Adoption of Software in the Post-Secondary Agricultural Classroom as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Covid-19 required educational institutions to respect social distancing guidelines, forcing faculty to adapt their face-to-face courses into an online format. The diffusion of innovations theory provides the framework for this study, which evaluated faculty adoption of software, with a focus on Learning Management Software (LMS) features, in the post-secondary agricultural classroom before and as a result of Covid-19. Our data indicate large shifts in the percentage of faculty who adopted recording software, video conferencing software, and collaborative software for teaching as a result of Covid-19. With specificity to LMS, more faculty used these features to administer tests or quizzes and post lectures as a result of Covid-19. Further, faculty reported heavier reliance on LMS features, with shifts from lower frequency of use categories to those representing more frequent use. Faculty were forced to adopt software and LMS features to maintain communication and continuity of education in an online environment. This forced adoption likely caused permanent changes in post-secondary agricultural education, as many respondents who did not previously use recording software, video conferencing software, and LMS for teaching reported that, as a result of Covid-19, they intend to incorporate these tools in future courses, even when face-to-face instruction resumes.