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Exploring factors that influence adoption of e-learning within higher education ARTICLE

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British Journal of Educational Technology Volume 46, Number 6, ISSN 0007-1013 e-ISSN 0007-1013 Publisher: Wiley

Abstract

E-learning is increasingly adopted in the workplace for supporting professional development and continuing education; however, in higher education, the use of e-learning is predominantly used as a tool support teaching. As a relatively new priority for universities, this paper explores what influences its adoption. Challenges identified in the literature include organisational features of universities like faculty autonomy and dispersed academic perspectives. This study, carried out at the University of Warwick, adopted a phenomenological approach and explored participants' perceptions through a series of faculty-based focus groups and individual interviews. Factors identified as influential to adoption of e-learning included the institutional infrastructure, staff attitudes and skills, and perceived student expectations. Participants suggested the importance of an institutional strategy targeted at providing sufficient resources and guidance for effective implementation. This strategy needs to be supported by a varied programme of staff development and opportunities for sharing practice among colleagues. In further developing understanding in this area, it would be beneficial to replicate the study with other stakeholder groups (including the leadership team and students) to develop an institutional strategy responsive at all levels of implementation. It would also be valuable to investigate the extent to which these findings are replicated within other workplaces looking to adopt innovation.

Citation

King, E. & Boyatt, R. (2015). Exploring factors that influence adoption of e-learning within higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(6), 1272-1280. Wiley.

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