Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 5, No 3 (2013)

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What makes lecturers in higher education use emerging technologies in their teaching?

Judy Backhouse

Abstract


What makes lecturers in higher education use emerging technologies in their teaching? From the literature we know that lecturers make use of teaching and learning technologies in response to top-down initiatives, and that some also initiate bottom-up experiments with their own teaching practice, driven by both pragmatic and pedagogical concerns. This study is particularly interested in what motivates lecturers to try emerging technologies – those teaching and learning technologies that are new, or are used in new ways, or in new contexts to change teaching practices. This paper analyses the responses of university lecturers in South Africa, who use emerging technologies in their teaching, to a national survey which asked what motivates their practice. The rationales that lecturers use to explain their practices include a mix of pedagogic concerns, pragmatism and external imperatives. These rationales speak to common higher education discourses: effective learning, the welfare of students, and oversight and control; efficiency in the face of the conditions of higher education; as well as the external “imperatives” of the knowledge economy and labour market. Alongside these a discourse of empowerment emerged, including resourcefulness in under-resourced contexts, and creative individual responses to higher education challenges. Such discourses seem to imply that lecturers who engage with emerging technologies are asserting themselves creatively and claiming a more positive positioning in the challenging landscape of modern higher education.


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Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL)
ISSN 2073-7904

 

Maintained and Developed by:

Laboratory for Knowledge Management & E-Learning

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong