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Emerging technologies – emerging practices?
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Teaching and Learning (UPC).
2013 (English)In: Electronic Portfolio: ISSOTL13, 2013Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last twenty years the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) [1] in higher education has increased rapidly and institutions of higher education have increasingly invested in technical infrastructure and virtual learning environments to support teaching and learning (de Freitas and Oliver, 2005). A critical review of research on the educational use of technology, however, reveals very little evidence of significant impact on teaching practices, rather, educational technology is being used to replicate or supplement existing practices. (Hannafin and Kim, 2003; Lovelace and Ellis, 2001; Conole and Oliver, 2007). Further research that can promote the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning with technology is essential.

The pedagogical adoption of ICT is a complex process influenced by many factors, both contextual and individual in nature. The strategies adopted by individual teachers are shaped by external factors such as technical support or the structural and organizational constraints of the university context (Russel, 2009; Kreber, 2010). However, teachers’ beliefs and attitudes and their confidence and competence with ICT are also centrally important in the pedagogical adoption of ICT (Somekh, 2008).

In the present study, the context and practices of a group of teachers on an online Pharmacy Program have been investigated in a longitudinal study, providing insight into changes in teaching practice and approaches to teaching in a technologically rich teaching and learning environment. The study focuses on two particular aspects: How do teachers’ approaches to teaching and learning affect uptake and implementation of new practices with technology? Do practical experiences in the area of teaching and learning with technology lead to transformation of pedagogical practices?

METHOD: Qualitative and quantitative data concerning the program have been gathered regularly since 2003 as part of the quality assessment and development agenda of the Pharmacy Program. Data includes teacher questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, observation and analysis of online teaching practice. Documentation concerning program organization and management, student course evaluations and student results are also included in the study.

DISCUSSION: Preliminary results indicate that there are important individual factors governing teachers’ responsiveness to ICT. In similar teaching contexts, faculty reacted very differently to the challenges and opportunities afforded by technology enhanced teaching and learning on the Pharmacy Program. Differences in the individual teachers’ approaches to teaching and learning with technology, in departmental teaching culture and in the individual’s openness to change were all factors evidenced in the case-studies.

There is an urgent need to identify and implement strategies that promote the effective implementation of learning technologies in higher education if the quality of teaching and learning is to be maintained. This study aims to explore and suggest strategies that can support academic development activities that enable transformation in teaching practice and stimulate further the development of scholarship in the field of technology supported teaching and learning.

[1] Information and communication technologies refer here to the broad range of technologies used in education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Education Scholarship
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87745OAI: diva2:710806
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL13)
Available from: 2014-04-08 Created: 2014-04-08 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Englund, Claire
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