Supporting Technology Integration in Higher Education: The Role of Professional Development

Supporting Technology Integration in Higher Education: The Role of Professional Development

Drew Polly (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Michael M. Grant (University of Memphis, USA) and Joanne Gikas (University of Memphis, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-147-8.ch005
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As access to technology becomes prevalent in institutions of higher education, it is critical to find effective ways to support university faculty in the process of integrating technology into their classroom. This chapter surveys the literature on professional development, identifying successful characteristics in higher education. Next, the authors describe two cases in which university faculty have supported their colleagues’ attempt to integrate technology into university courses. Finally, promises and challenges of various professional development efforts are also shared.
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Technology's Role in Higher Education

As we continue in the 21st Century, access to educational technologies in institutions of higher education is at an all-time high (Bates & Poole, 2003). From previous studies, it is evident that university-level students prefer learning in ways that are supported through technology (e.g., Abrami et al., 2008; Lowerison, Sclater, Schmid, & Abrami, 2006; Milliken & Barnes, 2002). While technology use in university-level courses is appealing to students, technology most effectively supports learning when it is used in ways that support learners' higher-level thinking (e.g., Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Mims, Polly, & Grant, 2009; Schacter, 1999). Our views of technology integration speak to these instances in which technology is used during instruction to support higher-order thinking processes, such as creating artifacts of knowledge, justifying ideas, and evaluating information.

As institutions of higher education increase access and support the use of educational technologies, there is a need to examine how to best support faculty's integration of technology into their courses. In this chapter we discuss findings and issues related to supporting faculty's integration of technology in university-level courses. We share data from two cases: a university-wide faculty professional development project and a professional development center designed to focus on supporting faculty's integration of technology. Lastly, we provide implications related to faculty professional development.

Professional Development in Higher Education

Faculty development in higher education has been considered through a number of lenses. Caffarella and Zinn (1999) characterize a continuum of professional development over the career of a faculty member. They propose (a) self-directed learning experiences, where “we plan, implement, and evaluate” (p. 243) our learning experiences, (b) formal professional development programs, such as those offered through professional organizations and on-campus teaching centers, and (c) organizational development programs, which are systematic implementations of professional development, usually administratively driven, to impact institutional (i.e., department, college/unit, school, or university) changes.

In contrast, Diaz et al. (2009) consider professional development for faculty based on where and how it occurs. For example, they suggest that faculty professional development is bifurcated: a centralized service and a distributed service. As a centralized service, professional development is driven by an institution-wide unit specific for teaching or faculty development. In the distributed model, services for professional development are organized and offered primarily at the department or college level. In fact, Diaz et al. suggest that as the size of the institution and the geographic distribution of institution increase, the likelihood that professional development will become distributed also increases.

The Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework has advanced the idea that the effective integration of technology is associated with deep knowledge and skills related to technology (e.g., hardware and software programs), pedagogy, content and the intersections of the three components of knowledge (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Neiss, 2005). For example, a faculty member in engineering would have to know the content they will teach, pedagogies that best support students' learning of the content, and technologies that most effectively support both the pedagogies and the content. Professional development to support technology integration, through the lens of TPACK, should be connected to both content and pedagogy, and allow faculty to deepen their own knowledge of technology, pedagogy, content, and the intersections of each (Polly & Brantley-Dias, 2009).

