Educational technology such as Virtual laboratories (VLs) are being perceived as sustainable solutions to growing concerns related to laboratory skill training i.e. delivering quality laboratory education to a large number of students due to shortage of infrastructure and access especially in developing nations. With these VLs being an innovation for engineering education, the study of its diffusion in higher educational institutions is critical for gauging its impact. This study examines the five variables of Rogers Diffusion of Innovations theory in determining how VLs have changed or modified users through its adoption. The involvement of early adopters participating through a program called Nodal centers and their innovation decision stages are addressed. The study also analyzed the change agents as the nodal centers for diffusing the innovation in teaching and learning processes. Virtual laboratory adoption by users (n=43600) over 30 months was surveyed and factors of diffusion were reported. Similar scoring in assessment factors suggested relative advantage, technology acceptance, intention of use and relevance of trialability were pertinent in users' perception of VLs. Social hubs among higher education institutions promoted early adoption through better engagement of students.
Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, Prof. Prema Nedungadi, Kolil, V. Kani, Dr. Shyam Diwakar, and Raghu Raman, “Innovation Adoption and Diffusion of Virtual Laboratories”, International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (IJOE), vol. 16, no. 9, 2020.