Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Dr. Louann A. Bierlein Palmer
Dr. Patricia L. Reeves
Dr. Laura V. Sánchez-Vincitore
Educational technology, higher education, Dominican Republic, instructional technology, higher education faculty, technology tools
Previous research has revealed that the integration of technology in education produces an improvement in the traditional teaching and learning process, but that there is a disconnect between faculty adoption of educational technology and the requirements of our current generation of students (Rhema & Miliszewska, 2014; Selwyn, 2009). While students are now fully immersed in technology, some faculty still do not give adequate significance to its adoption in their classes. This disconnect represents a problem for these students’ learning experiences.
The purpose of this study was to explore faculty experiences regarding the adoption of educational technology within a private HEI in the Dominican Republic (DR). The goal was to obtain information related to faculty members’ attitudes, barriers, and motivations for using or not using educational technology in their classes.
This study involved semi-structured interviews with 12 faculty members across three different schools. Each participant also provided documents and/or artifacts illustrating their experiences utilizing technology in their courses. Analysis of this data revealed five major themes and 13 sub-themes, organized by the theories guiding this study: (a) Rogers’ (2003) Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT), and (b) Herzberg’s (1968) Motivators and Hygiene Theory (Two-Factors Theory).
Faculty revealed a regular use of educational technology in their classes. This level of usage was driven by their perceptions that such tools add positive meaning in their courses such as having a better approach to students, saving time, and allowing students to better achieve the intended competencies of each subject. Participants also revealed factors that currently motivate them to use technologies, as well factors that might further motivate them and other faculty. The current factors that encourage these faculty included a sense of achievement, and the opportunity to grow and learn new skills. The factors that could influence them and others included economic compensation, peer interaction, and recognition. Challenges in the adoption of educational technology also emerged. They included students’ difficulties when using educational technology tools, reliability concerns, generational gap issues, computer anxiety, and the lack of time for implementing technology. Finally, faculty’s attitudes related to the adoption of educational technology were globally encompassed within faculty’s challenges, motivations, and the merit educational technology holds for them.
Overall recommendations to encourage current faculty to use more technology and motivate additional adopters include: (a) share the positive benefits of how technology is helping current adopters to save time and remain up-to-date, and how it is helping students acquire competencies needed for their work field, (b) implement factors that could influence faculty to adopt technology, such as economic compensation, peer interaction, and recognition, (c) teach students educational tools before using them, (d) enhance technology resources, (e) assess and segment incentive policies according to the needs of generational groups, and (f) facilitate trainings to establish a comfortable learning environment.
The results of this study add to the literature on the experiences of adopting educational technology in higher education institutions. It also adds findings to research in the DR related to this topic.
Guzmán Mena, Leipzig Elizabeth, "Adopting Educational Technology: A Study of Dominican Republic Higher Education Faculty Related to their Classroom Usage, Attitudes, Barriers, and Motivations" (2020). Dissertations. 3612.