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Title: Moving Towards e-Learning Paradigm: Readiness of Higher Education Institutions in Palestine.
Authors: Shraim, Khitam
Keywords: E-learning paradigm, TAM, adopters, bridge the chasm, Palestine.
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: International Journal on E-Learning (IJEL)
Citation: Shraim, K. (2012) Moving Towards e-Learning Paradigm: Readiness of Higher Education Institutions in Palestine. International Journal on E-Learning (IJEL), 11 (4), 441-463.
Series/Report no.: 11;4
Abstract: E-learning paradigm has grown significantly in the tertiary education sector in Palestine. For Palestinian education, e-learning has become a necessity rather than a luxury to mitigate the negative effects of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the access to quality education. Substantial investment has been made in developing the e-learning approach since 2002. However, the use of e-learning by higher education instructors is still underutilized and considerable efforts should be made to enable them to take full advantage of the potential of e-learning. Thus, the purpose of the research reported in this paper is to investigate the factors that affect the attitude of higher education instructors towards the adoption of e-learning through a proposed Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) with multidimensional; socio-technical and organizational factors. Triangulation data were collected through semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire. Different teaching staff at Birzeit University from a cross section of different academic programs was asked to identify patterns and variations in their experiences, perspectives, and interpretations about the adoption of e-learning. The study findings show that instructors have positive attitudes to embark on e-learning initiatives. This research further demonstrates that individual characteristics and technological factors have a significant influence on instructors to adopt e-learning. However, organizational factors were found to be the most significant determinant for adopting e-learning. Political will and the capacity of the university to respond quickly and appropriately to the transition change is crucial to facilitate wider adoption. In practice, this requires decision makers to take an active interest in and provide visible support for the e-learning approach in order to ‘bridge the chasm’ between early adopters and the early majority and promote the rate of diffusion of the e-learning approach.
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