Adopting and adapting information and communications technology (ICT) in teaching and learning environments within a university.

Year: 2001

Author: Macchiusi, Lina, Trinidad, Sue

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Information and communications technology (ICT) impels change. The rate of ICT adoption is likely to increase over the next few years as growing numbers of Faculty across all disciplines in educational institutions adopt and adapt ICT resources in their instructional activities. ICT places additional demands on academic staff such as necessitating the learning of new skills in developing and maintaining course and assessment materials and spending time differently. The new products of teaching will mean some lecturers will have to make a radical shift in their orientation from a view of transmitting information - to one of directly attending to the process of learning of their students. This paper discusses the results of a study that involved surveying the academic teaching population at an Australian tertiary institution and identifying their use of ICT in their teaching and learning. A group of teaching staff were then monitored over 16 months to identify how their ICT environment evolved. Results indicate that teaching staff: have significantly increased their adoption of ICT in their teaching and learning; are committed to providing a successful learning environment for their students; are reflective about the use of ICT; are very clear about the type of support they need to effectively adopt ICT. The findings have also revealed that there has been an increase in the commitment to ICT initiatives by the University as a whole through the introduction of major structural changes in order to put in place appropriate support structures for the adoption of ICTs. University leaders need to be acutely aware of providing the most effective strategies to promote such teaching and learning environments by listening to and supporting the needs and concerns of those directly involved in the teaching and learning process.