My Experience Tells the Story: Exploring Technology Adoption from a Qualitative Perspective - A Pilot Study

My Experience Tells the Story: Exploring Technology Adoption from a Qualitative Perspective - A Pilot Study

Terry T. Kidd (Texas A&M University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-782-9.ch015
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

For more than forty years, information technology (IT) has been part of the infrastructure supporting schools and universities. Essential functions such as central planning, budgeting, scheduling, grading, and maintaining student records have drawn on IT resources, beginning with mainframe computers and migrating to other platforms. Now routine business tasks are distributed throughout the workplace. Individual departments and faculty members regularly use tools like word processing, spreadsheets, publishing tools, email, and the Web for their research and administrative needs. Now that technology is widely available on most university campuses (The Campus Computing Project, 2001), the integration of these technologies into higher education for teaching and learning practices have become more important. According to Schrum, Skeele, & Grant (2002, p. 258), professors use software tools, like word processors, but rarely use technology for teaching or require students to use it for assessment purposes. McKenzie (2001) and Parisot (1995) examine the standard practice of higher education institutions in which they buy the new and complex technologies and simply make them available to faculty members without any attempts to build an infrastructure to support faculty adoption practices. If higher education is to survive the onslaught of technology, then they have to devise plans to support the adoption of such innovation (Hagenson & Castle, 2003, p. 2).a
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

For more than forty years, information technology (IT) has been part of the infrastructure supporting schools and universities. Essential functions such as central planning, budgeting, scheduling, grading, and maintaining student records have drawn on IT resources, beginning with mainframe computers and migrating to other platforms. Now routine business tasks are distributed throughout the workplace. Individual departments and faculty members regularly use tools like word processing, spreadsheets, publishing tools, email, and the Web for their research and administrative needs. Now that technology is widely available on most university campuses (The Campus Computing Project, 2001), the integration of these technologies into higher education for teaching and learning practices have become more important. According to Schrum, Skeele, & Grant (2002, p. 258), professors use software tools, like word processors, but rarely use technology for teaching or require students to use it for assessment purposes. McKenzie (2001) and Parisot (1995) examine the standard practice of higher education institutions in which they buy the new and complex technologies and simply make them available to faculty members without any attempts to build an infrastructure to support faculty adoption practices. If higher education is to survive the onslaught of technology, then they have to devise plans to support the adoption of such innovation (Hagenson & Castle, 2003, p. 2).

Although studies have been conducted at K-12 school level and universities alike, few studies have inquired qualitatively into the end users experience during the technology adoption process in a higher education setting or to connect experiences to policy to support and develop faculty in their quest to adopt technological innovation. Just as educators in teacher preparation program have a special challenge in preparing pre-service teachers for the integration of technology into instruction, higher education have an obligation to prepare their faculty for the adoption and integration of technology into their instruction. While technology is used more often for administration and research purposes in the higher education setting, it is used less frequently for instruction (Spotts, 1999; Zhao & Cziko, 2001) due to the fact that the integration of technology into teaching challenges the prevailing dominating traditional mode of practices of faculty members and universities (Anderson, Varhagen, & Campbell, 1998; Pope, Hare, & Howard, 2002). Through research and practice, we as critical researchers must critically analyze, understand, and critique all forms of practice that hinders full participation of faculty in their quest to use information and communication technology. Thus this article is to uncover the associated practices of how faculty use technology in the teaching and learning process. Since, few studies have inquired qualitatively in this phenomenon, the author seeks to explore the issues of technology adoption and its implication toward leadership and training and development based on the personal experiences of faculty involved in the process, while presenting some preliminary findings of a qualitative research project.

As more faculty in higher education begin to adopt technology, universities should begin to streamline faculty and training and development services relating to the adoption of these tools. In order to develop sound policies and procedures in addition to training and faculty development programs, technology professionals and administration must understand the faculty experience and then the factors that affect the technology adoption process and ultimately their implications for faculty quality teaching. Not only will this study inform the literature in the field, this study will assist universities and technology professionals in higher education, in developing policies, procedures, and support networks for faculty in their quest to adopt related technology to provide student with opportunities for quality teaching and active student engagement.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information and Communication Technology: Information and Communication Technology is the term used to describe exciting and innovative ways to provide lifelong learners with global access to information, learning and support.

Leadership: the activity of leading.

Training: In the field of human resource management, training and development is the field concerned with organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings.

Qualitative: Method that systematically examines a phenomenon using an inductive approach & exploration of meaning of phenomenon; purpose is to understand & describe human experience, explore meanings & patterns.

Adoption: take up and practice as one’s own

Autoethnography: Autoethnography is an autobiographical genre of writing that, make[s] the researcher’s own experiences a topic of investigation in [their] own right. Autoethnographers “ask their readers to feel the truth of their stories and to become co-participants, engaging in storyline[s] morally, emotionally, aesthetically, and intellectually.

Organization: A collection of people working together in a planned deliberate social structure to achieve a common goal.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset