Title: Communication is key: the role of communication in the diffusion of a learning management system into a higher education environment

Authors: Dennis Beck; Erik W. Black

Addresses: Educational Technology, University of Arkansas, 102 Peabody Hall, USA. ' College of Medicine, University of Florida, 1701 SW 16th Ave., Building A, #2113, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA

Abstract: This paper uses Rogers' diffusion of innovations framework to discuss a communications strategy by which agents of change can educate their peers and decision makers regarding a chosen technology. The strategy examines the role of communications in the knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation stages of the innovation-decision process. Problems include overstating communication, negative evaluations, and ignoring your audience in your communication with stakeholders. The recommended practices are embracing supportive communication through dedicated employees, a transparent organisational and policy structure, and the increase of resources to the project. It then concludes by proposing a strategy for successful communication during the diffusion process.

Keywords: learning management systems; LMS; innovation diffusion; higher education; distance learning; communication; innovation-decision process; diffusion process; learning technology; diffusion of innovations; communications; resource allocation; employee dedication; organisational transparency; policy structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2012.046863

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2012 Vol.7 No.1, pp.4 - 22

Published online: 13 May 2012 *

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