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Motivation and Continuance Intention towards Online Instruction among Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mediating Effect of Burnout and Technostress

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In-service teachers have various emotional and motivational experiences that can influence their continuance intention towards online-only instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a significant stress factor for their workplace. Derived from the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R), and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the present research model includes technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) self-efficacy (SE), intrinsic (IM) and extrinsic (EM) work motivation, and occupational stress (OS) (i.e., burnout and technostress which have been examined in tandem) as key dimensions to explain the better continuance intention among in-service teachers to use online-only instruction (CI). Data for the research model were collected from 980 in-service teachers during the COVID-19 outbreak between April and May 2020. Overall, the structural model explained 70% of the variance in teachers’ CI. Motivational practices were directly and indirectly linked through OS with CI. The findings showed that IM has the most directly significant effect on teachers’ CI, followed by TPK-SE, and OS as significant, but lower predictors. IM was positively associated with TPK-SE and negatively associated with EM. The results offered valuable insights into how motivation constructs were related to OS and to a better understanding online instruction in an unstable work context, in order to support teachers in coping during working remotely.
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International Journal of
Environmental Research
and Public Health
Article
Motivation and Continuance Intention towards
Online Instruction among Teachers during the
COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mediating Eect of
Burnout and Technostress
Ion Ovidiu Panisoara 1, Iulia Lazar 1, * , Georgeta Panisoara 2, Ruxandra Chirca 1and
Anca Simona Ursu 1
1Teacher Training Department, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, Bucharest University,
90 Panduri Street, Sector 5, 050663 Bucharest, Romania; ovidiu.panisoara@fpse.unibuc.ro (I.O.P.);
ruxandra.chirca@fpse.unibuc.ro (R.C.); anca.simona.ursu@drd.unibuc.ro (A.S.U.)
2Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, Bucharest University, 90 Panduri
Street, Sector 5, 050663 Bucharest, Romania; georgeta.panisoara@fpse.unibuc.ro
*Correspondence: iulia.lazar@unibuc.ro
Received: 21 September 2020; Accepted: 28 October 2020; Published: 30 October 2020
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Abstract:
In-service teachers have various emotional and motivational experiences that can influence
their continuance intention towards online-only instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a
significant stress factor for their workplace. Derived from the Self-Determination Theory (SDT),
Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R), and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the present
research model includes technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) self-ecacy (SE), intrinsic (IM)
and extrinsic (EM) work motivation, and occupational stress (OS) (i.e., burnout and technostress which
have been examined in tandem) as key dimensions to explain the better continuance intention among
in-service teachers to use online-only instruction (CI). Data for the research model were collected
from 980 in-service teachers during the COVID-19 outbreak between
April and May 2020
. Overall,
the structural model explained 70% of the variance in teachers’ CI. Motivational practices were
directly and indirectly linked through OS with CI. The findings showed that IM has the most directly
significant eect on teachers’ CI, followed by TPK-SE, and OS as significant, but lower predictors.
IM was positively associated with TPK-SE and negatively associated with EM. The results oered
valuable insights into how motivation constructs were related to OS and to a better understanding
online instruction in an unstable work context, in order to support teachers in coping during
working remotely.
Keywords: burnout; COVID-19 pandemic; in-service teachers; motivation; technostress
1. Introduction
Throughout the past few months, as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world [
1
],
society has had to face significant challenges, which unavoidably aected the educational field as well,
with undesirable eects for teachers working remotely. Online learning has been gaining ground and
communication technologies have become an indispensable tool for maintaining work continuity not
only in school, but also across all fields of work. With regard to the educational field, these rapid and
probably unexpected changes might have generated a series of diculties in ensuring the eectiveness
of both teachers and students [2].
Relative to existing studies, researchers have considered attitudinal and motivational factors as
key predictors of continuance intentions for any type of instruction that is accompanied by technology.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002; doi:10.3390/ijerph17218002 www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 2 of 28
For instance, Davis Bagozzi and Warshaw [
3
] proposed several predictors of CI: enjoyment as an example
of intrinsic motivation and perceived usefulness as an example of extrinsic motivation. In addition,
Ferriz-Valero, Østerlie, Martinez and Garc
í
a-Ja
é
n [
4
] also mentioned that aective commitment as
intrinsic motivation and external regulation as extrinsic motivation are determinants of CI. Moon and
Kim [
5
] found that playfulness has a significant eect on the intention to use the World Wide Web. Thus,
in the usual synchronous and asynchronous interaction in an online environment [
6
], the emotions
that teachers feel, such as enjoyment [
7
,
8
], aection associated with a digital tool [
9
], computer
playfulness [
10
] or computer anxiety [
11
] have been recognized as key antecedents of their continuance
intention to use digital technologies. Therefore, researchers have integrated motivational factors to
understand the external variables that aect the continuance intention to use digital technologies.
Nowadays, given the high levels of acute stress reactions induced by the current health crisis,
it is not surprising that more and more teachers complained about the negative aective response
to online technology use. Online environments for teaching and learning can be eective, but only
when the conditions in which teachers can successfully continue teaching are known. Motivation is
the psychological mechanism of activation for the way in which a teacher acts. This is an external or
internal determinant of their behaviors, along with other regulating mechanisms. Therefore, there
is an undeniable link between motivation and the continuation of online teaching, be it external or
intrinsic, cognitive or aective, positive or negative. The result of all motivational dimensions will
aect any professional activity (i.e., teachers’ jobs) in a specific way.
In the online education context, the main attention has been granted to continued usage
behavior [
12
]. Consequently, the continuance of long-term usage was predicted and examined
through various constructs, in dierent settings [
13
]. It is therefore recognized that there are many
variables aecting the adoption and long-term use of online learning.
The educational workplace was predictable and easy to control, at least until the beginning of
the present healthcare crisis. In the current pandemic situation, teachers are not able to control the
educational environment in which they do their work. There may be certain unknown variables
aecting the continuance intention of online instruction, especially in a crisis context, when the role
of various emotions is much more pronounced, and the degree of uncertainty about the working
environment is high.
Furthermore, limited research has integrated negative and positive feelings related to the long-term
usage of online instruction in an unstable work context in one model to explore how these constructs
relate to each other and sustain teachers’ continuous interest in online teaching and learning. Moreover,
Kim, Chan and Chan [
11
] stated that only a few studies have taken into consideration emotional factors
as predictors of continuance intention.
This study contributes to the existing literature by expanding the knowledge of teachers’ motivation
and continuance intention to use online instruction in an unstable work context, highlighting the direct
and indirect negative aective response to technology. The identification of aective variables and the
testing of a new theoretical research model, on the basis of which the contribution of both negative and
positive emotional factors can be investigated simultaneously in an unpredictable work setting, would
fill a gap in the literature and provide a model for forecasting teachers’ continuance usage of online
instruction. Consequently, the present research contributes to our understanding of the complexity of
teachers’ emotions in the workplace by evaluating the relationship between emotional and motivational
factors and the continuous use of online instruction in an unforeseen setting simultaneously, which is
not evident in the extant literature. Therefore, a research exploration based on the Self-Determination
Theory (SDT), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R) was
conducted in the present study to explore teachers’ intention to continue using online instruction in an
unstable work context, to support them and help them cope while working remotely. Thus, the primary
purpose of the present study was to fill the identified gap, investigating the internal relationships
between five first-order constructs (technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) self-ecacy (SE),
extrinsic (EM) and intrinsic motivation (IM), occupational stress (i.e., burnout and technostress (OS))
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 3 of 28
as variables of the structural model to explain teacher intention to continue instruction online (CI).
This evidence should inspire further eorts to discover new predictors that may encourage teachers’
continuance intention to use online instruction, even in an uncertain working environment, as well as
their impediments to accepting it.
Accordingly, the present study focuses on the following research questions:
Q1. Are there links between TPK self-ecacy, extrinsic and intrinsic work motivation, occupational
stress (i.e., burnout and technostress), and continuance intention to use online instruction among
in-service teachers?
Q2. Are there any associations between motivational dimensions among in-service teachers?
Q3. Does occupational stress (i.e., burnout and technostress) mediate the relationship between
motivational factors and continuance intention to use online instruction among in-service teachers?
Understanding the mediating roles of occupational stress with technology use, and examining
these specifically in the context of links between factors of the structural model, will contribute
to shaping post-adoption continuance intentions to use online instruction by in-service teachers,
specifically in the present context of the extension of online instruction due to the global pandemic
caused by the coronavirus disease.
2. Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis
2.1. Development of Conceptual Model
This research explored the eect of key cognitive–aective factors on the continuance usage
intention of online instruction in an unstable workplace. The recommended research model of the
present study integrated significant elements of motivational issues and job-specific demands caused
by the COVID-19 pandemic within the critical context of a school, as well as their interactions, as the
main factors underlying teacher continuance intention to accept technology (Figure 1).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8002 3 of 29
model to explain teacher intention to continue instruction online (CI). This evidence should inspire
further efforts to discover new predictors that may encourage teachers’ continuance intention to use
online instruction, even in an uncertain working environment, as well as their impediments to
accepting it.
Accordingly, the present study focuses on the following research questions:
Q1. Are there links between TPK self-efficacy, extrinsic and intrinsic work motivation,
occupational stress (i.e., burnout and technostress), and continuance intention to use online
instruction among in-service teachers?
Q2. Are there any associations between motivational dimensions among in-service teachers?
Q3. Does occupational stress (i.e., burnout and technostress) mediate the relationship between
motivational factors and continuance intention to use online instruction among in-service teachers?
Understanding the mediating roles of occupational stress with technology use, and examining
these specifically in the context of links between factors of the structural model, will contribute to
shaping post-adoption continuance intentions to use online instruction by in-service teachers,
specifically in the present context of the extension of online instruction due to the global pandemic
caused by the coronavirus disease.
2. Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis
2.1. Development of Conceptual Model
This research explored the effect of key cognitive–affective factors on the continuance usage
intention of online instruction in an unstable workplace. The recommended research model of the
present study integrated significant elements of motivational issues and job-specific demands caused
by the COVID-19 pandemic within the critical context of a school, as well as their interactions, as the
main factors underlying teacher continuance intention to accept technology (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The recommended research model.
The current studies on teachers’ continuous online instruction intention are mainly based on
several theories and models, such as Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and the Technology
Acceptance Model and its extensions, the Information System, the Theory of Planned Behavior and
the Expectation–Confirmation model [9–11]. These theories and models have dominated the
investigation on the acceptance of digital technologies by end users and have provided great
knowledge in relation to this research topic. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) can be perceived as a
Figure 1. The recommended research model.
