Factors Shaping Academics' Use of Technology in Teaching: A Proposed Model

Factors Shaping Academics' Use of Technology in Teaching: A Proposed Model

Geraldine Torrisi-Steele (Griffith University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch060
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Abstract

Whilst academics have generally adopted the use of new technologies in their teaching, literature indicates that only a minority is exploiting technology to provide pedagogically rich learning experiences. This is a significant issue for universities, many of which are making considerable strategic investment into technology-infused teaching, as one way of responding to the pressures of globalization and meeting the needs technology-savvy student cohorts. Providing appropriate support to assist academics to implement effective, technology-infused teaching strategies is thus critical. It is argued that development of appropriate academic support should be informed by an understanding of why academics use technology as they do in their teaching. Towards this end, a model of factors influencing how academics use technology in their teaching is proposed in the chapter. The model arises from a synthesis of relevant literature and the identification of pertinent conceptual frameworks.
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Background

Today’s universities are compelled to change as they face what is possibly the most significant challenge in their history. The source of the challenge, as Siemans and Matheos (2010) so neatly sum up, is that at the same time as universities grapple with emerging technologies and the challenges of delivering education in a form palatable to a technologically savvy student body, the forces of globalization, expansion, and economic uncertainty are bearing down on institutions.

The potential of technology infused teaching approaches to help universities cope with current pressures is widely acknowledged in the literature. Many universities are investing considerable effort and money, to support institution-wide use of efficient, flexible, and quality technology-infused teaching strategies (Bonk, Kim, & Zeng, 2006; Graham & Robison, 2007; Garrison & Kanuka, 2004; Graham, 2006; Vasileiou, 2009). Technology use in teaching contexts clearly offers the advantages of flexibility and efficiency, which help universities, cope with increased student numbers and varied student needs. Furthermore, the use of technology may be a ‘draw-card’ for today’s technology savvy students. Many students coming to university are immersed in new technologies and live in a highly connected social network and there is an expectation that the technologies with which they interact on a daily basis will also be present in their learning environment. Courses meeting these expectations will be more attractive to students (Ross & Gage, 2006). Technology also offers flexibility of access (through remote collaboration) for the increasing numbers of students juggling study, work and family (Uğur, Akkoyunlu, & Kurbanoğlu, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Perceived usefulness: The extent to which an individual believes that undertaking a particular task will result in a positive gain.

Self-Efficacy: The extent to which an individual believes in their own ability to undertake a task and successfully complete it.

Normative Influences: The views expressed by people viewed as important by an individual can affect the actions of the individual.

Perceived ease of use: The amount of effort an individual believes he or she needs to expend to implement something.

Perceived Feasibility: The extent to which an individual believes that they have the required resources (or skills) to successfully undertake the task.

Technology-Infused Teaching: Using technology in teaching for pedagogical reasons (rather than only efficiency and flexibility). Technology infused teaching uses technology rich teaching strategies together with face-to-face teaching to achieve substantial learning objectives.

Constructivist Philosophy: A set of beliefs about teaching and learning in which the learner is viewed as an active participant in their own knowledge building process, and the teacher as a facilitator of that active knowledge building process.

Teaching Approach: Refers to the manner in which different teachers design of instructional strategies in different ways as a result of their individual pedagogical beliefs, preferences and attitudes.

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