Adopting Information Technologies for Instructional Environments

Adopting Information Technologies for Instructional Environments

Siva Kumari (University of Houston, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-74-2.ch019


The introduction of new information technologies has created a turbulent environment for change in higher education; this has caused institutions, faculty and administrators to rethink their roles, teaching venues, and delivery options in markedly new ways than those currently available. The promise that accompanies any such remarkable change also brings with it some realities as these ideas are tested, implemented and adopted. Neal (1998), an outspoken critic of the unbridled enthusiasm of technology, advocates investigating experiences of individual faculty members since they are the end-of-the-line implementers of technology in higher education. He says that their opinions about the benefits of technology should be of ultimate value in discovering useful and effective strategies that have the capacity for long-term survival. This case study presents a synthesis of data derived from interviews with six faculty members in an urban public institution of higher learning. These innovators, who have been implementing information technologies in their teaching, provide valuable information about the possibilities and the restrictions, and discuss support structures that are needed to advance the adoption of this innovation on a larger scale. This chapter addresses four core areas of concern relating to the integration of IT in higher education. The first is to understand the factors that led faculty to adopt IT in their teaching. The second is to explore the interplay between particular technologies and teaching practice. The third to ascertain the relationship between teaching architectures and learning outcomes.

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