The current studies on teachers’ continuous online instruction intention are mainly based
on several theories and models, such as Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and the Technology
Acceptance Model and its extensions, the Information System, the Theory of Planned Behavior and the
Expectation–Confirmation model [
9
11
]. These theories and models have dominated the investigation
on the acceptance of digital technologies by end users and have provided great knowledge in relation
to this research topic. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) can be perceived as a multidimensional
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 4 of 28
theoretical paradigm that shows the results of interactions between cognitive and emotional factors in
complex learning settings [
14
]. Most of these research models resulted from the Self-Determination
Theory (SDT) proposed by Deci and Ryan [
15
,
16
], which dierentiates controlled motivation versus
autonomous motivation. Therefore, the SDT has been widely used to investigate users’ intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation as key constructs in a post-adoption situation [
17
], such as lecture attendance [
18
],
using blogs to learn [
19
] or using social networking sites [
20
]. The Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM) developed by Davis [
21
] proposed the key predictors for technology acceptance. Furthermore,
TAM has been extended by the addition of other dimensions such as computer self-ecacy, which
is also used in SDT or subjective norm to predict usage intention [
22
]. An overstated eect of
extrinsic motivations on the acceptance of technology was observed, while intrinsic motivations were
ignored [
23
]. Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R) is dierent from SDT and TAM, even if job
demands are common variables and represent a “path of thinking about how job attributes may aect
worker health, wellbeing, and motivation” [
24
]. JD–R was used in most of the previous studies to
investigate the negative outcome variables, such as burnout, stress, and poor health [
25
]. However,
no previous research has used the JD–R to explore the instant and concurrent eects of teachers’ burnout
and technostress [
26
] on their behavioral intention to use online instruction. To date, a significant
body of literature has focused on examining SDT, TAM, and JD–R independently in clarifying dierent
eective classroom practices in an online environment, but no research has theoretically linked these
models thus far.
Previous studies have rarely focused on understanding the impact of simultaneous actions of
burnout and technostress as explicit and correlated responses. Thus, the present study used the
research model as it has been theorized to examine the simultaneous contributions of motivation and
occupational stress on continuance intention in an unstable workplace.
Briefly, based on the literature review, the present research examined relationships through
TPK self-ecacy, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation based on the Self-Determination Theory (SDT),
occupational stress based on the extended Job Demands–Resources Model of Burnout (JD–R),
and teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction based on the Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM). Extrinsic motivation is a common predictor used in all three theories and TPK-self-ecacy is a
common predictor used in TAM and SDT, as can be observed in Figure 1.
2.2. Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
In the theory of self-determination [
27
], various forms of motivation based on dierent reasons
or goals were recognized. There is undoubtedly ongoing interest in the study of motivation [
28
]
from a multidimensional perspective, delineating, at the same time, the intrinsic side, which implies
an approach to objectives caused by the belief that people will feel good, and from the extrinsic
one, caused by conjectural reasons for interest [
29
31
]. The SDT constructs used in this research are
described below.
2.2.1. TPK Self-Ecacy
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) involves self-ecacy, a similar concept to perceived
competence [
32
] and one of the most used predictors of motivational models for e-learning [
33
].
Self-ecacy is an important dimension to understand e-learning continuance intention in the
workplace [
27
]. Teachers’ self-ecacy, regarded as the correct perception of one’s own abilities and an
interest in developing students’ competencies, is known to positively influence students’ performance,
involvement, wellbeing, attitude towards school, and academic success [
34
]. Concurrently, teachers’
self-ecacy has been proved to be a predictor of higher engagement and lower burnout [
35
], which
advocates the complementarity of the factors investigated in this study. A study revealed that an
8-month computer training program for teachers, in terms of its integration into education, significantly
reduced teacher computer anxiety [
36
]. This indicates that teachers’ level of knowledge regarding the
use of technology influences their anxiety about using it. Another study showed that TPK plays a key
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 5 of 28
role in reducing teachers’ technostress, which suggests that improving teachers’ TPK abilities, through
school support and an increase in computer self-ecacy, is essential. Teachers need to employ multiple
sources of knowledge, consider various contextual factors and find adequate means to test their lessons’
feasibility [
37
]. On the other hand, teachers that consider themselves to be more digitally ecient and
better institutionally supported experience stronger positive emotions when they use digital resources
in their classes, and they are more motivated and autonomously employed in their activity [38].
Therefore, self-knowledge and knowledge of teachers’ negative aective responses to technology
use, like burnout and technostress levels, followed by self-evaluations of the eectiveness of online
teaching, are possible predictors of the intention to continue using online teaching. It may be fruitful
for educational research to observe the eect of context on the self-ecacy of technology integration
and diculties in the adoption of interactive teaching and learning [
39
] as well as the motivational and
aective attitudes of in-service teachers. Authors use various terms when exploring the ability and
competence of a teacher to use technology for educational purposes, such as technology integration
self-ecacy [
40
], computer self-ecacy [
41
], or information and communication technologies (ICT)
self-ecacy [
38
]. The present research embraced the term TPK self-ecacy for this dimension and
proposed to investigate the complementary eects of motivations and aective responses in relation to
online instruction continuance intention by in-service teachers.
From this perspective, the research was performed to test the following direct eects hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1.
H1 TPK self-ecacy is positively and directly related to continuance intention to use online
instruction.
Hypothesis 2. H2 TPK self-ecacy is negatively related to burnout and technostress.
2.2.2. Intrinsic Motivation
According to SDT, intrinsic motivation can be perceived as a determinant of action in which
a person became involved due to their interest [
42
], preceded by intentions such as continuance
intentions to use e-learning [
43
]. In the educational field, intrinsic motivation is highly respected
due to its consequences, which have an immediate eect: “motivation generates” [
31
]. Intrinsic
motivation is usually correlated with positive employee results, and extrinsic motivation expressed by
external regulation is negatively correlated with or unrelated to positive results [
31
,
44
]. One pragmatic
suggestion is that organizations should focus on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations as separate
predictors that influence dierent outcomes [
44
]. Along with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation,
self-ecacy perceptions of technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) [
38
,
45
] can promote the
continued usage of e-learning [
22
]. Good knowledge of intrinsic motivation is an essential step in
increasing a teacher’s capacity to adapt to crisis situations, which has the eect of reducing technocracy
and, implicitly, burnout. Less perceived intrinsic motivation can thus become a source of anxiety
reduction. Therefore, there is constant interest on the part of researchers in understanding the predictors
of intrinsic motivation and explaining how they are constructed, modified, and structured.
2.2.3. Extrinsic Motivation
Motivation is the psychological regulatory mechanism that refers to “the dynamics of behavior,
the process of initiation, support and direction of an individual’s activities” [
46
]. Extrinsic motivation
is met when a person performs an action to fulfill social expectations, while simultaneously avoiding
sanctions or complying with external control [
47
]. Extrinsic motivation, involving external regulation,
occurs when “behaviors are controlled to obtain a reward or to avoid a constraint” [
48
], and are positively
influenced by individual and contextual antecedents [
22
]. In the present research, extrinsic motivation
is linked to the obligation of authorities to teach exclusively online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From this perspective, the research was performed to test the following hypotheses for:
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 6 of 28
(a) direct eects
Hypothesis 3.
H3 Intrinsic motivation is positively and directly related to continuance intention to use online
instruction.
Hypothesis 4. H4 Intrinsic motivation is negatively related to burnout and technostress.
Hypothesis 5.
H5 Extrinsic motivation is positively related to continuance intention to use online instruction.
Hypothesis 6. H6 Extrinsic motivation is positively related to burnout and technostress.
(b) correlation power among exogenous variables
Hypothesis 8. H8 Intrinsic motivation is positively associated with TPK self-ecacy.
Hypothesis 9. H9 Intrinsic motivation is negatively associated with extrinsic motivation.
2.3. Job Demands–Resources Model of Burnout
The relationship between job-specific demands and outputs within the educational context
assumes that “employee health and wellbeing result from a balance between positive (resources)
and negative (demands) job characteristics” [
24
]. An extended JD–R model, which included the
performance dimension [
49
], described burnout as something that “results from high work demands
and poor job resources” [
24
]. High job burnout among in-service teachers caused by the current
global health crisis, which has influenced educational activity, may be driven in part by their ability to
become familiar in an extremely short timeframe with the diversity of technology-enhanced teaching
forms, alongside the demands of working exclusively remotely using dierent digital tools that can
generate technostress.
In the present research, burnout and technostress have been examined in tandem and were
consequently treated as a unitary instead of a two-dimensional construct, as derived from an exploratory
analysis. The JD–R constructs used in this research are described below.
2.3.1. Burnout
Burnout is a multidimensional construct encountered by people who reach the final stage of chronic
occupational stress. Maslach and Jackson define burnout as a “syndrome of emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization and reduction of personal achievement that can occur among people who “work with
people” of any kind” [
50
]. Initially, the term “burnout” was applied to those working with beneficiaries
(e.g., students, customers, or patients), but this concept was later used for other professions as well,
such as educational instructors [
51
,
52
]. Specialty studies have identified multiple factors that can lead
to teacher burnout, such as low levels of social interaction, which are self-evident within the current
pandemic context [
53
]. Consequently, the large amount of research conducted worldwide suggests the
existence of a global interest in studying teacher burnout [
54
]. These studies revealed that burnout is a
work-related phenomenon [
55
], which influences the quality of teacher performance, such as work
eciency [
56
], interpersonal relationships and overall teacher wellbeing [
57
]. Specifically, if teachers’
expectations do not correspond to the reality of their workplace, this can lead to multiple forms of
exhaustion: emotional, physical, spiritual [
58
]. Based on these studies, there several theoretical models
and tools have been developed for assessing teacher burnout, a concept which refers to a negative
mental state related to work, which aects psychological health [
59
], job satisfaction [
60
] and teachers’
wellbeing [
61
], as well as their students’ academic performance. Another study on in-service teachers
revealed that their state of exhaustion is due to emotional exhaustion rather than to low personal
achievement or depersonalization [
62
]. Teachers who possess more personal resources and skills
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 7 of 28
cope better with job challenges and are less prone to burnout [
63
], while those with high degrees of
neuroticism, perfectionism, and a desire to help others are more vulnerable to burnout [64].
With regard to the organizational environment, it has been found that teachers’ level of burnout is
associated with their relationship with the principal or his leadership style [
32
], with the level of trust
in their school [
65
], and with certain types of school cultures and environments [
32
]. Other research
suggests that social interactions within the school [
66
] can be a source of teacher burnout, and these
interactions may vary depending on certain work contexts within the same school. People are dierent
and they have distinct beliefs, personality traits, thinking styles, and socio-emotional skills, that can
moderate the negative eects of organizational stressors. Considering that teachers are expected to
meet their students online daily and to collaborate with parents, administrators, counsellors and other
teachers, certain potentially stressful interactions might be generated. In particular, in the context of
this pandemic, teachers are required to constantly adapt to changes in the system, which can sometimes
be radical, and to encourage their students to meet high educational standards. Consequently, it is
not surprising that, during their professional experience in the online environment, many teachers
face burnout. Longitudinal studies of burnout suggest that its prevalence among teachers may be
increasing, especially now due to the decrease in teachers’ confidence in their relationships with
administrators, colleagues, parents, and students. This decrease in their confidence may be due to
the dierent responsibility standards or other external factors, such as the current global health crisis,
which have considerably changed the teaching profession [67].
