Faculty Development in Instructional Technology in the Context of Learning Styles and Institutional Barriers

Faculty Development in Instructional Technology in the Context of Learning Styles and Institutional Barriers

Robson Marinho (Andrews University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1655-4.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter describes the within-case analysis of ten faculty members who agreed to share their learning experience and struggles in learning instructional technology. The case focuses on the in-depth description of each participant stressing their unique personal approach and learning styles, describing the main steps experienced and resources utilized by the participants during the learning process. It also highlights one dominant learning characteristic of each participant, which is compared with the participant’s result in the Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire of North Carolina State University, with potential implications for academic administrators in promoting the use of instructional technology by faculty members of diverse profiles. The case also discusses the institutional barriers faced by faculty members while learning how to use instructional technology at a public university in the United States. Three institutional barriers were a major concern for the participants: time, rewards, and cost. One hundred percent of the participants agreed that providing more time—along with financial and academic rewards—is critical to supporting the learning and implementation of instructional technology.
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Case Background

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze information about the personal experiences of faculty members in learning to use instructional technology and to analyze how their learning experience was impacted by one professional development intervention. The main objectives of this study were:

  • 1.

    Analyze the unique journey of individual faculty members in learning instructional technology and how their personal profiles and learning styles impacted their learning approach.

  • 2.

    Learn the story of faculty members describing their struggles, failures, achievements and successes in learning instructional technology.

  • 3.

    Discuss the major difficulties and institutional barriers that prevent faculty from learning and using instructional technology.

  • 4.

    Analyze which aspects of a technology workshop series the participants consider successful in promoting and facilitating learning in instructional technology.

  • 5.

    Address possible suggestions of faculty for policy-makers on ways to overcome institutional barriers and increase the positive impact of professional development programs in technology.

Problem Statement

Many faculty members participate in professional development programs in instructional technology, but they may feel intimidated by the challenge of mastering the use of technological resources, and there is little information about the many factors influencing the way in which they learn about instructional technology. An in-depth look at how faculty approach this learning situation and the ways in which their learning can be successfully facilitated is an area that needs additional research.

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