Recognised e-programs are offered to the students
Quality e-support services are available to the students
e-content is evaluated by peer-teams
3.Technology Assisted Facilities ← Technology Interface
Technology assistance is provided by offering STTPs
Technical expertise is available
Technology assistance workshops are conducted.
Student Engagement
1.New Skills Development ← Student Engagement
Students are helped to learn new skills
The institute offers Industrial training programs
The Institute offers start-up semester to enhance self-employment
2.Academic Achievement ← Student Engagement
The institute offers Blended learning to engage students in various activities.
Academic achievement is checked through a blend of offline and online assessments.
The institute has continuous evaluation system
3.Active Involvement ← Student Engagement
The programs offered have active involvement of teacher-learner.
Experiential learning is offered as a part of curriculum.
Entrepreunrship and Innovation courses are offered to engage students to learn entrepreneurial skills.
Student Satisfaction
1.Employability Perspective ← Student Satisfaction
Students possess competencies required for job procurement.
Employers possess good reputation of the institution.
Meaningful partnership with employers.
Active employer presence on campus viz careers fairs, company presentations or any other self-promoting activities
Career development opportunities setup for the students.
2.Learning Environment ← Student Satisfaction
Courses are well structured and focused
Clear explanation on course learning outcomes (CLOs)
Well-defined objectives of assessment of course learning outcomes to measure learning achievement
Well-defined criterion for direct assessment and for in-direct assessment
Feedback is provided to help student to learn
3.Teaching Expertise ← Student Satisfaction
The Institute hires faculty from top rated Institution
National/international accreditation is undertaken to focus on teaching quality.
Teachers are provided new learning programs for academic excellence.
Students-evaluation for teaching is undertaken foe all offered courses


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Figure 1. Conceptual Framework.
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework.
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Figure 2. TI–SE–SS relationships.
Figure 2. TI–SE–SS relationships.
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Table 1. Reliability.
Table 1. Reliability.
Cronbach’s Alpharho_AComposite Reliability(AVE)
Technology Interface0.6870.7080.8250.613
Student Engagement0.8700.8740.9210.795
Student Satisfaction0.8450.8530.9060.763
Table 2. Fornell–Larcker Criterion.
Table 2. Fornell–Larcker Criterion.
Student EngagementStudent SatisfactionTechnology Interface
Student Engagement0.874
Student Satisfaction0.8500.892
Technology Interface0.2980.3340.854
Table 3. HTMT Ratio.
Table 3. HTMT Ratio.
Student EngagementStudent SatisfactionTechnology Interface
Student Engagement
Student Satisfaction0.586
Technology Interface0.4060.451
Table 4. Outer VIF Values.
Table 4. Outer VIF Values.
Cyber Infrastructure1.870
e-content Quality1.549
Technology-Assisted Facilities1.274
New Skills Development3.084
Academic Achievement2.081
Active Involvement2.380
Employability Perspective1.817
Learning Environment2.449
Teaching Expertise2.098
Table 5. Factor loadings.
Table 5. Factor loadings.
Original Sample (O)Sample Mean (M)Standard Deviation (STDEV)T Statistics (|O/STDEV|)p-Values
Cyber Infrastructure ← Technology Interface0.8710.8640.03624.3120.000 ***
E-content Quality ← Technology Interface0.6960.6830.0868.0620.000 ***
Technology-Assisted Facilities ← Technology Interface0.7720.7760.05115.1280.000 ***
New Skills Development ← Student Engagement0.9290.9290.008114.0730.000 ***
Academic Achievement ← Student Engagement0.8650.8650.01848.4170.000 ***
Active Involvement ← Student Engagement0.8800.8790.01461.9130.000 ***
Employability Perspective ← Student Satisfaction0.8310.8320.04817.3620.000 ***
Learning Environment ← Student Satisfaction0.9070.9080.01186.0670.000 ***
Teaching Expertise ← Student Satisfaction0.8810.8810.01558.4580.000 ***
*** p ≤ 0.001.
Table 6. The mean, STDEV, T-Values, and p-Values for TI, SE and SS.
Table 6. The mean, STDEV, T-Values, and p-Values for TI, SE and SS.
Original Sample (O)Sample Mean (M)Standard Deviation (STDEV)T Statistics (|O/STDEV|)p-Values
Technology Interface → Student Satisfaction0.0220.0210.0340.6430.521
Technology Interface → Student Engagement0.3290.3360.0565.8820.000 ***
Student Engagement → Student Satisfaction0.8420.8430.02238.9760.000 ***
Indirect Effect
Technology Interface → Student Engagement → Student Satisfaction0.2770.2810.0495.6330.000 ***
*** p ≤ 0.001
R SquareR Square Adjusted
Student Engagement0.1080.106
Student Satisfaction0.7220.720
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Pandita, A.; Kiran, R. The Technology Interface and Student Engagement Are Significant Stimuli in Sustainable Student Satisfaction. Sustainability 2023, 15, 7923.

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Pandita A, Kiran R. The Technology Interface and Student Engagement Are Significant Stimuli in Sustainable Student Satisfaction. Sustainability. 2023; 15(10):7923.

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Pandita, Alka, and Ravi Kiran. 2023. "The Technology Interface and Student Engagement Are Significant Stimuli in Sustainable Student Satisfaction" Sustainability 15, no. 10: 7923.

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