Briefly, significant changes in the education system resulting from the obligation to teach exclusively
online can lead to the development of mental health problems within the teaching profession [
60
,
68
].
Teachers have to cope with many stressors, such as unusually high workload in relation to preparing
lessons, the ambiguity of the role, or diculties in class management in the virtual environment [
69
72
].
Consequently, in the present research, burnout is linked to the exhaustion related to teaching exclusively
online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2.3.2. Technostress
Technostress was defined as a problem of improper adaptation caused by the failure of people
to cope with technology and the changes in requirements related to the use of technology, which
generate psychological and physical stress towards the latter [
73
,
74
]. The role of teachers is essential
in integrating technology into education. This is the key to the adoption of technology, and one of
the significant problems of its integration in the field of education is its acceptance by teachers [
75
].
Although the use of technology in education is encouraged, some studies identify many obstacles in
achieving it, such as a lack of training, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of support from technology
specialists, etc. These obstacles can induce teachers’ anxiety and tension, leading to mental and physical
stress related to the use of technology [
76
]. Even if the eective use of information and communication
technologies (ICT) in education improves teaching and assessment and also student performance,
the skills and knowledge requirements of teachers to eectively use ICT can increase at the same time,
creating additional workload, challenges and stress. They are continually trying to keep up with the
evolution of technology and the innovations associated with pedagogy at the same time. This can lead
to increased stress levels in teachers, who are forced to adapt to changes [77].
Research on technostress has focused more on industrial and government sectors and less on
education. Research in the educational field has instead considered university teachers, as they are
the first to use technology more predominantly, and to bring innovation into education while having
to continuously update their knowledge and skills and, as a result, they face a large amount of job
pressure [
78
]. The lack of training, the inadequate infrastructure and the lack of technological support
generated by mandatory online teaching can increase teachers’ anxiety and tension, which lead to
mental and physical stress related to the use of technology [78].
As a result of multiple studies, researchers discovered five categories of factors that induce
technostress (technological overload, technological invasion, technological complexity, technological
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 8 of 28
insecurity and technological uncertainty) and three inhibitors of technostress, namely literacy
facilitation, providing technical support provision and involvement facilitation [
79
]. A qualitative
study was conducted to test whether teachers’ technostress can be induced by the discrepancy
between their abilities, their needs and the available technological support (e.g., training and technical
assistance) [
80
]. Technostress has been reported by users of digital resources with dierent degrees
of diculty—for instance, learning management systems (LMS), digital data processing devices,
social media, collaboration tools and mobile applications [
78
]. Other variables were also related to
technostress, such as teaching experience and the level of teachers’ psychological capital. It was thus
concluded that technostress is an important predictor of the psychological capital and that a decrease
in the technostress level will increase the level of psychological capital [81].
Previous studies reported that excessive technostress can have negative consequences for
individuals regarding their personal life, their physical and psychological health (i.e., depression,
concentration diculties and social/relationship problems), as well as their professional life
(i.e., decreased job satisfaction, reduced organizational commitment and low job performance) [
82
].
Other possible causes reported by teachers were the extra time needed to prepare online classes,
unexpected errors, low technological reliability, and a lack of training in the use of technology. As a
result, teachers were confronted with multiple negative symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, sadness,
or nervousness. Technostress was negatively associated with job satisfaction and performance [
74
,
83
].
Nonetheless, technostress is not only a teacher health problem, but also an organizational management
problem [76].
To conclude, technostress currently represents a major problem in the educational field. The social
and institutional pressure faced by teachers regarding the integration of technology, as well as the lack
of information and support, determine whether teachers will experience technostress. These negative
emotions experienced by teachers regarding the use of technology for online teaching can prevent
teachers from continuing to use technology and can significantly influence teaching and learning
activities and, implicitly, students’ performance. In the present research, technostress is linked to
teachers’ failure to cope with the challenges of using digital resources to teach exclusively online during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
From this perspective, our study was performed to test the following hypotheses for:
(a) direct eects
Hypothesis 7.
H7 Burnout and technostress is positively related to continuance intention to use online
instruction.
(b) mediated eects
Hypothesis 10.
H10 Burnout and technostress mediated the relationship between SDT self-ecacy and
continuous intention to use online instruction.
Hypothesis 11.
H11 Burnout and technostress mediated the relationship between intrinsic motivation and
continuous intention to use online instruction.
Hypothesis 12.
H12 Burnout and technostress mediated the relationship between extrinsic motivation and
continuous intention to use online instruction.
2.4. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)
The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) suggests that two attitudinal beliefs, namely perceived
ease of use (i.e., intrinsic motivation) and perceived usefulness (i.e., extrinsic motivation) [
84
], are the
best predictors of actual system use and for understanding the behavioral intention over time [
85
].
Nevertheless, researchers indicated the extension of the TAM model with additional factors to provide
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 9 of 28
a stronger model for particular tasks [
86
]. Because of its simplicity and parsimony [
19
], TAM has
been extensively used to predict the continuance intention to use dierent digital technologies such as
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) [
87
], mobile Internet services (MIS) [
84
] or Facebook [
88
].
The main TAM construct (continuance intention) used in this research is described below.
Continuance Intention
Continuance intention is a key factor in intuiting teachers’ post-acceptance behavior [
89
] as an
important educational cognitive choice [
90
]. Accordingly, researchers have explored the intention to
continue online learning among teachers in dierent settings, taking into account their experience [
91
,
92
],
behaviors [
93
], skills [
94
], emotions [
95
,
96
], gender [
97
], age [
98
100
] and attitudes [
101
]. Nevertheless,
studies on the continuance intention to use online education are still limited [
13
,
102
]. Only a few
investigations have examined self-ecacy [
103
], perceived competences [
27
,
104
], and e-learning
contexts [
105
] as predictors of continuance intention to use online learning or self-ecacy as a
predictor of exhaustion [
106
]. In addition, the literature on the behavioral intention to use virtual
technologies focuses mainly on perceived satisfaction [
13
,
107
,
108
], motivation [
109
], the eectiveness of
e-learning, engagement and learning outcomes [
110
], while ignoring negative emotions (e.g., exhaustion,
technostress).
Thus, understanding the issues that obstruct the continuation of using online learning is essential
for teachers and educational organizations to survive in a severely competitive educational environment,
especially the context of the health crisis occurring all over the world [
89
]. The research hypotheses
that forecast statements about the possible results are represented in Figure 2.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8002 9 of 29
or Facebook [88]. The main TAM construct (continuance intention) used in this research is described
below.
Continuance Intention
Continuance intention is a key factor in intuiting teachers’ post-acceptance behavior [89] as an
important educational cognitive choice [90]. Accordingly, researchers have explored the intention to
continue online learning among teachers in different settings, taking into account their experience
[91,92], behaviors [93], skills [94], emotions [95,96], gender [97], age [98–100] and attitudes [101].
Nevertheless, studies on the continuance intention to use online education are still limited [13,102].
Only a few investigations have examined self-efficacy [103], perceived competences [27,104], and e-
learning contexts [105] as predictors of continuance intention to use online learning or self-efficacy as
a predictor of exhaustion [106]. In addition, the literature on the behavioral intention to use virtual
technologies focuses mainly on perceived satisfaction [13,107,108], motivation [109], the effectiveness
of e-learning, engagement and learning outcomes [110], while ignoring negative emotions (e.g.,
exhaustion, technostress).
Thus, understanding the issues that obstruct the continuation of using online learning is
essential for teachers and educational organizations to survive in a severely competitive educational
environment, especially the context of the health crisis occurring all over the world [89]. The research
hypotheses that forecast statements about the possible results are represented in Figure 2.
3. Method
3.1. Questionnaire
Based on the research context and hypotheses, a questionnaire was developed in the format of a
seven-point Likert scale. The initial version of the questionnaire was prepared and revised through
the use of educational expert panels and included self-developed or previously validated items to
Figure 2. The research hypotheses.
3. Method
3.1. Questionnaire
Based on the research context and hypotheses, a questionnaire was developed in the format of a
seven-point Likert scale. The initial version of the questionnaire was prepared and revised through
the use of educational expert panels and included self-developed or previously validated items to
ensure content validity [
19
]. The authors obtained explicit approval to use validated items from other
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 10 of 28
studies (Appendix A). Two English teachers helped to translate items from English to Romanian
and later to translate them back into English in the case of adapted items. Six initial constructs
from prior studies were adapted based on the research context as the quantifiable dimensions in the
current study: TPK self-ecacy, extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, burnout, technostress,
and teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction. The questionnaire, which evaluated
teachers’ perceptions related to motivation, occupational stress and continuance intention, used a
seven-point Likert-type scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). The instruments
used were adapted from the Work Tasks Motivation Scale for Teachers (WTMST) [
48
], the Oldenburg
Burnout Inventory (OBI) [
111
], the Person–Technology-Enhanced Learning Misfit (P–TEL) Scale [
83
],
and the Continuance Intention Scale (CI) [
83
,
87
,
105
] to measure intrinsic and extrinsic motivation,
burnout, technostress and continuance intention to use online instruction. For TPK self-ecacy,
items were modified from the work of [
112
,
113
]. Items proposed by Fernet and collaborators [
48
] were
used to characterize and operationalize the intrinsic and extrinsic constructs. Items used to shape
burnout were adapted from the work of [
111
], and technostress items were adapted from the work
of [
83
]. To operationalize the teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction, items were
modified from the original works of [
83
,
87
,
105
]. Before starting the research, permission to partially
reproduce survey questionnaires or psychometric scales was obtained.
The first part of the questionnaire presented general information about the study (i.e., title,
purpose, who is invited to participate, the ethics related to the research, etc.). In the second part of
the questionnaire, the following specific information about the voluntary participants’ profiles was
requested: age, gender, school setting, the degree of education obtained by continuing training, and the
length of the term of employment. The third part of the questionnaire contained closed-ended questions
related to the body content of the research. The Commission of Ethics and Academic Professional
Deontology of the University of Bucharest (UB) approved the use of the questionnaire after reviewing
it. The list of measurement items corresponding to the six initial factors and their sources is presented
in Appendix A.
3.2. Data Collection and Participants
Educational institutions in Romania were obliged by the legislation adopted in the emergency
regime to suspend traditional teaching on 16 March 2020. Teacher–student and student–student
interactions were interrupted and teaching face-to-face was replaced with teaching online. The research
sample focused on in-service teachers from Romania who had an active connection to the Internet,
who were teaching online and who were interested in participating voluntarily in the study. Google
Forms was the instrument used to request their answers.
