Higher Education Sub-cultures and Open Source Adoption

Shahron Williams van Rooij


Successful adoption of new teaching and learning technologies in higher education requires the consensus of two sub-cultures, namely the technologist sub-culture and the academic sub-culture. This paper examines trends in adoption of open source software (OSS) for teaching and learning by comparing the results of a 2009 survey of 285 Chief Academic Officers and Chief Information Officers with the 2006 administration of the same survey. Results indicate that while the key drivers of OSS adoption continue to differ for the academic and technologist sub-cultures, both sub-cultures converge in deeming total cost of ownership as the most important metric for making a go/no go adoption decision.


Evaluation of CAL systems, Distributed learning environments, Distance education and telelearning, Postsecondary education, Interactive learning environments


This study examines two different subcultures in higher education (namely technologist sub-culture and academic sub-culture) and how they affect adoption of open source software (OSS). Using survey from Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) collected in 2006 and 2009, the author observed robust growth in adoption of OSS between 2006-2009. Also, he revealed difference in values attached to OSS between CAOs and CIOs. While CAOs prioritized student support and active learning as primary purpose of OSS adoption, CIOs focused on reducing software license fees. However, both sub-cultures deemed total cost of ownership as primarily criteria for OSS incorporation.

APA Citation

van Rooij, S. W. (2011). Higher education sub-cultures and open source adoption. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1171-1183.

About the Study

Links to Article https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d254/4835ae2a5626bffb71bfd6fa0b7f29811a90.pdf
Mode Technology-enhanced, Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Computers & Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Administration, management, and leadership, including accreditation, financial models, and legal, Course, program, or institutional culture
Level of Analysis Instructor-level
Specific Populations Examined Graduates, Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 2-year institution, 4-year Institution, Associates-granting, Bachelors-granting, Masters-granting, Doctorate-granting, For-profit, Not-for-profit, Private, Public
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Arts and humanities, Formal sciences, Natural sciences, Social sciences, Professions
Outcome Variables of Interest Other
Student Sample Size 200-299
Citing Articles https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=12528203627942179126&as_sdt=400005&sciodt=0,14&hl=en