A stream of empirical research over the past decade that identified predictors of e-learning success suggests that there are several critical success factors (CSFs) that must be managed effectively to fully realize promise for e-learning. A problem with empirical distance learning research comes with modeling methods. Especially, there are two approaches of modeling, with or without mediating variables. This paper argues that the simple cause-effect relationship modelling approach in some cases may lead to misleading and false conclusions. As a basis of theoretical foundation to justify our approach, we introduce a system’s view of e-learning success model. Then, we present two examples from previous published papers that may mislead the effect of a CSF on the outcomes of e-learning systems. We conclude that the simple cause-effect relationship model approach in some cases may lead to misleading and false conclusions. Future e-learning empirical research should avoid the simple complex cause-effect relationship model.
Eom, Sean, "A SYSTEM’S VIEW OF E-LEARNING SUCCESS MODEL AND ITS IMPLICATIONS TO E-LEARNING EMPIRICAL RESEARCH" (2020). Proceedings of the 2020 AIS SIGED International Conference on Information Systems Education and Research. 14.