This research was performed using a split-sample model development and a subsequent model
cross-validation strategy [
114
]. According to Young and Pearce [
115
], “Exploratory Factor Analyses
(EFA) should be followed by Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) using a dierent sample (or samples)
to evaluate the EFA-informed a priori theory about the measure’s factor-structure and psychometric
properties”. The first stage of sampling was conducted from 4 April 2020 to 14 April 2020, when the state
of emergency was extended, and the second stage was performed from 15 April 2020 to
9 May 2020
.
Data were collected using a web-based questionnaire that was posted in targeted Facebook groups
from 4 April to 9 May 2020. Several rounds of questionnaire distributions were necessary to increase
the response rate. The valid sample included 980 in-service teachers, after excluding seven invalid
responses (see Supplementary Materials). Among the voluntary teacher participants working at
schools in Romania, 11.2% were early stage, 16% were definitive, 15.9% had earned a second-degree
certificate, 51.5% had a first-degree certificate, and 5.3% had earned a Ph.D. degree. A total of 857
(19.6%) taught in an urban environment, and 123 (12.6%) taught in a rural environment. There were
949 female participants involved (96.8%) and 31 (3.2%) male participants, aged between 20 and 68
years. Eight hundred and ten (82.7%) of the participants were employed for an unspecified duration,
and 170 (17.3%) were employed for a fixed duration.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 11 of 28
3.3. Statistical Analysis
Firstly, the analysis of the principal components using Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFA), which
includes the main information of the measured data in such a way as to be able to highlight the
similarities and dierences between them, was performed easily. In brief, the purpose of the principal
components is to extract a small number of linear combinations of the independent components
from a set of measured variables that retain as much information as possible from the original
variables [
116
,
117
]. Standard methods bias, the primary source of measurement error [
118
], was also
considered using Harman’s one-factor approach, which recommended the total variance for one factor
up to 50% for the absence of a common method bias [
119
]. For the descriptive statistics and EFA,
the SPSS software was used.
The reliability (i.e., Cronbach’s alpha (
α
), composite reliability (CR)) and validity of each construct
(i.e., the average variation extraction (AVE), the maximum shared variance (MSV)) and the maximum
reliability (MaxR (H))) was evaluated using SPSS and AMOS software. The test for the reliability,
convergent validity and discriminative validity involves an assessment of the degree of consistency
between several measurements of a variable that is required before the primary processing of
experimental data [
117
]. Convergent validity means that all items have the ability to measure the
same construct. Cronbach’s alpha coecient (
α
) was used to test the internal consistency of the study
performed. If the values of this coecient exceed the value of 0.90, then reliability is excellent; reliability
is high between 0.70 and 0.90; reliability is moderate between 0.5 and 0.7 [
120
]. For each construct,
the composite reliability parameters (CR) and (AVE) were calculated to measure the validity of the
structure. The indices testing the convergent validity are the coecient of convergent validity (CR) and
the coecient of the Average Variance Extracted (AVE), as stated by Lee [
121
]. If both conditions are
met at the same time (CR >0.70 and AVE >0.50), it can be specified that the study has an appropriate
converging validity. Dierent validities mean that, although all items converge to the same size, they
nevertheless measure dierent inputs of the factor [
122
,
123
]. Briefly, we examined to what extent the
measurement model fit the set of observations.
Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used for its ability to assess the direct, indirect,
and mediating relationships between constructs, as estimated in the proposed model [
124
].
The regression coecient, i.e., beta (
β
), a test of path significance (p), and the coecient of determination
(R2) values indicate the predictive ability of the model. R
2
values of 0.20 and higher indicate substantive
influence [
19
]. The model fit indices used to measure the absolute fitness were the following: chi-square
normalized by degrees of freedom (chi-square/df) with a maximum cut-oof 5.0, root mean square
error of approximation (RMSEA) with a suggested value estimate of 0.08, the comparative fit index
(CFI) with a suggested value estimate of 0.90, the Tucker–Lewis index (TLI), with a suggested value
estimate of 0.90 and the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) with a suggested value
estimate of 0.08 [125,126].
4. Results
4.1. Dimensionality Results
The first version of the questionnaire comprised six factors and 36 items. Overall,
the questionnaire’s internal consistency was high (Cronbach alpha
α
=0.858). Therefore, the alpha
values were described as excellent (
α
=0.929) for technostress, for TPK self-ecacy (
α
=0.928) and
intrinsic motivation (
α
=0.917), high (
α
=0.830) for burnout and continuance intention (
α
=0.876),
and moderate (
α
=0.680) for extrinsic motivation. This research was performed using a split-sample
model development and a subsequent model cross-validation strategy [
114
]. The first stage of sampling
(n
1
=462 (47.1%) voluntary participants) was conducted to explore the preliminary assessment of scale
one-dimensionality based on Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFA) [127].
The results from the EFA did not confirm the proposed six-factor scale to test the continuance
intention to use online instruction. Instead, the EFA output indicated five subscales: TPK self-ecacy,
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 12 of 28
extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, burnout, technostress, and teachers’ continuance intention
to use online instruction. The five-factor solution was due to the burnout items mixing with
technostress items.
Consequently, the corresponding factor to burnout and technostress items was labeled burnout and
technostress. The five-factor solution cumulated 65.352% of the total variance. There was no common
bias, according to Harman’s single-factor test [
128
]. After the Promax rotated factor, the first dimension
of the scale, labeled TPK self-ecacy, explains 37.246% of the total variance (and the second dimension
of the scale, labeled burnout and technostress, explains 16.589% of the total variance). The value of the
Cronbach’s alpha coecient corresponding to the entire scale found was 0.923, demonstrating that the
applied survey has very good internal consistency [
129
]. The results of the EFA analyses showed that
the value of KMO was 0.949, and Bartlett’s sphericity test was significant [
130
]. Factor loadings as
results of EFA are presented in Table 1. After EFA, one non-adaptive item was eliminated.
Table 1. Factor loadings as results of Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFA) (n1=462).
TPK a
Self-Ecacy
Burnout and
Technostress
Intrinsic
Motivation
Continuance
Intention
Extrinsic
Motivation
SE3 0.908
SE7 0.888
SE5 0.817
SE1 0.792
SE8 0.777
SE2 0.714
SE9 0.696
SE10 0.691
SE4 0.657
SE6 0.632
PT1 0.820
BN1 0.819
PT4 0.790
PT7 0.776
PT3 0.764
PT5 0.745
BN5 0.743
PT8 0.728
PT2 0.720 **
BN3 0.705
PT6 0.701 **
BN4 0.681
PT9 0.654
WDM3 0.893
WDM8 0.822 **
WDM4 0.781 **
WDM2 0.726
WDM9 0.693 **
WDM5 0.684
WDM7 0.497 *
CI5 0.638
CI4 0.616
CI2 0.546
CI1 0.546
WDM6 0.849
WDM1 0.729
* Eliminated after the EFA; ** Eliminated after the Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA);
a
TPK signify Technological
Pedagogical knowledge.
4.2. Measurement Model Results
The maximum likelihood estimations method for each construct was used to perform Confirmatory
Factor Analysis (CFA) [
131
]. The latent factors of the EFA model were validated by confirmatory factor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 13 of 28
analysis (CFA) [
132
] using the sample corresponding to the second stage (n
2
=518 (52.9%) for voluntary
participants). The fit indices for the measurement model are chi-square
χ2
(df) =2.851, comparative
fit index (CFI) =0.944, Tucker–Lewis index (TLI) =0.933, root mean square error of approximation
(RMSEA) =0.060 and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) =0.064 [
133
]. Additionally,
the CFA model was used as a tool to test the construct validity of the scale. The results of CFA model
with five subscales are presented in Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Results of CFA with five subscales. Coecients mentioned in line with each item are
standardized factor loadings. Correlation coecients between model dimensions are in italics.
All coecients are statistically significant.
The structural validity (convergent and discriminant validity) was confirmed by the results
obtained (Table 2) [
121
]. The convergent validity is confirmed because the CR test result is greater than
0.70 and the AVE test result is greater than 0.50. The discriminant validity is confirmed because each
construct’s AVE is greater than the squared correlation of the construct with any other construct [
127
]
(Table 2). After analyzing the results of the convergent and discriminant validity test, 30 items were
finally selected for the five-factor solution. Five items were eliminated during CFA due to high values
in the standardized residual covariances. Table 2illustrates the validity of the constructs.
Table 2.
Convergent and discriminant validity coecients as results of the analysis of structural validity
of measurement scale (n2=518).
CR aAVE bMSV cMaxR(H) dBurnout and
Technostress
TPK
Self-Ecacy
Intrinsic
Motivation
Continuance
Intention
Extrinsic
Motivation
Burnout and
Technostress 0.927 0.566 0.303 0.940 0.752
TPK
Self-ecacy 0.929 0.568 0.557 0.936 0.352 *** 0.754
Intrinsic
Motivation 0.880 0.710 0.548 0.899 0.551 *** 0.719 *** 0.843
Continuance
Intention 0.918 0.736 0.557 0.921 0.370 *** 0.746 *** 0.740 *** 0.858
Extrinsic
Motivation 0.707 0.555 0.301 0.784 0.549 *** 0.072 0.342 *** 0.170 ** 0.745
Note: Significance coding:
a
Convergent Validity;
b
Average Variance Extracted;
c
Maximum Shared Variance;
dMaximum Reliability ** p<0.01, *** p<0.001.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 14 of 28
4.3. Structural Model Results
To test the adequacy of the proposed structural model, three criteria were used [
134
]—model fit
indices, (2) standardized path estimate significance (p), and the amount of variance (R
2
)—which show
the predictive power of the model [
19
] explained in each of the endogenous dimensions (i.e., burnout
and technostress and continuance intention). SEM is an ideal method since it allows us to test the
mediating eects between endogenous and exogenous dimensions.
The overall goodness of fit of the research model was acceptable according to all fit indices:
chi-square normalized by degrees of freedom (chi-square/df) (
χ2
/4=2.059, p=0.128); RMSEA =0.045;
CFI =0.999; TLI =0.994; SRMR =0.046. Consequently, the hypothesized relationships within the
structural model were suitable for examination. The findings resulting from the structural model
(Figure 4) are presented in Table 3.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8002 14 of 29
4.3. Structural Model Results
To test the adequacy of the proposed structural model, three criteria were used [134]—model fit
indices, (2) standardized path estimate significance (p), and the amount of variance (R2)—which show
the predictive power of the model [19] explained in each of the endogenous dimensions (i.e., burnout
and technostress and continuance intention). SEM is an ideal method since it allows us to test the
mediating effects between endogenous and exogenous dimensions.
