According to the 1999 ASTD State of the Industry Report, the use of multimedia distance learning (MDL) technology for training delivery has increased substantially over the past few years. However, few empirical studies have been conducted that rigorously examine the factors that determine the effectiveness of MDL courses. In this study, we examine participants’ technology self-efficacy and attitudes toward technology (measured before/after training), and perceptions of technology reliability, effective use, and distance (measured after training) as antecedents to ratings of training effectiveness (general effectiveness, specific effectiveness, learning effectiveness; measured after training) in an international HRM course. In a sample of 52 participants from four countries we hypothesize that technology self-efficacy will affect participants’ attitudes toward technology; attitudes toward technology will affect participants’ perceptions of training effectiveness. In addition, we hypothesize that technology reliability and effective use will affect participants’ perceptions of classroom distance; distance perceptions will affect participants’ perceptions of training effectiveness. Finally, we hypothesize that both technology attitudes and distance perceptions will be related to participants’ perceptions of training effectiveness controlling for technology self-efficacy, reliability, and effective use.
The results indicate that attitudes toward technology completely/partially mediated the relationship between technology self-efficacy and the three measures of effectiveness. Distance perceptions completely/partially mediated the relationship between technology reliability and effectiveness. Effective technology use was not significantly related to effectiveness. Finally, attitudes toward technology and distance perceptions explained a significant or marginally significant amount of variance in the effectiveness measures after controlling for technology self-efficacy, reliability, and effective use.