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Engaging students with course content using scheduled and unscheduled emails and text messages

    Issues in Information Systems

    • Eric Kobbe, Georgia College
    • E-Ling Hsiao, Valdosta State University
    • Peter Cardon, University of Southern California
    • Bryan Marshall, Georgia College
    • Craig Callender, Georgia College
    • Nicole Gibson, Valdosta State University
    • Brad Fowler, Georgia College
    • Lars Leader, Valdosta State University
    • Joy Godin, Georgia College
    APA Citation: Kobbe, E. S., Leader, L., Hsiao, E., Cardon P. W., Marshall, B., Callender, C., Gibson, N., Fowler, S. B., & Godin, J. (2020). Engaging Students with Course Content Using Scheduled and Unscheduled Emails and Text Messages. Issues in Information Systems, 21(1), 177-184.


    This study addressed college students’ acceptance of push communication (i.e., email and SMS messaging) as a means of receiving course-related content, and modified the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology by including Scheduled Message as an independent variable. Surveys of 301 students’ perceptions of instructor-sent email and SMS texts directing them to materials in six instructors’ 10 courses were analyzed by PLS-PM for their impact on the students’ intention to use these push communication technologies. In contrast to previous studies on technology acceptance, we evaluated actual usage patterns for both the scheduled and unscheduled push communication. Scheduled emails did not yield higher average duration times or unique visitors than unscheduled ones, yet click-through rates and return visits were higher. Scheduled SMS messages did yield higher average duration times, unique visitors, and click-through rates than unscheduled SMS messages, yet unscheduled SMS messages yielded more return visits. We argue that the differences in the results for email vs. SMS may have been due to email’s slower delivery time. We also consider implications for faculty wishing to facilitate distributed learning among students via push communication.

    Keywords: Push Communications, Scheduled Emails, Text Messages, Course Content