Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Innovations at Elite Research Universities Through the Lens of Diffusion Theory: The Case of Extended Reality Technologies
by Schmedlen, Michael John, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 174; 13905027
Abstract (Summary)

Extended reality’s (XR) status as an emerging and newly accessible set of technologies creates a rare opportunity to study the diffusion of innovations process--as it happens--in the context of higher education. Understanding how and how quickly XR innovations diffuse may directly inform student success, research productivity, and grant competitiveness. More generally, identifying the factors of success and failure of diffusion of innovations may inform how institutions discover, evaluate, and use new technologies. Using Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations theoretical framework, a mixed-methods approach was used to analyze how innovation is viewed across institution types. In addition to a broad survey of institutions, case studies were completed at two elite research universities with known projects in XR. Elite research universities were selected for the study, as these institutions possess the resources to acquire, test, and support new technologies like XR. Findings showed that the key barriers to innovation--decentralization, faculty awareness, availability of funding, and technical support--are being addressed through multiple creative means, including informal convenings, campus centers, external partnerships, and internal grants, which incentivize innovation. Interdisciplinarity was seen as a key ingredient of contemporary innovation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hartley, John M.
Commitee: Eynon, Diane E., Klopfer, Eric
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational administration, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Diffusion of innovations, Extended reality, Mixed reality, Virtual reality
Publication Number: 13905027
ISBN: 9781085692083
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