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Over the past three decades, researchers, academics, and technology innovators have been grappling with the problem of technology adoption and acceptance of the unintended phenomena of technology rejection and low utilization. COVID’19 pandemic has accelerated the need for the adoption of disruptive technologies, particularly in education worldwide. Prior researchers have posited that Higher education institutions (HEIs) globally and particularly in Kenya made an effort to transition to Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) from March 2020 during the COVID’19 pandemic. Since VLEs were new to many HEIs and students and instructors, this paper is devoted to investigating the role of COVID’19 on the Adoption of Disruptive Remote Learning technology by Higher Education Students in Kenya. The study employed a descriptive research design, using a self-administered online cross-sectional survey questionnaire to a purposefully selected 136-university student’s sample. Borrowing the technology acceptance model (TAM) from the academic environment, we apply it to the student VLEs context and extend it by incorporating the user, COVID’19 context, and technology factors to adopt VLEs. In academic settings, perceived Usefulness has been the predominant driver of technology adoption. Our empirical results show that while perceived use (a utilitarian aspect) contributes to students' adoption of virtual learning environments, what contributes, is the COVID’19 context. Furthermore, the results show that the COVID’19 lockdowns positively and significantly influences students' adoption of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs).
Keywords: Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), COVID’19, Adoption, Disruptive Technology, Usefulness, Ease of Use, Subjective norm, Time-saving, Higher Education.