FULL TITLE: Understanding Factors that Influence College Faculty in Deciding to Adopt Digital Technologies in their Practice
A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts Graduate Department of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
College faculty in Ontario are using a variety of digital technologies, at differing levels, in their teaching and learning practices. College administrators are looking to faculty to help meet the challenges associated with increasing enrollment and the need to deliver curriculum to a diverse student population with a range of learning needs who have unlimited access to information and communication channels through the World Wide Web. This research provides some understanding of specific motivating factors that have led many in community college faculty to adopt digital and Web technologies into their teaching and learning practices as well as those factors that may lead other college faculty to adopt similar technologies into their practices.
A modified decomposed theory of planned behaviour (DTPB) was implemented as a theoretical framework for this study and data collection was undertaken using a mixed-method approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods in an effort to fully realize and categorize the factors necessary in a faculty decision to adopt digital technologies into their teaching practice. Findings indicate that digital technologies are employed by faculty in some cases only to achieve efficiency in communication and administrative tasks favouring traditional teaching methods in their classrooms. Others are exploring and experimenting in exciting new ways with digital technologies in an effort to enhance the learning experience for their students in and out of their classrooms.
In addition to the varying teaching and learning beliefs held by faculty there are other factors that should be considered by college administrators when attempting to motivate faculty to adopt digital technologies into their practices. There are also many challenges facing college administrators and faculty who should revisit traditional approaches to assigning workload, providing support and training, and the overall approach to teaching and learning, all of which carry with them financial and cultural implications.