Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Dan Hursh.


This research focuses on diffusion of an education innovation in a large, traditional University. In March 1999, the Blackboard digital course management system was installed for enterprise-wide availability at Temple University, the 39th largest university in the United States. The web-enabled database of Temple Blackboard logs the adoption date, course ID, and course title for every Blackboard course, unobtrusively, twenty-four hours a day. Temple Blackboard serves as 4 digital approximation of the cumulative recorder pioneered by B. F. Skinner, recording more than 2800 course adoptions across 30 months, in real time. Temple Blackboard course records provide unprecedented quantity and quality of objective measures of innovation diffusion in a large education organization. The whole population of digital cumulative records may be analyzed, making statistical sampling optional. Digital cumulative recording of Temple Blackboard course adoption facilitates comparisons with other Temple course management systems, while reducing pro-innovation bias. Blackboard dates of adoption for Temple University as a whole, per college, per department, and per faculty may be visualized, compared, ranked, and analyzed, answering pressing questions about educational technology diffusion with precision and economy.