Factors Influencing E-learning Adoption when Teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines at a Science and Technology University in Ethiopia

Melkamu Adeba, Kelly Gatewood


eLearning technology in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) instruction may positively impact the quality of education in preparing a competent 21st-century workforce in developing countries. Adopting eLearning technology in higher education institutions' STEM departments in developing countries is critical in allowing its graduates to compete in the global workforce. Information technology integration into STEM disciplines in higher education in developing countries may have two purposes: course access and technology skill development. Training this labor force with skills to use eLearning integrated into STEM disciplines increases their technical competencies. However, using eLearning to teach STEM disciplines in higher education institutes in developing countries still needs improvement. Understanding the factors influencing eLearning adoption and use is critical to understanding this phenomenon. This case study explored factors influencing eLearning adoption when teaching STEM disciplines. The study occurred at a mid-sized science and technology university in Ethiopia. A qualitative research approach examined how faculty members describe factors influencing eLearning technology adoption and use in the STEM departments on campus: the data collection method combined semi-structured individual interviews, focused group interviews, and document reviews. Seven faculty members and department heads participated in the personal interviews, and three participated in focus group interviews. An inductive method was used to analyze data collected from participants. Five themes emerged from qualitative data analysis: nature of the course, technology, institution, user's attitude, and environment. Challenges related to technology infrastructure, lack of training and technical support, the course nature, and lack of eCurriculum design were significant factors in adopting and using eLearning. The concerted effort of stakeholders, specifically faculty members, institutional leaders, and technical support teams, to adopt and use eLearning in STEM instruction positively impacts the quality of education in preparing a competent 21st-century workforce in developing countries.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijce.v7i2.6865


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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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