Obstacles and supports related to the use of educational technologies: the role of technological expertise, gender, and age
- 470 Downloads
In order for institutions of higher education to provide essential technology resources and encourage the adoption of educational technologies, it is vital to gather information about the barriers their users encounter and the supports they find most helpful. The purpose of this study is to better understand how differences in user traits (e.g., age, gender, and technological expertise) may be impacting the use of technologies to support instruction. In this study, we report data from a university-wide survey of faculty at the University of Washington (N = 547). Study results indicate that individuals with technical expertise at the “beginner” level rely on different sources of support and encounter different barriers than do individuals at the “expert” level, even after controlling for gender and age. Our data demonstrate the importance of recognizing the range of expertise that exist among users when assessing barriers and implementing programs to support faculty in the adoption of educational technologies.
KeywordsEducational technology adoption User traits Obstacles to technology use Supports for technology use Technological expertise
We would like to give special thanks to Siobhán Mattison for her editorial suggestions and help with the presentation and discussion of data. We would also like to acknowledge the members of the survey steering committee and working group at the UW for their contributions to this project. We also want to recognize our colleagues in UW Information Technology for their leadership and support. In particular, we want to thank Karalee Woody for her leadership, Greg Koester for his work as project manager, Janice Fournier for her assistance developing survey questions, and Nicole Wedvik for her help creating the tables used in this paper.
- Anderson, T., Varnhagen, S., & Campbell, K. (1998). Faculty adoption of teaching and learning technologies: Contrasting earlier adopters and mainstream faculty. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 28, 71–98.Google Scholar
- Chandler, D. (2000). Technological or media determinism. Retrieved from http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/tecdet/tecdet.htm.
- Hagner, P. R., & Schneebeck, C. A. (2001). Engaging the faculty. In C. A. Barone & P. R. Hagner (Eds.), Technology-enhanced teaching and learning: Leading and supporting the transformation on your campus (pp. 1–12). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Lane, C. A., & Lyle, H. (2009). The differing technology support needs of beginner and expert users: Survey findings from the University of Washington. ED-MEDIA 2009 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications.Google Scholar
- Lane, C. A., Lyle, H., Fournier, J., & Connell, C. (2009). Learning and scholarly technologies at the University of Washington: Report on the 2008 faculty, teaching assistant, and student surveys. Retrieved from (http://www.washington.edu/lst/research_development/research_projects/LSTsurvey.html).
- Lane, C. A., & Yamashiro, G. (2006). Educational technology at the University of Washington: Report on the 2005 instructor and student surveys. Retrieved from http://catalyst.washington.edu/research_development/papers/2006/edtech_2005report.html.
- Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (2005). Is it age or IT: First steps toward understanding the net generation. In D. Oblinger & J. Oblinger (Eds.), Educating the Net Generation (pp. 2.1–2.20). Washington, DC: EDUCAUSE E-book.Google Scholar
- Pajo, K., & Wallace, C. (2001). Barriers to the uptake of web-based technology by university teachers. The Journal of Distance Education, 16, 70–84.Google Scholar
- Perkins, D. N. (1985). The fingertip effect: How information processing technology shapes thinking. Educational Researcher, 14(7), 11–17.Google Scholar
- Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Rogers, D. L. (2000a). A paradigm shift: Technology integration for higher education in the new millennium. Educational Technology Review, 33(13), 19–27.Google Scholar
- Sahin, I., & Thompson, A. (2007). Analysis of factors that influence faculty members’ technology adoption level. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(2), 167–190.Google Scholar
- Sax, L. (2000). An overview of the 1998–99 faculty norms. Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA.Google Scholar
- Spodark, E. (2003). Five obstacles to technology integration at a small Liberal Arts college. THE Journal, 30(3), 14–24.Google Scholar
- Spotts, T. (1999). Discriminating factors in faculty use of instructional technology in higher education. Educational Technology & Society, 2(4), 92–99.Google Scholar
- Surry, D. W., & Land, S. M. (2000). Strategies for motivating higher education faculty to use technology. Innovations in Education and Training International, 37, 145–153.Google Scholar
- Zhou, G., & Xu, J. (2007). Adoption of educational technology: How does gender matter? International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 19, 140–153.Google Scholar