The overall goodness of fit of the research model was acceptable according to all fit indices: chi-
square normalized by degrees of freedom (chi-square/df) (χ2/4 = 2.059, p = 0.128); RMSEA = 0.045; CFI
= 0.999; TLI = 0.994; SRMR = 0.046. Consequently, the hypothesized relationships within the structural
model were suitable for examination. The findings resulting from the structural model (Figure 4) are
presented in Table 3.
Figure 4. Model of continuance intention to use online instruction. Only significant hypotheses are
represented.
Table 3. The summary of the causal effects’ hypothesis of the structural model.
Results Predictors Direct Effect Indirect Effect Total Effect Hypothesis
Continuance intention (CI)
(R2 = 0.703 ***)
TPK self-efficacy
0.435 *** H1 c
0.003 ns H10
nc
0.441 ***
Intrinsic motivation
0.488 *** H3 c
0.023 * H11c
0.459 ***
Extrinsic motivation
0.000 ns H5
nc
0.041 * H12
c
0.041 *
Burnout and technostress 0.059 * - 0.059 * H7 c
Burnout and technostress
(BT) (R2 = 0.513 ***)
TPK self-efficacy 0.051 ns - 0.051 ns H2
nc
Intrinsic motivation 0.364 *** - 0.364 *** H4 c
Extrinsic motivation 0.482 *** - 0.482 *** H6 c
Note: Significance coding: ns = not significant, * p < 0.05, *** p < 0.001; nc = not confirmed; c = confirmed.
4.4. Path Analysis Results
Path analysis, using standardized path coefficients, was performed to test the hypothesized
relationships. The results of the path analyses are presented in Table 3. As can be seen in Table 3,
most of the path coefficients of the structural model are significant. Most of the hypotheses are
Figure 4.
Model of continuance intention to use online instruction. Only significant hypotheses
are represented.
Table 3. The summary of the causal eects’ hypothesis of the structural model.
Results Predictors Direct Eect Indirect Eect Total Eect Hypothesis
Continuance
intention (CI)
(R2 =0.703 ***)
TPK
self-ecacy
0.435 *** H1 c
0.003 ns H10 nc
0.441 ***
Intrinsic
motivation
0.488 *** H3 c
0.023 * H11c
0.459 ***
Extrinsic
motivation
0.000 ns H5 nc
0.041 * H12 c
0.041 *
Burnout and technostress 0.059 * - 0.059 * H7 c
Burnout and
technostress (BT)
(R2 =0.513 ***)
TPK self-ecacy 0.051 ns -0.051 ns H2 nc
Intrinsic motivation 0.364 *** - 0.364 *** H4 c
Extrinsic motivation 0.482 *** - 0.482 *** H6 c
Note: Significance coding: ns =not significant, * p<0.05, *** p<0.001; nc =not confirmed; c=confirmed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 15 of 28
4.4. Path Analysis Results
Path analysis, using standardized path coecients, was performed to test the hypothesized
relationships. The results of the path analyses are presented in Table 3. As can be seen in Table 3,
most of the path coecients of the structural model are significant. Most of the hypotheses are
confirmed. However, hypotheses H2, H5, and H10 are not supported. The structural model accounted
for 70% of the variance in teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction and for 51% of the
variance in teachers’ burnout and technostress.
Teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction was found to be positively and
significantly directly influenced by intrinsic motivation (
β
=0.488; p<0.001), which confirms
hypothesis H3, and TPK self-ecacy (
β
=0.435; p<0.001), which confirms hypothesis H1, burnout
and technostress (
β
=0.059; p<0.05), which confirms hypothesis H8, but not directly by extrinsic
motivation (
β
=0.001; p>0.05), which does not confirm hypothesis H5. Moreover, burnout and
technostress were significantly influenced by intrinsic motivation (
β
=
0.364; p<0.001), which
confirms hypothesis H4 and extrinsic motivation (
β
=0.482; p<0.05), which confirms hypothesis H7,
but not by TPK self-ecacy (
β
=
0.051; p>0.05), which does not confirm hypothesis H2. The direct
positive association between intrinsic motivation and TPK self-ecacy was significant (
β
=0.756;
p<0.001
), which confirms hypothesis H8, while the direct negative association between intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation was significant (β=0.332; p<0.001), which confirms hypothesis H9.
Finally, the burnout and technostress construct was found to have a mediating role between
intrinsic motivation and continuance intention (
β
=
0.023; p<0.05), which confirms hypothesis H11,
and between extrinsic motivation and continuance intention (
β
=0.041; p<0.05), which confirms
hypothesis H12, while there were no influences between TPK self-ecacy and continuance intention
(β=0.003; p>0.05), which does not confirm hypothesis H10.
Briefly, nine hypotheses were supported (H1, H3, H4, H6, H7, H8, H9, H11 and H12), while three
were not supported (H2, H5, and H10) in our mixed model based on the Self-Determination Theory
(SDT), Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).
5. Discussions
A thorough investigation of the relationship between teachers’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation,
perceived TPK self-ecacy, as well as teachers’ negative aective responses to technology use and
continuance intention to use online instruction in an unstable work context becomes imperative for
identifying appropriate methods to explain these issues. This research aims to estimate the role of
burnout and technostress as the main dimensions of occupational stress, and their interactions with
other endogenous and exogenous latent variables of the research model in the context of the COVID-19
pandemic, between April and May 2020, using data from a sample of 980 Romanian teachers. The model
used for the research was composed of five first-order factors (i.e., TPK self-ecacy, extrinsic motivation,
intrinsic motivation, occupational stress (i.e., burnout, technostress), and teachers’ continuance intention
to use online instruction). This research expanded upon existing theories (i.e., Self-Determination
Theory (SDT), Job Demands–Resources Model (JD–R), and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)) by
examining the eects of one major stress source that determined in-service teachers to work online.
When teachers perceived themselves as having TPK self-ecacy, they were motivated to work in the
imposed conditions. In addition, the perception of self-ecacy directly supported them in continuing
the activity, leading to pleasure and good results.
5.1. Theoretical Implications
The biggest challenge of instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic [
135
], which “generated the
largest disturbance of education systems in history” [
136
], is to stimulate the interest of teachers to
continue teaching and learning in virtual environments [
137
]. However, little is known about how
dierent facets of teachers’ motivations predict their behavioral changes regarding their continuance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 16 of 28
intention to use e-learning under the influences of negative aective responses such as burnout
and technostress.
Most of the past studies distinguished between consequences of organizational stressors, such as
work overload, job insecurity or role ambiguity [
138
] and daily job demands or daily exhaustion [
139
].
The former, organizational stressors, cause technostress and the latter, daily job demands or exhaustion,
cause burnout as an independent and subsequent outcome of technostress [
140
]. Specifically, the present
research results suggest that in the new global health crisis context, Person–Technology-Enhanced
Learning Misfit is highly related to burnout and technostress, and these jointly shape the occupational
stress factor.
This study explored the structural relationships between three motivational factors
(i.e., TPK-self-ecacy, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) influencing in-service teachers’ negative
aective response to online instruction (i.e., occupational stress consists of technostress and burnout)
and their continuance intention to use it. One of the advantages of the present research is the simplicity
of the cognitive–aective scale because it covers five dimensions with 29 items. The convergent
and discriminant tests were confirmed by the values obtained for the coecients shown in Table 2.
All these results confirm the good psychometric properties of the measurement scale. Moreover, with a
multidimensional measure of situational motivation, the present research extends the possibility to
report on important theoretical issues. In this framework, the research results (RQ11-3; RQ2; RQ3)
show the causal eects hypothesis of the structural model (Table 3), and can be optimally clustered
into three main parts (Parts A, B and C) corresponding to the research questions (Q1, Q2 and Q3).
Considering the fact that emotions can be defined as “multidimensional constructs comprising
aective, psychological, cognitive, expressive, and motivational components” [
141
], the present study
enriches the relevant literature on emotions in the virtual workplace among in-service teachers from
the perspective of the interrelationships and intrarelationships of motivation, occupational stress and
continuance intention to use online instruction in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows.
5.1.1. Part A, Corresponding to Q1: Are There Links between TPK Self-Ecacy, Extrinsic and Intrinsic
Work Motivation, Occupational Stress (i.e., Burnout and Technostress), and Continuance Intention to
Use Online Instruction among In-Service Teachers?
Q1 Response (RQ11): the results indicated direct relationships between motivation and
occupational stress.
Teachers who do not perceive themselves as digitally ecient and well supported from an
institutional point of view experience more intense negative emotions when teaching online and are
less motivated and autonomously involved in their work [38]. However, the present results revealed
that there is a lack of direct influence of TPK self-ecacy on occupational stress developed in the context
of online instruction usage, which is a dierent result from other studies [
32
,
142
144
]. This result may
be explained by the fact that the study was conducted in a short period of approximately two months
in order to highlight the reaction of teachers in an extremely stressful period. Another cause could
be the impossibility of measuring only the TPK-SE eect on occupational stress due to the overlap
between IM and TPK-SE.
The current findings revealed that intrinsic motivation significantly reduced occupational stress,
but extrinsic motivation represented by external regulation amplified it to a greater extent. Extrinsic
motivation occurred due to external reasons [
145
] and performing online-only instruction constituted
a psychological constraint. This result is, to some extent, similar to those obtained by other researchers
who have shown that the school context had a significant direct eect on emotional exhaustion, a burnout
dimension [142], or on technostress [146]. Moreover, regarding the link between motivational factors
and burnout, Fernet and collaborators [
32
] stated that “changes in burnout are predicted by changes
in teachers’ perceptions of school environment and motivational factors” [
32
]. Overall, the results
of the present research are partially new, due to the exceptional health crisis context that has largely
influenced the working environment of in-service teachers.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 17 of 28
Briefly, the research findings revealed that extrinsic motivation significantly amplifies occupational
stress, represented by negative feelings about the use of online teaching (i.e., burnout and technostress),
while intrinsic motivation significantly diminishes them, even if it is with a lower intensity, and the
perception of TPK self-ecacy does not aect occupational stress.
RQ12: the results indicated direct relationships between motivation and continuance intention.
The link between motivation and continuance intention was investigated because the
understanding of factors shaping decision making is important for improving decision making
practices among workers [
147
]. In explaining the role of aectivity, the authors in [
148
] concluded that
“aect plays a more central role in the decision-making process”. In the present study, the intrinsic
motivation was a significant predictor of continuance motivation, suggesting that in-service teachers
adopt online instruction because they find this method interesting, a challenge for their personal
development, pleasant, innovative, creative, and successful. Teachers need to use multiple sources of
knowledge (as the TPK framework suggests), consider multiple contextual factors and find ways to
test the feasibility of the online lesson they have designed [
37
]. Perceived TPK self-ecacy strongly
motivated the intention to continue to use online instruction, and this is in line with other results [
19
,
23
].