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Johannes Cronjé
Daniel W. Surry, James R. Stefurak, Robert M. Gray Jr.
Daniel W. Surry, James R. Stefurak, Robert M. Gray Jr.
Chapter 1
Daniel W. Surry, James R. Stefurak, Eugene G. Kowch
Leading technology integration in higher education requires an inquisitive, reflective approach. This chapter discusses key questions that... Sample PDF
Technology in Higher Education: Asking the Right Questions
Chapter 2
Maggie McPherson, Jill Jameson
Universities currently face urgent demands to facilitate both lifelong learning and widening participation in an era of increasing global... Sample PDF
Strategic Planning for the Integrated Use of Organizational ICT Processes and e-Learning in Higher Education
Chapter 3
David C. Ensminger, Joél Lewis
Technology has played a significant role in changing the face of higher education. In order to successfully use technology, institutions of higher... Sample PDF
Technology in Higher Education: Understanding Student Issues
Chapter 4
Lloyd P. Rieber, Gregory M. Francom, Lucas John Jensen
An ever increasing number of college instructors are finding themselves asked or required to teach online. While some embrace this opportunity... Sample PDF
Feeling Like a First Year Teacher: Toward Becoming a Successful Online Instructor
Chapter 5
Drew Polly, Michael M. Grant, Joanne Gikas
As access to technology becomes prevalent in institutions of higher education, it is critical to find effective ways to support university faculty... Sample PDF
Supporting Technology Integration in Higher Education: The Role of Professional Development
Chapter 6
Charles L. Guest, Joyce M. Guest
In recent years, explosive growth in the use of technology in higher education has resulted in numerous changes to institutional policy and... Sample PDF
Legal Issues in the Use of Technology in Higher Education: Copyright and Privacy in the Academy
Chapter 7
Stephen R. Rodriguez
This chapter considers concepts, planning models, and related processes associated with infrastructure growth at institutions of higher learning.... Sample PDF
Growing a University’s Technological Infrastructure: Strategies for Success
Chapter 8
Russ Lea
In the past three decades, economic competitiveness has morphed from an international concern (e.g. outcompete Japan) to a regional concern (e.g.... Sample PDF
Technology Transfer: Are Faculty Entrepreneurs Still Swimming Upstream?
Chapter 9
James R. Stefurak, Daniel W. Surry, Richard L. Hayes
As communication technology is increasingly applied to the training and supervision of mental health professionals, a more robust analysis of how... Sample PDF
Technology in the Supervision of Mental Health Professionals: Ethical, Interpersonal, and Epistemological Implications
Chapter 10
Thomas C. Reeves, Patricia M. Reeves
Clinical education is a major component of higher education programs for healthcare professionals in fields such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy... Sample PDF
Enhancing Clinical Education for Healthcare Professionals through Innovative Pedagogy, Advanced Technologies, and Design Research
Chapter 11
Keith B. Hopper, Carol L. Johns
The enormous U.S. medical industry is a rich laboratory and think tank for technology integration. Higher education in the medical industry is... Sample PDF
Educational Technology in the Medical Industry
Chapter 12
Raymond S. Pastore, Susan M. Land, Eun Ju Jung
This chapter examines research on mobile learning, its impact in higher education, and the technologies being used as mobile learning devices.... Sample PDF
Mobile Computing in Higher Education
Chapter 13
Nada Dabbagh, Rick Reo
The chapter addresses the impact of Web 2.0 on higher education institutions. Using Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovations, the authors ask... Sample PDF
Impact of Web 2.0 on Higher Education
Chapter 14
Susan B. Asselin
Assistive technology makes a task possible for an individual with a disability, while technology makes a task easier for a non-disabled person.... Sample PDF
Assistive Technology in Higher Education
Chapter 15
Thomas D. Parsons
Virtual Standardized Patients (VSPs) are advanced conversational virtual human agents that have been applied to training of clinicians. These... Sample PDF
Affect-sensitive Virtual Standardized Patient Interface System
Chapter 16
James P. Van Haneghan
This chapter explores the impact of technology on assessment and evaluation in higher education. The impacts on classroom, program, and... Sample PDF
The Impact of Technology on Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Chapter 17
Melissa J. Haab, Sharon F. Cramer
Since most higher education institutions have, or will, implement enterprise resource planning systems (Cramer, 2005), it is important to understand... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in Higher Education
Chapter 18
Robert Gray, James Dwight
This chapter explores how Barthes’s concept of writerly/readerly texts can be applied to enrich our understanding of interaction in online courses.... Sample PDF
Toward a New Standard of Quality in Online Learning: Critical Interaction and the Death of the Online Instructor
Chapter 19
Donovan Plumb
Following the lead of geographer, David Harvey (2008), this chapter argues that many contemporary trends in the use of technology in higher... Sample PDF
The Right to Technology in Education
Chapter 20
Marshall G. Jones, Stephen W. Harmon
This chapter addresses the future of online learning and online learning technologies in higher education. Our understanding of the use of future... Sample PDF
The Future of Online Learning in Higher Education
Chapter 21
Robyn Smyth, Deborah Vale, Trish Andrews, Richard Caladine
In a two year project called the Leading Rich Media project, the implementation of rich media technologies in Australian universities was... Sample PDF
Viability, Sustainability, Scalability and Pedagogy: Investigating the Spread of Real-time, Rich Media Technologies in Australian Universities
Chapter 22
John Nworie
The impact of digital technology and the resulting change has impacted society and every aspect of life, including higher education. Technology has... Sample PDF
Adoption of Technologies in Higher Education: Trends and Issues
Chapter 23
Karen Rasmussen, Gayle V. Davidson-Shivers, Wilhelmina C. Savenye
Higher education in the 21st century faces a multitude of internal and external challenges. From budget reductions, to globalization, to a new... Sample PDF
The Near Future of Technology in Higher Education
About the Contributors