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ERIC Number: EJ865758
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Understanding the Real Barriers to Technology-Enhanced Innovation in Higher Education
Schneckenberg, Dirk
Educational Research, v51 n4 p411-424 Dec 2009
Background: Academic staff have a key role to play in the innovation efforts of universities aiming to exploit the potential of web-based learning technologies. Although learning technologies are an important building block of educational innovation, the eLearning adoption rate of European academic staff appears disappointing. The majority of curricula in European universities are stalled in the traditional pedagogical model of knowledge transmission, which continues to dominate teaching and learning. Purpose: This conceptual paper explores underlying structural and cultural barriers to technology-enhanced innovation in higher education. Sources of evidence: Starting from the underdeveloped state of eLearning in European universities, the paper challenges arguments that visible barriers such as technical issues, budget constraints or lack of interest in technology amongst academic staff represent the actual reasons for the slow advancement of learning technologies in university curricula. Main argument: The paper argues that the lack of faculty interest and engagement for eLearning are visible symptoms for deeply rooted causes, which hinder current innovation efforts of universities. It explores theoretical viewpoints for structural peculiarities of universities, motivational and habitual traits of academic staff, and long-standing cultural values in the academic community in an attempt to understand their impact on technology-enhanced innovation in higher education. Conclusions: The real dilemma for eLearning innovation is caused by macro-level influence factors that even committed universities can hardly overcome at institutional level. University leaders have to take the underlying innovation barriers into account when they try to engage academic staff for the use of learning technologies. With a realistic view on existing limitations, institutional eLearning adoption efforts have to be tailored to serve real learning needs and motivations of academic staff; and they have to consider specific goals and contexts within different universities. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A