Moreover, intrinsic motivation deeply influenced the intention to continue to use online instruction,
and the results were similar to others [
149
]. By contrast, previous findings have described that intrinsic
motivation “does not have significant influence or marginally significant influence on the intention to
use computers in the workplace” [
134
]. Usually, extrinsic motivation (i.e., satisfaction and perceived
usefulness) is linked with continuance intention [
150
]. Contrary to what was expected, external
regulation as a form of extrinsic motivation [
138
] does not directly influence the intention to continue
using online instruction. The case analyzed in this research has a constraint, given the context of
the research, in the form of an extrinsic motivational determinant, a situation that has not been well
investigated thus far. Perhaps this can oer an explanation for our findings.
RQ13: the results indicated direct relationships between occupational stress (i.e., burnout and
technostress) and continuance intention.
During a short period of time, only the strongest emotions are aroused, i.e., the instantaneous
eects of stress, and not those developed over time. The high degree of correlation between burnout and
technostress is probably justified by the fact that the investigation took place in a short period of time,
in which only the exhaustion dimension of the burnout was mainly manifested, with the other burnout
dimensions [
151
] probably appearing later, over time [
143
]. Additionally, occupational stress may cause
people to become less motivated and committed [
152
] because health, wellbeing and productivity may
be disturbed [
153
]. Even if online-only teaching is a process that clearly involves emotional exhaustion,
the present study found only a weak direct influence of burnout and technostress on the intention
to continue to use online instruction. Previous researchers also found that the aective components
of attitude significantly influence users’ continuance intention in a virtual context [
154
]. Briefly,
the empirical results showed the positive and negative roles of three-dimensional motivational factors
on teachers’ intentions to continue to use online instruction, mediated by burnout and technostress.
If it is taken into consideration that the presence of a positive and negative overlapping eect, induced
by all motivation dimensions related to continuance intention, this result can probably be justified.
5.1.2. Part B, Corresponding to Q2: Are There Any Associations between Motivational Dimensions
among In-Service Teachers?
Q2 Response (RQ2): the results relate to the correlation power between the motivational dimensions.
Teachers with better TPK self-ecacy for teaching were more intrinsically motivated in their
daily tasks. In various contexts, TPK self-ecacy appeared to be strongly linked with intrinsic
motivation [
155
]. Other previous studies have reported similar results [
38
,
156
]. On the other hand,
the association between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation was observed by many other researchers [
157
],
but the explanations dier significantly from the context in which the online instruction is carried out.
Frequently, extrinsic motivation is a motivator, but it is of lower quality than intrinsic motivation [
158
].
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 18 of 28
Intrinsic motivation has a stronger eect on continuance intention than extrinsic motivation, which is
similar to other studies [159].
5.1.3. Part C, Corresponding to Q3: Does Occupational Stress (i.e., Burnout and Technostress) Mediate
the Relationship between Motivational Factors and Continuance Intention to Use Online Learning
among In-Service Teachers?
Q3 Response (RQ3): the results relate to the power of occupational stress as a mediating factor
between motivation and continuance intention.
Finally, the results showed that occupational stress mediated both the relationship between intrinsic
and extrinsic motivation and continuance intention, where online instruction usage is mandatory,
but the indirect eects have a reduced intensity. The mediating eects may be the result of negative
aective responses to e-learning involving trust in the self-capabilities of in-service teachers, which,
in turn, increase an individual’s frustration and anxiety [
160
], which are generated by a limited
educational environment imposed by authorities.
5.2. Practical Implications
The increasing popularity of online learning has led to the extensive use of digital resources [
161
]
as additional tools for teaching and learning [
93
]. The intrinsic motivation represented by the desire
to succeed, the pleasure of using this technology and the challenge of finding new and interesting
things is negatively correlated with the extrinsic motivation represented by the obligation to teach
only online due to the COVID-19 pandemic context. Thus, the influence of intrinsic motivation on
continuance intention was slightly diminished by the influence of extrinsic motivation, represented
by external regulations. Therefore, many teachers are afraid to make mistakes in the use of online
resources [
78
] or they do not have enough skills and competencies [
162
] that allow them to rethink
the design of virtual learning spaces [
163
]. In particular, for teachers with less skills related to the
knowledge of new information and communication technologies (ICT) [
38
], problems are intensified by
the pandemic. Consequently, the embracing of online instruction could generate additional workload,
conflicts, and negative aective responses to technology use for teachers [164].
To decrease the negative consequences faced by teachers and generated by occupational stress,
it is necessary to accurately identify the predictive factors that can influence the degree of adoption and
continuity in the use of technology. The proposed model explains 70% of the continuance intention,
which suggests the presence of another 30% of unidentified predictive factors. Based on the research
model, predictions can be made to identify, as well as to maintain, the use of online instruction in the
future. To succeed, it is necessary to pay more attention to burnout and technostress, which play the
roles of latent variables, and which are invisible but of the utmost importance.
The practice of the teaching profession involves continuous professional training. At the time of
this study, extrinsic motivational factors were stronger than normal, and continue to be heightened.
It has already been recognized that each teacher reacts dierently to external sources of stress. Therefore,
studying the profile of teachers’ careers is vital for ensuring well-organized educational provision in
an online environment, even if the work context is unstable. One example to improve teaching quality
is an awareness of the sources that have the greatest impact on the level of technostress (e.g., a lack
of time or a large number of students in the virtual classroom who do not have adequate resources
for online education) and finding creative solutions to reduce them. Thus, an early awareness of the
stress level will lead to better emotional self-control and to the adoption of more eective coping
strategies to prevent the presence of burnout dimensions. In addition, the correct management of
emotions through the awareness of both positive and negative emotions can help teachers achieve
the equilibrium state necessary for eective teaching in unstable contexts. Moreover, an awareness
of the motivational strategies adopted by each in-service teacher can lead to better self-control of
self-motivation. Consequently, the identification of new descriptors associated with the professional
competence standards of teachers in online education, appropriate to their profile (e.g., the development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 19 of 28
and dissemination of their own teaching materials for dierentiated learning in the online environment),
can support teachers in their continuous professional development. For education policymakers,
the identification of key determinants regarding emotions in the workplace will lead to a better
understanding of teachers’ needs in relation to continuous job enhancement.
Moreover, our research results may be helpful in educational politics, in the sense of promoting
reasons for the constraints in the administrative environment, coupled with eective measures to
support in-service teachers working remotely.
6. Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
The results have consequences for teachers’ adaptation to unforeseen educational contexts in
terms of continued training and education. It is vital to identify teachers’ perceptions about aective
and cognitive responses to the use of digital resources and equipment, and about what can be done,
from an educational policy perspective, for teachers’ wellbeing. Therefore, this research provides
insights into how motivation constructs are related to burnout and technostress to enable a better
understanding of online instruction within the COVID-19 context.
However, there are several constraints in this study. Firstly, having measured simultaneous
burnout and technostress, teachers can not realize the dierence between emotional exhaustion and
stress induced by contextual limitations and the multitude of technical tasks that generate stress
related to the technology used. The experimental part of the study was carried out in a relatively
short timeframe (i.e., two months), precisely to capture teachers’ emotions and attitudes in a global
crisis context. If the study had been extended over a longer period, teachers would certainly have
realized the dierence between burnout and technostress and could have fought against the opposing
psychological phenomenon.
Another limitation was correlated with the conception of the motivational factor, with more
descriptors for intrinsic and less for extrinsic motivation. A possible explanation for this limitation
was given by the fact that, during pre-testing, some items of the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory
(e.g., “Usually, I can manage the amount of my work well”) were confused with items belonging to
the TPK self-ecacy factor. In the preliminary stage of research, items were selected based on the
experts’ opinions, who indicated which of these belonged without doubt to the burnout factor. As a
result, the number of items dedicated to the burnout measurement was less than the dedicated TPK
self-ecacy or stress measurements. Therefore, the research results were limited by the possibility of
item selection bias.
The present study was performed using a short-term picture of teachers’ behavior. Consequently,
longitudinal examinations are necessary to establish the validity of the hypothesized model and
to decide if and how the links among dimensions vary over time. In future research, continuance
intention to use online learning in terms of asynchronous and synchronous environments should be
considered. Thus, exposure to dierent teaching models online, via social media, could contribute
to a better understanding of the relationship between IM and CI. One solution in the future will be
to test other research models with control variables, such as digital age or gender, to discover other
interactions and interplays within technology usage.
7. Conclusions
The results of this study highlighted significant links between the five cognitive–aective factors in
an unstable work context. Intrinsic motivation influences, with a strong positive intensity, the intention
to continue online teaching and, with a strong negative intensity, burnout and technostress. Teachers
use digital resources and are concerned with knowledge of their field to successfully fulfil their work
tasks. They perceived the obligation to teach, and not the intrinsic desire to teach, so a large number
of them did not feel psychologically that they were doing this activity because they were able to
do it, but because they were obliged to, thus explaining the negative correlation between the two
motivational factors. In an uncontrolled workplace context, the only thing a teacher can do is to control
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 20 of 28
how they respond to the stress of imposing online teaching. The first step is to know the possible
causes that can generate negative aective responses to technology use. Intrinsic motivation is a
more eective process of stimulation and action support than extrinsic motivation because it involves
more powerful psychological resources that can sustain and direct the activity until its completion.
Nevertheless, in the absence of intrinsic motivation, the continuation of teaching could be achieved
only on the basis of extrinsic motivation (i.e., fear of losing one’s job, the need for a salary that ensures
basic needs, or stigmatization that they have not fulfilled their tasks). In other words, a teacher’s
intrinsic motivation, in association with knowledge related to technology integration, may reduce an
individual’s perception of diculty in relation to online instruction.
As consequences of the present research, new relationships have been demonstrated to foresee
in-service teachers’ continuance intention to use online instruction. The results indicated that the
occupational stress variable was strongly aected in a mixed manner: negatively by intrinsic motivation
and positively by extrinsic motivation. Moreover, a small indirect influence of burnout and technostress
on the link between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and continuance intention was observed.
Teachers who perceive themselves to be eective and who attribute their success to their personal
eorts will find the psychological resources to continue until the completion of an activity. At the
opposite end of the spectrum, if they do not perceive themselves as having self-ecacy, online
instruction may be stopped by them. Therefore, as in many other adaptive emotional processes,
teachers need to become aware of this phenomenon. Any psychological intervention involves
awareness and concerted action, in order to replace the old behavior with a new one. Consequently,
teachers will find adaptation and adjustment mechanisms more easily and will cope more quickly
with psychological phenomena, such as burnout and technostress.
The present findings may be the blended results of two contradictory influences: one positive
and one negative. A deeper investigation of aective causes, coupled with those that can generate
positive and negative attitudes, could contribute to increasing the intention to use digital resources
in remote instruction. Burnout and technostress are influenced by external conditions, but also by
personal coping strategies. Consequently, if coping strategies are formed, problems can be overcome
in any crisis. To achieve this goal, extensive mixed research is needed to identify all the elements
that can significantly contribute to the support for the intention to continue online teaching in an
unfriendly and unusual environment. The results of this study complement the knowledge in the field
by introducing the aective dimension alongside the cognitive dimension in a situation that, until now,
was completely unusual to all of mankind.
