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Factors Influencing Faculty Use of Technology in Online Instruction: A Case Study
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Online education has become a staple of higher education institutions. In the latest survey conducted by the Sloan Foundation, it was found that over two-thirds of higher education institutions were offering a variety of online courses and programs. According to Allen and Seaman (2008), over 20% of all students took at least one online course in 2006 and this is projected to continue to increase over time. However, observations at a specific urban university in the mid-west, shows vast variation in terms of faculty who choose to utilize online instructional technologies and a significant lag in desired online development. With the importance of online instruction, the question was asked was “how can an institution encourage their faculty members to move forward with online instruction?” This article outlines the answer to that question by determining what factors were found to influence a faculty member’s decision whether or not to integrate online technologies into his or her course. The factors considered centered on areas such as: 1) perceptions of online instruction, 2) past experience with online technologies, and 3) specific experiences at the university. These findings, as well as the initial strategies developed to increase faculty participation in online instruction are discussed in the article.