Staff Perceptions of Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education

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This study looks at academics’ perceptions of, and attitudes to, educational technologies in the context of the intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to adoption which confront them. Academic and support staff at a university in the south of England were surveyed, in part, to establish the reasons given by staff for non-engagement with Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). What emerged was a mismatch between self-reported barriers and the reality of abilities demonstrated in other areas, for instance the personal use of social media. Our study findings were consistent with those such as, Reed (2014) and Bertolo, (2008), which have indicated that staff cited ‘lack of time’, ‘lack of equipment’ and a ‘lack of skills’ for the failure of educational technologies to act as the transformational tool that many educators believe them capable. Yet, those same staff, in other sections of the survey, indicated far greater technical competency than would be required for most TEL initiatives. While this dissonance resonates strongly with Ertmer’s (1999) work on first- and second-order barriers to the adoption of new technology amongst practitioners, we also noted a more active resistance which appears to be linked to resentment of the perceived institutional imposition of new technology, combined with professional performance metrics which fail to reward innovation in learning and teaching. We also found evidence to support the idea of a Slow Revolution (Drucker, 1999) in technology enhanced learning, wherein technology is becoming embedded in teaching practice over a number of years, often long after the hype of its original introduction and expected overnight impact. In light of these findings we discuss ways in which institutions might embrace the Slow Revolution, while at the same time attempting to address the second order barriers which hinder progress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on eLearning, ECEL2017
EditorsAnabela Mesquita, Paula Peres
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherACPI (Academic Conference Publishing International)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218609
ISBN (Print)9781911218593
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 27
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Educational Sciences

Free keywords

  • TEL
  • technology enhanced learning
  • pedagogy
  • attitudes


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