Supplementary Materials:
The initial data base is available online at http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/21/8002/
s1, Table S1: Data set for explore the motivation and continuance Intention towards online Instruction among
teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Romania.
Author Contributions:
All authors contributed equally, and the specific roles of these authors are as follows:
conceptualization: I.O.P., G.P., I.L. data curation: I.L., G.P., I.O.P. formal analysis: G.P., R.C., A.S.U., I.L., I.O.P.
investigation: I.O.P., I.L., G.P., R.C., A.S.U. methodology: I.L., G.P., I.O.P., R.C., A.S.U. supervision: I.O.P., G.P., I.L.
validation: I.L., G.P., I.O.P., R.C., A.S.U. writing—original draft: I.L., G.P., I.O.P., R.C., A.S.U. writing—review and
editing: G.P., I.L., R.C., I.O.P. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments:
The authors would like to thank the experts who were involved in the national study design
and who collected the raw data used in the present research.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Statement: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020,17, 8002 21 of 28
Appendix A
Table A1. Initial research tool.
Dimension Item Code Item Sources
TPK
self-ecacy
SE3 I can help my students to use online learning environments eectively
[105,112,113]
SE7
I can use information and communication technologies (ICTs) (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Google
Meet, WebEx, Facebook, etc.), which allow me to communicate and interact remotely
SE5 I can design lessons/courses so that they can be used in virtual learning environments
SE1 I am able to recommend to students’ study materials enriched with open educational
resources
SE8 I can use online tools to assess students’ knowledge
SE2 My digital skills, acquired to date, allow me to use technologies suitable for remote
teaching
SE9 I can use appropriate digital technologies that allow me to express my opinions and
interact with other colleagues or students
SE10 I adapt quickly to students’ requests when teaching remotely
SE4 I can use tools for remote teaching, as well as all my colleagues
SE6 I constructively address the challenge of remote teaching
Technostress
PT1 I feel stressed to adapt myself to technology-enhanced teaching
[83]
PT2 I find it dicult to use technology-enhanced teaching eectively due to my limited time
availability
PT3 I feel stressed by the high technical requirements that are necessary for
technology-enhanced teaching
PT4
I find it dicult, with my current skills, to constantly update the act of teaching improved
through technology
PT5 I am under pressure to change my student guidance habits to meet current
technology-enhanced teaching requirements
PT6 I feel I am right to be concerned about the strategies I have adopted for remote teaching
PT7 I am stressed by the multitude of teaching options improved by technology
PT8 I feel stressed that dierent forms of teaching improved by technology complicate my
teaching activity
PT9 Currently, I don’t feel ready enough to handle complex situations that can occur when I
teach from a distance
Burnout
BN1 I feel exhausted from technology-enhanced teaching
[111]
BN3 There are days when I feel tired before I start teaching from a distance
BN4 It happens more and more often to talk about my online teaching, in a negative way
BN5 After online teaching, I need more time than in the past to relax and feel better
Intrinsic
motivation
WDM2 I teach online because I appreciate this task as interesting
[48]
WDM3 I teach online because online teaching is a real success for me
WDM4 I teach online because it is a positive challenge for my personal development
WDM5 I teach online because I like to do this
WDM7 I teach online because I can easily manage the intellectual eort
WDM8 I teach online because I manage to identify new aspects of online teaching
WDM9 I teach online due to curiosity
Extrinsic
motivation
WDM1 I teach online because I am paid to do this
WDM6 I teach online because the school/university forces me to do this
Continuing to
use online
teaching
CI1 I intend to use online tools for remote teaching in the future
[83,87,105]
CI2 I encourage my students to use online learning environments in the future
CI4 My future involvement in online teaching will be at least as active as today’s
CI5 In the future, I will increase the frequency of use of online teaching tools
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... In Spain, teachers were trained to use online platforms to facilitate learning and responded positively Panisoara et al., 2020). Teachers were required to quickly learn how to apply their pedagogical skills on virtual platforms. ...
... Panday, P. K. (2020). Online classes and lack of interactiveness. Daily Sun. https:// www.daily-sun.com/printversion/details/502935Panisoara, I. O., Lazar, I., Panisoara, G., Chirca, R., & Ursu, A. S. (2020). Motivation and continuance intention towards online instruction among teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediating effect of burnout and technostress.Robertson, M., Duffy, F., Prieto Bravo, C., Newman, E., Ates, H. H., & Sharpe, H. (2021). Exploring changes in body image, eating and exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown: A UK s ...
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This chapter presents pedagogical adaptation in higher learning institutions (HLIs) during the pandemic in Tanzania. The study employed a phenomenological research design under the qualitative research approach. Twenty-four respondents, including university lecturers and students from five selected universities, participated in the study. Data collection used an unstructured interview guide. Data analysis employed content and thematic analysis methods. The findings revealed that universities employed different pedagogical approaches such as online learning, lecturing in small groups, and extending the timetable. Institutions supported pedagogical adaptation by building academic staff capacity to use online platforms and providing necessary facilities. Further, the main challenges were the digital divide among students and limited skills for both students and teachers to manage online learning. Future studies should investigate how programmes that require practical sessions such as engineering, agriculture, and vocational education implemented pedagogical innovations.
... Furthermore, working life has been recently influenced by the COVID-19 crisis, which led to an increase in remote work (Eurofound, 2020;Oksanen et al., 2021), which can pose certain threats to well-being. Past research shows that remote work and associated professional social media use are risk factors for cyberbullying at work (Oksanen et al., 2020), psychological distress , and technostress (Brooks and Califf, 2017;Panisoara et al., 2020). ...
... Remote workers reported higher levels of work engagement, which can be explained by the freedom and flexibility associated with this type of work, as shown in previous studies (Hakanen et al., 2011). However, as expected and based on past research Panisoara et al., 2020), remote workers also reported higher levels of technostress. We did not find any other significant effects of remote work in this study. ...
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This study investigated the impact of cyberbullying victimization at work on well-being and strain in the workplace. This is the first study to use a longitudinal approach to research cyberbullying at work. A nationally representative sample of Finnish workers ( n = 768) took part in a five-wave survey study. Both within-person and between-person effects were analyzed using hybrid regression models showing that experiencing cyberbullying at work leads to psychological distress, technostress, work exhaustion, and decreased work engagement. The effects of remote work and social media use were also explored. These results confirm that cyberbullying at work can have damaging consequences for victims and, consequently, for whole organizations. Thus, it constitutes a significant problem that employers must confront.
... According to Estrada-Muñoz et al. (2021), technostress can refer to an individual's or organization's inability to use technology in a healthy way. Panisoara et al. (2020) defined technostress as "a problem of improper adaptation caused by the failure of people to cope with technology and the changes in requirements related to the use of technology, which generate psychological and physical stress towards the latter." Wang et al. (2020) defined technostress from a psychological perspective, stating that it is a reaction between environment and individuals that could generate positive or negative attitudes toward the new environment. ...
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In this era of rapid technology growth, many countries have begun to adopt emerging technologies into their educational systems to improve learning outcomes. The aim of this study is to explore the factors influencing teachers’ experiences of technostress while using new technology in academic classrooms and how it might be mitigated. Prior research has not focused on how technostress develops among individuals over time or how it can be mitigated in an individual context; the intention of this study is to contribute to the technostress literature in these particular areas. To address the research gap, we conducted a qualitative study that collected data through the use of an open-ended question questionnaire. Seventy teachers of different backgrounds and locations responded to the survey. We used thematic analysis to analyze their responses and reveal how lack of school support and their professional identities influence their levels of technostress. Technology characteristics, including the complexity and the benefits of a given technology, and privacy concerns play a crucial role in teachers’ experiences of technostress. Moreover, we found that colleague support in using new technology and open educational resources each contributed to mitigating teachers’ technostress levels. Our study extends technostress research to examine a new learning environment and context. This focus allowed us to highlight the need to develop open educational resources and better social support structures for teachers and to rethink the professional identities of developing teachers to mitigate their levels of technostress. Suggestions for further research that resulted from this work include using a mixed methods research approach in future studies and including more teachers in future work to determine the relationships among the factors identified by this study.
... The reason is that physical education and sports training may be characterized by distinct features like the inclusion of every student, including those with disabilities, in highquality courses or the chances for students to exercise selfmonitoring physical activities in regular courses (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Blended learning during COVID-19 can, at the same time, pose more challenges to the trainers, who are possibly experiencing a high level of burnout and technostress due to the pandemic (Panisoara et al., 2020). As trainers can be exposed to more workload as well as are more likely to get infected with the coronavirus, it may be possible that blended learning, which involves both face-toface and online instructions, can lead to negative effects on the trainers' overall wellbeing. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many educational institutions worldwide to establish emergency remote teaching systems. Although online teaching has long been applied in many other subjects, online sports training is still under-researched in developing countries like Vietnam. In Vietnam, sports trainers are innovatively making many efforts to teach sports online amidst such a once-in-many-generations event. Particularly, a gym center chain has been offering two special formats of online courses utilizing virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional (3D) technologies, namely, fully online and blended courses. The first format comprises 50% asynchronous sessions using VR and 3D technologies to provide trainees with theoretical knowledge and 50% offline sessions for practical skills training. The second format also includes 50% asynchronous sessions using the same technologies; however, the training for practical skills is conducted via an e-conferencing platform (Zoom). Fortunately, the blended courses have attracted significant attention from many sports trainees. However, as sports trainers in Vietnam had minimal opportunities to teach online before this epidemic, it is likely that, while teaching these courses, they can encounter moments of burnout, which comprises three dimensions, such as exhaustion, cynicism, and low professional efficacy. Thus, we aim to investigate factors that affected each dimension of burnout among sports trainers, using the mixed-method approach with questionnaires and focus-group interviews within this study. This study suggests practical pedagogical implications for sports trainers and administrators to curb stress and burnout in online sports training courses in times of crisis.
... In this sense, Sapta et al. (2021) found that the adequacy of the technology had a positive effect on employees' motivation. On the other hand, Panisoara et al. (2020) point out the importance of the employees' perception of self-efficacy in relation to technological knowledge. It motivated them to continue working in the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 regulations. ...
