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Examining the effect of technology enhanced learning (TEL) support models and organisational culture on the adoption of TEL in United Kingdom (UK) higher education

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Julie Voce
Publication date2019
Number of pages276
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using a three-stage explanatory sequential design approach, this thesis examined the effectiveness of support for technology enhanced learning (TEL) within United Kingdom (UK) higher education (HE) institutions and the role of organisational culture on successful adoption of TEL. The research is framed within the perspective of institutional heads of TEL. Data were collected via a survey of 33 institutional representatives from the Heads of e-Learning Forum, followed up by in-depth interviews with five heads of TEL. The initial findings were discussed and verified via an open TweetChat with 24 participants in TEL support roles, including heads of TEL, and through a directed content analysis of the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) TEL Case Studies.

The findings identified a predominant TEL support model within UK HE as having a primary TEL team based in a central department, often working in conjunction with other central teams supporting TEL and alongside some local TEL support, typically unconnected from the primary TEL team. TEL support initially evolved organically within institutions; more recently there has been a shift towards planned re-organisation of TEL support. The research identified three key factors relevant to successful adoption of TEL: 1. size and location of TEL support teams; 2. how institutions identify and support local needs, and 3. governance structures for TEL. The findings also discussed the role of organisational culture on the successful adoption of TEL and identified two key factors relating to discipline specific needs and the role of influential people.

One output of this thesis is the development of a draft Framework for Action, which is a set of self-reflexive, evaluative questions based on the factors identified in the research to enable heads of TEL or senior managers to reflect on their TEL support model and identify areas for change.