Posts tagged ‘technology adoption’

Thoughts on ECAR “National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2011”

This week’s reading for our New Media Faculty Seminar is the ECAR “National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2011” found at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERS1103/ERS1103W.pdf.

The several College of Business faculty who are working on a Technology Initiatives Task Force met this week. What is interesting is how we think we might help our colleagues become more effective users of instructional technology coincides with several of the recommendations in the ECAR study.

For example, Recommendation 1 is to “Investigate your students’ technology needs and preferences and create an  action plan to better integrate technology into courses and help students access institutional and academic information from their many and diverse devices and platforms.” Our NMFS and Technology Initiatives Task Force has the same approach to help our faculty: we need to ask them how they want to use technology in their courses.

Recommendation 2 is to provide professional development opportunities for faculty. We are planning brown bag lunches and/or seminars, early evening workshops followed by dinner, and an ongoing Desire2Learn course for all faculty and staff.

Recommendation 6 is to nail the basics: “Help faculty and administrators excel at supporting students’ use of core productivity software and applications for academic use, including, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, content or learning management systems, library sites, and bibliography tools.” Exactly what we said; we want to help our colleagues comfortable with these tools so they can make their students comfortable as well.

Regarding Recommendation 10 on moving “strategically toward blended/hybrid learning environments to meet students’ preferred styles of learning.”, here, too, we want to encourage our colleagues’ use of technology to engage students between face-to-face meetings.

April 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Encouraging use of new technologies among business faculty

One of the outcomes of the March 5 brown bag seminar “The Reluctant Technologist” was the idea for a Technology Initiatives Task Force within the College of Business at Benedictine University.

A few of the issues identified at the seminar as obstacles to faculty adoption of new technologies were time, trust, teaching, and training. To clarify some of the issues: Time…who has extra time to explore something new, with no guarantee of success? Trust…what about the faculty member who tries something new and does not meet with success? Teaching…how does a faculty member identify a new technology or a new application appropriate to his/her discipline? Training…just-in-time and directly applicable to a course.

The objective of the task force would be to address these. We have done a bit of brainstorming and hope to organize our thoughts in the next couple of weeks. We would like to kick off our work with a brown bag lunch during April or May in which we would like to pose these questions to interested faculty:

  • What kind of help would you like from us?
  • Should we help with instructional technology, social media, and/or Office software?

We have identified at least two strategies:

  • Technology tips of the week to include something of general interest, something related to instructional technology, and something related to the use of social media.
  • Periodic brown-bag seminars where we might do some show-and-tell and/or have a question-and-answer session.

April 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm 1 comment

Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, or Laggards?

Last week’s open discussion at our NMFS was on “The Reluctant Technologist” [February 20, 2012]. Each of us offered an example of someone who was a user of technology, but did so reluctantly.

In my position was director of an M.S. program in management information systems, our students  are not reluctant technologists, but rather those who are innovators, early adopters, or in the early majority.

However, I have had students in our MBA course titled “Information Technology Management” who are reluctant technologists. They come from professions as different as healthcare and the auto industry. These are professionals who understand the potential of information technology, but who do not know how to navigate all the decisions involved in IT adoption. The physician understands the need for electronic health records and wants to know how to make a good decision. The owner of a successful auto dealership understands the need for integrated systems and wants to know how to make a god decision.

Perhaps these students are not so different from our academic colleagues who are reluctant users of technology. We may all understand the potential of information technology. Some of us may be eager to identify new technologies [innovators], participate in pilot tests [early adopters], or adopt them early [early majority]. Others of us may wait to see what colleagues’ experiences may be [late majority] or may adopt a technology only after it is well established [laggards].

We identified several important questions:

  • Can we help colleagues adopt technologies earlier by providing training and support that is tailored to his/her discipline?
  • Is the difference in IT adoption based on age?
  • How do we know that a particular technology will have a positive impact on student learning?

February 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment


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