Academic Technology (AT) is a fast growing field that deserves attention given its dynamic nature and impact on educational practices. The field has evolved from information technology to concentrate on advancing technology to enhance teaching and learning. Yet, the field appears to be insufficiently mature or defined making it difficult for AT professionals to be categorized and characterized or to fully understand their changing roles. There is uncertainty as to the roles, responsibilities and positions of AT professionals both within and outside of the field.
Research in this area is minimal and highlights the need for strategic action to support the differentiation of instructional tasks and promote the influence of AT professionals (Kowch, 2013; Nworie, 2005). An online survey was conducted of 81 AT professionals to better understand the responsibilities and perceptions of their roles, concerns and influence. Statistical factor analysis identified five most cited responsibilities and compared the differences between what the professionals "do" and what they believed they "should" do. ANOVA was used to calculate gaps in performance based on the "do" and "should" responses.
The study findings concludes that the majority of AT professionals have influence on the AT decision making process at their institution of higher learning, AT decisions appear to be made based on technological rather than pedagogical considerations and AT professionals have an expanded responsibilities and obligations at their institution of higher learning. These findings are consistent with literature that indicates that AT professionals need to be in influential positions on campus and that decisions concerning technology for teaching and learning are not made by AT professionals who are unique in that they have knowledge and experience in both academia and technology (Kowch, 2005).
This study suggests more research is needed especially in the areas of AT in higher education and AT leadership. For example do universities have an AT strategic plan? If so, who is charged with implementation? Further research in these areas will enhance the field of AT and solidify the AT leadership position on campus.
|Commitee:||Madjidi, Farzin, Polin, Linda|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Academic technology, Educational technology, Leadership|
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