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Instructional Technology in Context: Building on Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives of a Professional Learning Community


Despite the transformative possibilities associated with the inclusion of technologies in instruction, relatively little is known about the regular use and perception of these technologies in higher education. Framed by existing challenges and opportunities around instructional technology use nationwide, this research offers a case of one institution’s attempts to set a baseline for technology-enhanced learning. This work is unique in that it is undertaken by a cross-disciplinary professional learning community (PLC) at their home institution. As such, both the case and the PLC process contribute to an understanding of how other institutions may examine campus-wide priorities related to teaching and learning. Findings suggest a degree of uncertainty around the use of technology-enhanced learning, most notable that users do not always understand why to support these tools. Additionally, the case research reports on how the PLC members communicated their work and findings to faculty and administrators.

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Much appreciation is due to Patricia Dillon as an invaluable member of the PLC and to Charlotte Furr for her research assistance.

Data Availability Statement

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.


All authors were employed by the public university at which the research was conducted. Additional funding was provided by said university in the form of a stipend for faculty members and to purchase survey marketing materials and giveaway items.

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All authors participated in group discussions, survey development and the presentation of our findings. Group members contributed to writing and editing this publication.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to W. Ian O’Byrne.

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O’Byrne, W.I., Keeney, K. & Wolfe, J. Instructional Technology in Context: Building on Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives of a Professional Learning Community. TechTrends 65, 485–495 (2021).

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  • Instructional technology
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Professional learning communities