<span class='p-name'>Documenting Instructional use of Technology in Higher Education</span>

Documenting Instructional use of Technology in Higher Education

Together with a group of colleagues (Kate Keeney & Jack Wolfe) as part of a professional learning group at my institution, we worked to better understand the role of digital literacy, and more specifically instructional technology use in instruction.

It is hoped that the results of this study will test important research questions about literacy and technology inclusion practices at the institution. Educators and students will benefit from the knowledge gained through the research. This knowledge may inform the way in which we teach, learn, and assess in courses.

The purpose of this post is to provide a behind-the-scenes account of the what, why, and how of the work conducted. It is hoped that these acts of open scholarship will show how this form of dissemination can impact the validity, reliability, and practicality of the research. It is also hoped these acts of open scholarship inspire other educators, researchers, and closet psychometricians to share as well.

The remainder of this post shares information from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol that was approved to conduct this research. I have removed some of the citations and modified some of the content below to make it more appropriate for a blog post.

In subsequent posts I will share the steps taken in the development and validation of the Technology, Instruction, Learning in Teaching (TILT) survey that was administered to faculty and students.

Although the Internet has become a central part of personal and professional life for the more than three billion people who access it daily, the more challenging demands of digital and web literacies, especially for academic purposes, are little understood and seldom taught in school.

Preparing instructors to integrate technologies strategically to support student learning is one of the most important issues facing educators around the world. Evidence suggests that new educators are very much influenced by the ecology of technology integration that they find in their workplace and that generally, they experience a diverse range of resource support for technology integration. 

Given this knowledge, educators and students at this institution would benefit from research that accurately portrays both the nature and scope of instructional technology use in teaching and learning. Instructional technology is defined as the design and implementation of digital materials and tools in order to create engaging, effective learning experiences.

Currently, the College does not have a clear understanding of the use of instructional technology by faculty and students. These data would provide a much-needed point of departure on which future curricula and professional learning programs could be based.

Despite the transformative possibilities associated with the inclusion of the Internet and other communication technologies (ICTs) in instruction, relatively little is known about the regular use of these technologies in classrooms at the College. For example, according to data obtained by the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) at the College, we know that approximately 1XXX courses and 7XX faculty had active OAKS (the campus LMS) sites in Fall 20XX. This represents approximately 60% of approximately 3XXX total courses offered in that semester. We aim to better understand OAKS usage, as well as obtain knowledge about other forms of instructional technologies.  

The purpose of the Digital Cougars survey is to assess the use of instructional technologies by faculty, instructors, and students at the College. The research has been developed by a group of College faculty and instructions working in conjunction with TLT.

  1. How do educators working at the College use learning technologies in instruction? 
  2. How do students at the College engage with learning technologies in their courses?
  3. How effective are learning technologies at differentiating learning experiences and improving student outcomes at the College? 
  4. What barriers exist with regard to using learning technologies in the classroom at the College? 
  5. What professional development experiences related to instructional technologies do College educators express wanting or needing to receive? 
  6. What instructional technologies do students at the College prefer to use in the classroom?

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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