Bringing academics on board: Encouraging institution-wide diffusion of e-learning environments
AbstractRapid advances in educational and information communications technology (ICT) have encouraged some educators to move beyond traditional face to face and distance education correspondence modes toward a rich, technology mediated e-learning environment. Ready access to multimedia at the desktop has provided the opportunity for educators to develop flexible, engaging and interactive learning resources incorporating multimedia and hypermedia. However, despite this opportunity, the adoption and integration of educational technologies by academics across the tertiary sector has typically been slow. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study that investigated factors influencing the manner in which academics adopt and integrate educational technology and ICT. The research was conducted at a regional Australian university, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), and focused on the development of e-learning environments. These e-learning environments include a range of multimodal learning objects and multiple representations of content that seek to cater for different learning styles and modal preferences, increase interaction, improve learning outcomes, provide a more inclusive and equitable curriculum and more closely mirror the on campus learning experience. This focus of this paper is primarily on the barriers or inhibitors academics reported in the study, including institutional barriers, individual inhibitors and pedagogical concerns. Strategies for addressing these obstacles are presented and implications and recommendations for educational institutions are discussed.
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