An application of diffusion of innovation theory to web-enhanced course delivery

Author: Pam Malcolm

Abstract: Learning management systems, such as Blackboard, are being used in many tertiary business courses. This study applies Rogers’ (1995) diffusion of innovation model to the introduction of an Internet-based learning management system and matches the factors that influence lecturers to make use of the learning management system (LMS) against their level of innovation. The manner in which lecturers make use of the LMS is also investigated. Based on the responses received, it has been determined that lecturers in this study are generally positive about the experience. The primary motivating factor for most lecturers, independent of the amount of time they have used Blackboard and the manner in which they use it, is that they believe it offers a service to students. While acknowledging that the provision of material and moderation of discussion boards is time-consuming, lecturers interviewed were able to balance this against the flexibility that Blackboard provides.