About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3302-3310
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

E-LEARNING ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION WITHIN UNIVERSITIES: MIXING METHODS TO STUDY MULTIPLE (F)ACTORS

K. Goeman

Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (BELGIUM)
Its primary focus being on the educational use of internet technology in universities, the present study wanted to gain insight into the conditions that shape the integration of e-learning and construct a model of bottom-up and top-down determinants that influence the adoption and diffusion of the Internet in higher education.

The interdisciplinary literature review included an inventory and critical analysis of theories and studies of the information society, institutional management and the implementation of new technology. Taking into account multiple factors, we adopted a multi-actor, multilevel approach. The focus of the field study is on the integration of online applications in study programs that were organised by all six universities of the Flemish Community in Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region. The aim of the field study was to verify the nature and influence of individual characteristics and context. This was done by means of multiple analyses, both quantitative and qualitative, incorporating three different perspectives: the teaching-learning environment, the university management and its macro policy framework.

We found e-learning policies could be shaped by higher-order policy bodies like the EU and national government but they failed to put forward more than general educational and/or innovation strategies. University boards, faculties and departments, on the other hand, play key roles in actual educational policy and management, though no formal e-learning plans have been developed at this level either. Nevertheless it has once more become clear that plans and purposes must match both the e-learning expectations and the actual educational practice of students and teachers. The educators’ survey results indicated that there are only three variables that have a statistically significant influence. In order of importance, these are computer and internet attitudes, project experience and competence. All of the included variables used to research students' adoption are statistically significant, but attitudes and competence had the largest impact. The interviews with students and educators revealed some interesting additional factors.

By considering several units of analysis on different levels, by combining methods and techniques, by looking from different theoretical angles and by enlarging the scope of the user study in general, we revealed new information on the determinants for e-learning success. This is valuable to both theory and practice regarding ICT implementation (in education). In addition, our study revealed that patterns of use in both user groups are related. In addition, some valuable critiques about users, context or policy surfaced. It has become clear that individual use is not automatically translated into a broad acceptance within one institution or a whole region with a comparable education system. It seems that context is significant in that it is an inhibitor for those who are not willing, rather than for those who are willing to change their e-learning behaviour. Some ‘areas of tension’ turned out to be of great importance in explaining e-learning adoption and diffusion. These are related to: a) the alignment of strategies between the (supra)national level and the universities, b) the role of information and participation in the processes of policy preparation, determination and implementation, c) conflicts of interests between policy makers and users.
@InProceedings{GOEMAN2012ELE,
author = {Goeman, K.},
title = {E-LEARNING ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION WITHIN UNIVERSITIES: MIXING METHODS TO STUDY MULTIPLE (F)ACTORS},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {3302-3310}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Goeman
TI - E-LEARNING ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION WITHIN UNIVERSITIES: MIXING METHODS TO STUDY MULTIPLE (F)ACTORS
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 3302
EP - 3310
ER -
K. Goeman (2012) E-LEARNING ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION WITHIN UNIVERSITIES: MIXING METHODS TO STUDY MULTIPLE (F)ACTORS, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 3302-3310.
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