Higher Education and FOSS for e-Learning

TitleHigher Education and FOSS for e-Learning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsWilliams van Rooij, S
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleInternational Journal of Open Source Software and Processes
Pagination15 - 31
ISSN Number1942-3934

This paper examines the paradox of FOSS adoption in U.S. institutions of higher education, where campus-wide deployment of FOSS for e-learning lags far behind adoption for technical infrastructure applications. Drawing on the fields of organizational management, information systems, and education, the author argues that the gap between FOSS advocacy and the enterprise-wide deployment of FOSS for e-learning is a consequence of the divergent perspectives of two organizational sub-cultures—the technologist and the academic—and the extent to which those sub-cultures are likely to embrace FOSS. The author recommends (a) collaborative needs analysis/assessment prior to a go/no go adoption decision, and (b) broad dissemination of total cost of ownership (TCO) data by institutions deploying FOSS for e-learning enterprise-wide. This discussion satisfies e-learning administrators and practitioners seeking research-based, cross-disciplinary evidence about the FOSS decision-making process and also assists educators seeking to expand student knowledge of e-learning technology options.

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