Exploring the diffusion of e-learning : general and enabling guidelines for implementation of computer-aided teaching in developing countries.
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to create guidelines regarding effective diffusion of elearningto and within developing countries. Another aim of the study was to identifychallenges and problems related to the diffusion of e-learning, as well as identifying whatcharacterizes a successful ICT diffusion project. To achieve the purpose of the study acase study was performed in Thailand, where two different schools, i.e. two cases thathad been targeted by ICT diffusion projects were studied. In combination to studying theschools, the donor side of the project were also included in the study. The study wasconducted with a qualitative research approach, and was divided into one inductive andexploratory phase, which generated a theory, and one deductive phase where the theorywas both theoretically and empirically validated. To gather the empirical material, eightsemi-structured interviews were conducted of which six included staffs from the twoschools, and two included donors that were involved in one of the studied ICT diffusionprojects. Yet another semi-structured interview was performed with a person involved inan ICT diffusion project, which helped to perform the empirical validation of thegenerated theory. With the help of the collected empirical material as well as throughexisting theories it was possible to identify numerous of challenges regarding diffusion ofe-learning to and within developing countries. The challenges were primarily connectedto language, culture, governmental, lack of computer knowledge and infrastructural. Totackle the challenges a number of characteristics regarding effective ICT diffusionprojects in developing countries were identified. These characteristics included theimportance of doing a proper investigation about the recipients, follow ups, providedright amount of computers, provided software that had been adapted and providededucation about how computers should be used. Based on the challenges andcharacteristics guidelines for effective diffusion of e-learning to and within developingcountries were designed. The knowledge about challenges and characteristics led to theidentification of two important findings. The first was that the diffusion of e-learning todeveloping countries is highly dependant on the diffusion of ICT to the schools, as anevident problem that existed was that the schools lacked the proper technicalinfrastructure to be able to support computer-aided teaching. The other finding was thatin order for the diffusion process to be effective, it is vital to provide information andeducation about the technology in advance of the implementation. These two findingslead to that the 19 created guidelines were divided into two categories; basic guidelinesfor diffusion of ICT and enabling guidelines for diffusion of e-learning.
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