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Beyond critical mass: a case study investigating the use of WebCT for course delivery by faculty in a campus based UK University

Beyond critical mass: a case study investigating the use of WebCT for course delivery by faculty in a campus based UK University

This case study investigates the use of WebCT for course delivery by faculty in a campus based UK university. Whilst numerous studies have been carried out which explore the use of online learning technology using indicators of critical mass of adoption, minimal research exists which analyses the use of content management systems (CMS) such as WebCT for course delivery by faculty examining both pace and level of use. The research findings highlight that using traditional models of critical mass in isolation is potentially a misleading indicator of the successful diffusion of a complex innovation. This paper presents the findings of case research study drawn from 60 semi-structured interviews with faculty. The paper builds on the diffusion of innovations literature by applying a conceptual model incorporating indicators of both pace and level of use of WebCT by faculty for course delivery to provide a structure to the findings. The analysis provided a more detailed understanding of the acceptance of WebCT, and from this analysis a series of practical recommendations for achieving more widespread and effective use of CMS for course delivery within higher education have been developed.

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