Teachers as Learners: Higher Education Faculty Learning to Use Technology for Instruction
KeywordsFaculty Professional Development
Technology for Instruction
AdvisorMarx, Ronald W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTechnology has become an integral part of the educational experience for many students and teachers, and institutions of higher education have invested heavily in its acquisition. Instructors tend to adopt new technologies when they perceive the benefits and usefulness of this implementation for their teaching. To facilitate the adoption process and following use, institutions offer professional development opportunities for their faculty. These opportunities provide the tools, guidance, support, and direction to help instructors understand the technologies and to promote effective learning and instruction with them. The main goal of this study is to explore the learning processes and procedures in which higher education instructors engage to be able to use the technology available to them effectively at their institutions. Two overall questions lead this investigation: 1. How do instructors learn how to use the technology available at their institutions? 2. How do instructors use the available technology in their courses? To address these questions, this dissertation examines important aspects of faculty professional development. Effective technology use should be based on sound educational theory. Chapter 2 explores a specific theoretical framework, cognitivism, examining how it can inform instructional practices when using digital technology in higher education. Chapter 3 elaborates further on andragogical and self-directed learning models as a way to provide the foundation knowledge for the understanding of the adult learner and to inform professional development design and implementation. Support, time, and recognition are important factors that contribute to one's use of technology and they are reflected in the availability of helpful training. Chapter 4 examines instructors' perceptions of the available technical and pedagogical training on the learning management system at a Southwestern university. If further training is required to use the technology, instructors usually need to learn more on their own. Chapter 5 investigates the role of instructor self-direction by analyzing what instructors do to learn more about the technologies after they have attended professional development sessions at a Southwestern community college. In chapter 6, the findings from these studies are discussed and they intend to inform the design, implementation, and delivery of effective faculty professional development programs.
Degree ProgramGraduate College