Details of Thesis

Title The Experience of University Academic Staff In their Use of Information Communications Technology
Author Howell, Gordon William
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2007
Abstract This research explores issues encountered by academic staff in their adoption of technology within the teaching and learning environment. The context of this research is set within a global environment; where technology is seen as both underpinning and enabling the current period of rapid change. Both the literature and University documents purport that the use of technology is instrumental in the delivery of positive economic, educational and social change. The researcher identified a dissonance between administrative policy and practices, and academic practice in relation to the use of technology. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of academic staff in their adoption of technology within the teaching and learning environment. The literature review generated following research questions: 1. Why do academic staff use information communication technology (ICT)? 2. How do academic staff use ICT? 3. What are the barriers to the use of ICT that have been identified by academic staff? 4. How do academic leaders promote the use of ICT in teaching and learning? As the adoption of technology is essentially a social process, the epistemological position of constructivism, using an interpretative perspective, was adopted for this research. The methodology of case study is utilised as it allowed detailed exploration of self-perceptions and lived experiences of the participants in relation to their use of technology within their professional practice. 21 participants were initially selected for this study. From this group of participants Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion was used to select those participants who could provide the most useful insights; resulting in the seven case studies documented in this thesis. Participants within the case studies ranged from those who were highly innovative, to those who were late technology adopters.This research concluded that for the academic mainstream, the deployment and availability of technology had reached a stage where hardware, software, internet connectivity and projection capability were no longer seen as impediments to their use of technology. All participants, ranging from the highly innovative to the late technology adopters, used technology for email, the world wide web (WWW), administrative tasks, and the preparation and presentation of their lectures. While the use of various technologies was universal among the participants, the predominant use of technology was to support the transmission mode of instruction. The research concluded that a constructivist educational approach was not closely linked to early technology adoption, but to the participants’ individual educational beliefs. The educational beliefs of the participants were in conflict with their experience of the University’s practices, which reflected a lack of instructional leadership in relation to the use of technology.
Thesis 01front.pdf  21KB
02chapters1-4.pdf 1,075KB
03chapters5-6.pdf 2,435KB

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