How Faculty Learn to Use Instructional Technology: An Exploration of Personal Experiences

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higher education, Teacher Training Education, Technology of Education


Many faculty members participate in professional development programs in instructional technology, but there is little information about the many factors influencing the way in which they learn about instructional technology. This study is an in-depth look at how faculty approach this learning situation and the ways in which their learning can be successfully facilitated.

This study employed qualitative research, using a multiple-case study approach focusing on the personal experiences of ten faculty members who attended a series of workshops and seminars in instructional technology, offered by the teaching center at a Midwestern university. The basic data collection method consisted of in-depth face-to-face interviews with participants, supported by follow-up email interviews and non-participant observations of the environment during one offering of the technology workshop. The data included results of a learning style assessment obtained through participants' completion of the Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire developed at North Carolina State University. Data analysis included a within-case analysis presenting a detailed description of each case, followed by a thematic analysis across the cases.

The findings suggest that the experience of faculty members in learning instructional technology is influenced by different factors such as learning styles, motivation, personal beliefs about the role of technology in education, the quality of professional development interventions they attend, and the ways in which they overcome institutional barriers such as time commitment and the lack of financial and academic rewards. This study provides information and recommendations for policy makers and faculty developers on how to enhance the involvement of faculty members with instructional technology.


Indiana University at Bloomington


Bloomington, IN




First Department