Title

Conditions facilitating utilization of instructional technology in higher education: A study of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation

Advisor(s)

Philip L. Doughty

Keywords

Innovations, Diffusion, Instructional technology, Higher education, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Instructional Media Design

Abstract

Despite the benefits of technology use in instruction, in general it has not been widely accepted within institutions of higher education. Previous studies have indicated that its use by faculty members in higher education has been generally minimal. What conditions will facilitate the utilization of instructional technologies in these institutions? Ely suggested eight conditions identified as facilitating the utilization of instructional technology in various education-related settings: (1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, (2) Knowledge and skills exist, (3) Availability of resources, (4) Availability of time, (5) Rewards and incentives exist for participants, (6) Participation expected and encourage, (7) Commitment by those involved, and (8) Leadership is evident.

This dissertation study attempted to determine the presence or non-presence of the conditions in a university setting in Malaysia. In addition, the study identified the nature and extent of use of certain instructional technologies and the reasons faculty members did or did not use them. The main vehicle for data collection was a survey questionnaire completed by 327 faculty members from various academic disciplines. The presence of the conditions was computed from responses to over 40 items used as indicators of the eight conditions. Using descriptive and inferential statistical methods of analysis, major findings indicated that the most frequently used technologies by faculty members were audiovisual technologies and word processing, while the least used technologies were the newer technologies such as computer conferencing, distance learning and multimedia technologies. The main reasons for not using a particular technology included the lack of facilities and resources, lack of knowledge and skills and inadequate time to learn and use technology. Certain faculty background characteristics such as age and gender were associated with frequency of use of certain technologies. The results indicated that in general only four of Ely's eight conditions were present in the university. However, the degree of presence of the conditions varied. The conditions are: (1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, (2) Commitment by those involved, (3) Knowledge and skills exist, and (4) Leadership is evident. The conditions that were not present are: (1) Rewards and incentives exist for participants, (2) Participation was expected and encouraged, and (3) Availability of time. However, on the basis of participants' responses, the presence of the condition "availability of resources" was uncertain. In addition, perceptions on the degree of presence or non-presence of Ely's conditions between frequent users and non-users of certain technologies tended to differ from one technology to another.

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