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With the outbreak of COVID-19 in spring 2020, small, medium, and large companies were forced to cope with the unexpected circumstances. Faced by this health emergency, it was necessary to ensure that staff remained motivated and that they could continue to carry out their duties despite the obstacles. The main goal of this exploratory research was to characterize employees who teleworked and who did not, and their motivation during the lockdown. A total of 11,779 workers from different-sized companies in various sectors answered an ad hoc questionnaire. By using non-parametric comparisons and Classification and Regression Trees (CRTs), the results show differences in both the assessment of strategies put into practice by the companies and the level of motivation of teleworkers and non-teleworkers, with the latter being more highly motivated. Nonetheless, teleworkers assessed their companies’ strategies and the role of their managers and colleagues more positively. This research helps to understand how different sectors have dealt with the crisis, according to the degree of teleworking implemented in each sector, and to what extent the motivation of the employees has been affected. The analysis of the large amount of data obtained confirms the importance of the role of managers in sustaining the motivation of their subordinates in times of crisis. In this sense, it is necessary to develop managers’ competencies in order to develop and maintain relations of trust and support with their coworkers. On the other hand, it is necessary to foster employees’ sense of meaningfulness and responsibility at work in order to keep them motivated.
... Burnout is also known to lead to adverse outcomes in quality of patient care and increased health care costs. 13,14 Despite the significance of burnout as a public health issue, the stress factors and coping methods related to COVID- 19 have not been well investigated in the wake of COVID- 19. 15 To reduce physician burnout, we need to know the stress factors that cause physician burnout and coping methods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, burnout also exists in the non-COVID-19 period, but it is more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
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The COVID‐19 pandemic has affected the mental health of health care workers. This study aimed to investigate the stress factors that cause burnout in Japanese physicians and their coping methods during the COVID‐19 pandemic. We conducted a sequential explanatory mixed‐method study to investigate the psychological responses of physicians in the early stages of the pandemic. A cross‐sectional, web‐based, anonymous survey was conducted among members of the American College of Physicians Japan Chapter to quantitatively investigate the stress factors and prevalence of burnout. An open‐ended questionnaire with questions about stress factors and coping methods was additionally administered. The qualitative data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Among the 1173 physicians surveyed, 214 (18.2%) responded. Among the participants, 107 (50.0%) responded “yes” to the question “I feel or have felt very stressed at work during the COVID‐19 pandemic,” and 68 (31.8%) reported burnout symptoms. Those who reported feeling stress (117 respondents) were asked to select 12 items of the stress factors related to COVID‐19. The most significant stress factor related to COVID‐19 was “Perceived risk of spreading COVID‐19 to family members” (n = 47). Content analysis identified 12 categories for the stress factors and 7 for stress‐coping methods corresponding to COVID‐19 (Cohen's kappa = 0.84 and 0.95, respectively). Several distinct stressors existed during the COVID‐19 pandemic, which might be related to burnout among physicians. Practicing stress‐coping strategies, as identified in the present study, may help reduce work‐related stress and prevent burnout. In the COVID‐19‐related stress factor, a total of 12 categories and 39 subcategories were identified. ‘Material workload’, ‘Workplace relationship’, ‘Organisation’, ‘Achievement’, ‘Emotional workload’, ‘Human resource’, ‘Family’, ‘Infection control and prevention’, ‘Self‐care’, ‘Income’, ‘Infodemic’, and ‘Patient care’.
This study aimed to determine psychological and physical differences in elementary and junior high school teachers during COVID-19. This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 427 teachers in Tokyo, Japan (between 15 and 30 October 2020). The questionnaire explored school type (elementary and middle schools), sex, age, and COVID-19 changes (psychological changes, physical changes, impact on work, and infection control issues perceived to be stressed). Post hoc tests for I cannot concentrate on work at all, found a significant difference for no change–improved and male teacher in elementary school female teacher in junior high school (p = 0.03). Regarding stress situation due to implementation of COVID-19 infection control, there were significant differences for disinfection work by teachers between male teachers in elementary school female teachers in junior high school (p = 0.04) and female teachers in elementary school female teachers in junior high school (p = 0.03). COVID-19 produced differences in psychological and physical changes between male and female teachers in elementary and junior high schools. Some experienced psychological and physical stress, whereas others showed improvement. Given that teachers’ mental health also affects students’ educational quality, it is important to understand and improve teachers’ psychological and physical circumstances and stress.
In this study, a descriptive bibliometric analysis of the scientific production was performed in the Web of Science on burnout and/or stress in teachers in pandemic situations. The aim of the study was to analyse the scientific production on stress and burnout in teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 75 documents from 33 journals with 3947 cited references were considered, with 307 researchers from 35 countries publishing at least one article. The country with the most publications was the USA, followed by China and Spain. The USA was the country with the most collaborations. A total of 184 institutions published documents, and the universities with the most records were Christopher Newport and Columbia, although the American University of Sharjah and Cape Breton University had a higher overall citation coefficient. Of the 33 journals that have published on the subject, Frontiers in Psychology and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health stood out in terms of the number of articles, and they were also listed in this order with regard to their impact factor.
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The rapid evolution of technological advancements in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is enabling ever faster progress. However, the rapid pace of change can also lead to elevated stress for STEM workers. Here, we provide strategies for coping with and limiting technostress amongst researchers and other STEM professionals.
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At the onset of the crisis caused by COVID-19, the Mexican education system chose to join the global context and suspend face-to-face classes for all educational levels. For the continuity of educational processes, a transition from a traditional educational model (face-to-face) to emergency remote teaching (ERT) was made through virtual learning platforms and learning management system (LMS) schemes. Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM), in a collaboration agreement with Microsoft Co., chose to use Teams to continue its educational process. In this work, we intend to identify the factors that can be taken into account regarding the level of student satisfaction in the teaching-learning process in ERT using Teams, and validate the established educational strategy. Statistical analysis was carried out to analyze the academic environment for these scenario changes while considering knowledge assessment, and competencies achievement. A combined sampling method was applied with convenience and statistical analysis. The main results established significant percentages, where more than 60% of the students surveyed were manifested in the use of the teams and the organization of the class sessions by the teachers, and the activities developed. Using the Cronbach's Alpha coefficient, the reliability of the data collection instruments was determined. The correlations of each of the survey questions were calculated to determine the relationship between themselves and the total answers, giving results similar to those obtained through data science tools. Taking advantage of the situation, data science tools were applied to compare the results with obtained values from RapidMiner software in the correlation of factors in of 0.440, 0.384, 0.246, 0.048 and 0.384.
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Job demands-resources (JD-R) theory has emerged as one of the most influential conceptual frameworks for interpreting and explaining factors affecting employees’ wellbeing in the workplace. The present chapter provides a broad overview of JD-R theory, and discusses how the theory can be harnessed to further understand the factors influencing teachers’ wellbeing. The chapter also reviews prior research employing JD-R theory in teaching populations, and explores the job demands (e.g., workload, disciplinary issues, time pressure) and job resources (e.g. perceived autonomy support, opportunities for professional learning, and relationships with colleagues) that influence teacher engagement, burnout, and organisational outcomes. Theoretical extensions of the model, such as the inclusion of personal resources (e.g. adaptability, cognitive and behavioural coping, self-efficacy), are further considered to extend knowledge of how teacher wellbeing can be promoted at both an individual and broader organisational level. Finally, the chapter considers the practical implications of how JD-R theory can guide interventions, comprising whole-school efforts, as well as approaches that support individual teachers to maximise their wellbeing.
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The main aim of the present study was to develop, validate and test an extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) that contributes to the overall understanding of students' intention to use digital tools in a blended learning context of higher education. The external bidimensional factor of familiarity with digital tools, which is not usually explained by the TAM, was included, and evaluated. Following a four-stage scale development technique, a seven-dimensional 25-item survey was developed, which includes two external correlated variables: familiarity with high-tech digital tools and familiarity with traditional digital tools, two mediator variables—computer anxiety, and perceived barriers, and three response variables, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and intention to use. The initial version of the survey was administered on 250 undergraduate students. Next, for another sample of 206 students, latent dimensions of the survey were tested using exploratory factor analysis. The structure of the survey was validated in two other subsequent stages with one sample of 262 responses of undergraduates and one of 310 responses of master's students from two different universities. All students who agreed to participate in research attended blended learning. The validity, reliability and invariance of the instrument were established by psychometric analyses. Collected data indicated that the survey has an adequate multifactorial structure that is reliable and invariant across degree levels. The scale is recommended for use in higher education studies targeting the promotion of blended learning and reduction of negative attitudes of learners toward digital instruments, supporting university professors to select their own efficient way to teach.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has raised significant challenges for the higher education community worldwide. A particular challenge has been the urgent and unexpected request for previously face-to-face university courses to be taught online. Online teaching and learning imply a certain pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), mainly related to designing and organising for better learning experiences and creating distinctive learning environments, with the help of digital technologies. With this article, we provide some expert insights into this online-learning-related PCK, with the goal of helping non-expert university teachers (i.e. those who have little experience with online learning) to navigate in these challenging times. Our findings point at the design of learning activities with certain characteristics, the combination of three types of presence (social, cognitive and facilitatory) and the need for adapting assessment to the new learning requirements. We end with a reflection on how responding to a crisis (as best we can) may precipitate enhanced teaching and learning practices in the postdigital era.
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The accelerating digitalization of society has resulted in a demand to speed-up the implementation of ICT in teaching, and changes in curriculum policies reflect this development. However, the demand to increase the educational use of ICT may also cause stress. The aim of the current study was to explore how demographics are associated with technostress and which factors predict it in Finnish school teachers. The data was collected with the OPEKA online self‑evaluation questionnaire tool. The sample consisted of 2,741 teachers. The results indicated that subject teachers were more “technostressed” than class teachers, female teachers were more stressed than males, and teachers with 16–30 years of working experience were more stressed than teachers with 0–15 years of experience. The key predictors of the technostress were ICT competence, the concordance of the educational use of ICT with the teaching style, school support, and attitudes to the educational use of ICT. High ICT competence, high concordance of ICT with the teaching style, high levels of school support, and positive attitudes to ICT were associated with low levels of technostress. The results are discussed in the light of previous findings, and the practical implications and the need for future studies are explored.
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Teaching often is listed as one of the most stressful professions and being a language teacher triggers its own unique challenges. Response to the Covid-19 pandemic have created a long list of new stressors for teachers to deal with, including problems caused by the emergency conversion to online language teaching. This article examines the stress and coping responses of an international sample of over 600 language teachers who responded to an online survey in April, 2020. The survey measured stressors and 14 coping strategies grouped into two types, approach and avoidant. Substantial levels of stress were reported by teachers. Correlations show that positive psychological outcomes (wellbeing, health, happiness, resilience, and growth during trauma) correlated positively with approach coping and negatively with avoidant coping. Avoidant coping, however, consistently correlated (rs between .42 and .54) only with the negative outcomes (stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, and loneliness). In addition, ANOVA showed that although approach coping was consistently used across stress groups, avoidant coping increased as stress increased suggesting that there may be a cost to using avoidant coping strategies. Stepwise regression analyses using the 14 specific coping strategies showed a complex pattern of coping. Suggestions for avoiding avoidance coping strategies are offered.