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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

John O’Donoghue, Gurmak Singh and Darren Handy

This paper is based on a review of current literature and addresses issues relating to communication and information technology (C&IT) provision in UK higher educational…

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Abstract

This paper is based on a review of current literature and addresses issues relating to communication and information technology (C&IT) provision in UK higher educational institutions from a number of perspectives. Suggests that potentially technology can improve the learning environment, but may not yet be the best medium for all situations.

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On the Horizon, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Gurmak Singh and Glenn Hardaker

The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the antecedents that enable or constrain the adoption and diffusion of eLearning in higher education (HE). The key…

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3971

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the antecedents that enable or constrain the adoption and diffusion of eLearning in higher education (HE). The key focus of the study is on the examination of how the organisation's diffusion structures, systems or processes influence the individual adoption of eLearning. The findings from this literature review contribute to practice through providing a better understanding of the issues associated with institutional diffusion mechanisms that aid the adoption of learning technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive search of the literature was conducted. The selected references were analysed into a number of categories; macro-level studies examining HE context of eLearning, micro-level studies focusing on individual and social factors and articles focusing on management issues of adoption and diffusion of technological innovations. Finally, over 300 articles were used to compile the findings of this paper.

Findings

The paper argues that future research studies should not model the adoption and diffusion of eLearning based primarily on either an individualist (Micro) or structuralist (Macro) perspective, but by using a more interactive approach to examine the complexity and multiple levels and dimensions of social reality.

Research limitations/implications

A significant exclusion and one which clearly calls for further research, is the aspect of institutional structures such as library systems, virtual learning environments, administrative support systems and other technical systems such as enrolment, registration, assessment and students, with respect to the adoption of eLearning. Future studies may want to explore the interplay between these structures and agency.

Practical implications

The study findings contribute to practice through providing a better understanding of the issues associated with institutional diffusion mechanisms that aid the adoption of learning technologies. Considering the slow and often disappointing adoption of eLearning within higher education institutions (HEIs), the study reveals the nature of adoption that may inform the development of institutional eLearning diffusion structures.

Social implications

The paper identifies that the importance of individual factors influencing the adoption of eLearning has been acknowledged by the above studies, and the underlying message has emerged that levels of eLearning adoption would be higher if strategic managers recognised the social dimensions of eLearning innovation and diffusion, such as: academic and professional goals, interests and needs; technology interests; patterns of work; sources of support; and social networks. The argument is that currently eLearning is geared towards technically “literate” and innovative staff, and this strategy reduces the likelihood of mainstream faculty actually adopting instructional technology for their own teaching.

Originality/value

A review of the eLearning literature shows that there only a few substantive theoretical accounts which adequately integrate multiple levels of analysis and explain adoption and diffusion of eLearning in terms of the interplay between structural influences and individual action. The paper argues for future research to be integrated in a general analytical framework.

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Education + Training, vol. 56 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Glenn Hardaker and Gurmak Singh

This exploratory study seeks to identifythe factors that influence the adoption and diffusion of instructional technology at five prominent universities in the UK. The…

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1994

Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study seeks to identifythe factors that influence the adoption and diffusion of instructional technology at five prominent universities in the UK. The study aims to examine the organisational factors that enable and inhibit organisational adoption and diffusion of innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative exploratory case approach has been adopted to address the research question. In total, 36 semi‐structured interviews were conducted at five universities in the UK. The five diverse approaches to adoption and diffusion of instructional technology were examined; top‐down, integrated top‐down, bottom‐up, research‐driven and project‐driven approach.

Findings

For this research eLearning is conceptualised as innovation situated in the interplay between structure and individual and how this leads to adoption and diffusion. The paper argues that senior management need to acknowledge the need to bridge the gap between “local context” and top‐down strategic change. The findings suggest that there are tensions between “signification of meaning”, “power and dominance” and cultural norms in adoption and diffusion of eLearning.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the research are significant in understanding the diversity of approaches to the adoption and diffusion of elearning. This provides insight for other universities in successfully managing the application of e‐learning.

Originality/value

Giddens's structuration theory provided a sensitising framework for understanding the dialectical nature of adoption of eLearning within five universities in the UK. The tensions between institutional structures, such as strategies, training, access to technology, technical support and time resources, and levels of adoption can be captured by dialectic of control in Giddens's Theory of Structuration.

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Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2014

Graham Cole

– This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

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431

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The United Kingdom is rightly proud of its higher education (HE) system. Highly qualified professionals deliver learning programs which aim to transform today’s students into tomorrow’s key personnel within different sectors and industries. Given the obvious talent at their disposal, you would be forgiven for assuming that HE institutions would embrace innovative ways of improving their performance. Not necessarily it would seem. Resistance to change is evident, and new ideas are often met with a lukewarm response. How some establishments react to technology is a perfect example.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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