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Title: A case study investigation into the diffusion of e-mediated learning technology in UK higher education
Author: Grewal, Simran Kaur
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis addresses the following research paradox: Despite continual investment in e-mediated learning technology by higher education institutions, why has technological diffusion within UK universities been a slow process? It will be argued that the level of investment in e-mediated learning technology by UK universities and the impact of this technology across higher education as a whole, makes this subject area an appropriate setting in which to study this phenomenon. An interpretivist case study investigation of the adaptation process of e-mediated learning technology by academic staff is analysed through the development of a grounded theory approach. The investigation will show that the majority of academic staff in the School of Management at the Case Study University are adopting e-mediated learning technology at a basic level. Various factors can combine to influence technological adoption. These include conflicting priorities for academic staff, IT skills levels and the potential for the technology to transform the social relation between the academic member of staff and student leading towards a heightened culture of expectation. In addition, the study will show that e-mediated learning technology has the ability to place the expertise of the academic member of staff in a vulnerable position. Together these factors can combine to affect the successful diffusion of e-mediated learning technologies in UK universities. At a more critical level, the research identifies that using models of critical mass in isolation to indicate the take-up of multi-functional e-mediated learning technologies are misleading. As such, models that incorporate the levels and stages, as well as the pace of adoption provide a more detailed perspective of the successful diffusion of e-mediated learning technology.
Supervisor: Harris, L. ; Lewis, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Technological diffusion ; Technological adoption ; Conflicting priorities