A derivation of factors influencing the diffusion and adoption of an open source learning platform

Chi Yo Huang, Hui Ya Wang*, Chia Lee Yang, Steven J.H. Shiau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


During the past two decades, open source learning platforms (OSLPs) have become a dominant part of modern education. OSLPs are free for usage and customization-unlike proprietary software restricted by copyright licenses. By utilizing OSLPs, users can download and use the source code, write new features, fix bugs, improve performances, or learn from others how specific problems can be solved. Albeit dominant, the frequency of usage and motivation of OSLPs by students is not high; however, there has been very little research about this, and the problem is significant. Therefore, this research aimed to derive the factors that affect the adoption and diffusion of OSLPs. The factors on the diffusion and adoption were defined based on the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) and the technology acceptance model (TAM), where the integrated theoretical framework is called the IDT-TAM. Partial Least Square structural equation modeling was used to confirm the hypothesized IDT-TAM. An empirical study was based on the sample data collected from 340 Taiwanese technical university students to demonstrate the feasibility of the analytical framework and derive the factors related to the adoption and diffusion of the OSLP for students. Based on the results of the empirical study, through the mediation of perceived attitude (PA) and perceived usefulness (PU), trialability (TL), observability (OS), ease of use (EU), and relative advantage (RA) are the factors most related to the diffusion and acceptance of the OSLP innovations. The analytical results can serve as the basis for the design, development, and enhancement of acceptance and diffusion of OSLP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7532
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept


  • Innovation diffusion theory (IDT)
  • Open source learning platform (OSLP)
  • Partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM)
  • Technology acceptance model (TAM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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