Implementing an open source learning management system: A critical analysis of change strategies

Philip M. Uys

Abstract


This paper analyses the change and innovation strategies that Charles Sturt University (CSU) used from 2007 to 2009 during the implementation and mainstreaming of an open source learning management system (LMS), Sakai, named locally as CSU Interact. CSU was in January 2008 the first Australian University to implement an open source learning management system institution wide. The unique characteristics of implementing change and innovation in higher education are discussed as well as CSU's change model, which comprises eight dimensions that can occur in any order and also in parallel, and is based on the work of Kotter, Cohen and Synnot. Two key strategies have emerged to support change, namely the building of learning communities and the sharing of best practice in implementing educational technology. Other findings were that the change was largely driven from the bottom up and with top management support and through the writer's role, from middle management in terms of top down strategies. Technological innovations in the context of an open source learning management system have wider, external implications than the local institution given the free flow of information and intellectual property within the community.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1029

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