Adopting web-based learning and teaching: a case study in higher education
Samarawickrema, Gayani and Stacey, Elizabeth 2007, Adopting web-based learning and teaching: a case study in higher education, Distance education, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 313-333, doi: 10.1080/01587910701611344.
Most universities worldwide are becoming distance education providers through adopting web-based learning and teaching via the introduction of learning management systems that enable them to open their courses to both on- and off-campus students. Whether this is an effective introduction depends on factors that enable and impede the adoption of such systems and their related pedagogical strategies. This study examines such factors related to adopting a learning management system in a large multicampus urban Australian university. The research method used case study approaches and purposively selected the sample consisting of innovative teaching academics from across the university, who used web-based approaches to teach both on- and off-campus learners. The data were analyzed using a combination of Rogers' theory of diffusion of innovations and actor-network theory and revealed a series of enabling and impeding factors faced by pioneering technology-adopter teaching academics, some of which are technology related while others are policy related and common to large multicampus institutions. The study found that safe adoption environments recognizing career priorities of academics are a result of the continuous negotiation between the evolving institution and its innovative and creative staff. The article concludes with a series of conditions that would form a safe, enabling, and encouraging environment for technology-adopter teaching academics in a large multicampus higher education setting.
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