E-learning as a Diffusion of Innovation in the Rural Areas of the European Union

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Abstract

Early observations show that the introduction of e-learning to the rural areas of the EU has brought fewer advantages than had initially been expected. The results of the international research – interpreted by the means of the sociological theory of diffusion – indicate that the economic profitability does not have much influence on the pace of disseminating of that innovation; since, the rural inhabitants – both those following the e-learning courses as well as those who have not yet done so – largely feel that that type of education has the variety of advantages including the lowering of its costs. It seems that its social profitability has the crucial influence on the poor dissemination of this new form of teaching and learning. E-learning has not yet found its niche in the value systems or educational experiences of the Europe’s rural populations, since – rather like the other forms of education – it does not automatically improve the capability of coping with the current day-today problems. The better adaptation to the needs of the rural inhabitants through the perception of various types of the deficits hindering the usage of this type of education is intended by the so-called innovative e-learning, implementing new and generally innovative solutions to the pedagogical, technological and organisational fields, which overcome existing limitations through the greater flexibility of the ways of the potential participants’ accessing e-learning proposals as well as the greater adaptation to the individual needs.

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