E-learning adoption in universities: the ‘gazebo’ effect of the social system on diffusion.
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- Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
The implementation of e-learning in universities is often explored through the conceptual framework of the innovation diffusion model (Rogers 2003). Analysis using the five adopter categories or the characteristics of the innovation is common, but a less frequently explored element is the influence on diffusion of the social system within which the individual adopters are situated. The paper considers the potential of this element of Rogers’ model to explain the diffusion of e-learning within the social system of a university and demonstrates that the nature of universities, traditionally considered to be highly decentralized organizations composed of many ‘ivory gazebos’ rather than a single ‘ivory tower’, may expose some challenges to the usefulness of the model. Factors considered include the ambiguity of management positions and the nature of communication in devolved departments.
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