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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4863

Title: A case study investigation into the diffusion of e-mediated learning technology in UK higher education
Authors: Grewal, Simran Kaur
Advisors: Harris, L
Lewis, P
Keywords: Technological diffusion
Technological adoption
Conflicting priorities
Publication Date: 2006
Publisher: Brunel University Brunel Business School PhD Theses
Abstract: 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.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University, 20/01/2006.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4863
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