UNDERSTANDING FACULTY ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGY USING THE LEARNING/ADOPTION TRAJECTORY MODEL: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY
Using a technology adoption model, the Learning/Adoption Trajectory model, and this study aimed to identify the technology adoption level of a faculty member, Mary. In addition, I examined how Mary arrived at her technology adoption level. Finally, using Mary’s path to technology leadership as a guide, I offered several recommendations about how colleges and departments can encourage faculty members to integrate technology effectively. To be able to get enough data and to strengthen the internal validity and the reliability of this qualitative case study, the triangulation strategy or the multiple data collection method was used. In this basic interpretive qualitative study, the data were collected through interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis.
Understanding Faculty Adoption of Technology Using the Learning/Adoption Trajectory Model: A Qualitative Case Study
For more than three decades, the wide-ranging impact of computers and technology has significantly changed how we gain, convey, present, and analyze information and provided “the tools, applications, and processes that empower individuals of our information society" (See, 1994, p. 30). Hence, information technology (IT) has become an integral part of schools, colleges, and universities (Wilson, Sherry, Dobrovolny, Batty, & Ryder, 2002). The availability of technology gives higher education a vital role to model the effective and appropriate uses of technology in teaching and learning. To accomplish this goal, there is a need to understand the technology adoption process in greater detail. Using a technology adoption model, the Learning/Adoption Trajectory model, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify the technology adoption level of a faculty member, Mary. In addition, I examined how Mary arrived at her technology adoption level. Finally, using Mary’s path to technology leadership as a guide, I offered several recommendations about how colleges and departments can encourage faculty members to integrate technology effectively.
Before discussing several adoption models, I will provide the definitions of some terms used in this paper. Carr (1999) defines “adoption” as “the stage in which a technology is selected for use by an individual or an organization.” Also, he defines “innovation” as “a new or innovative technology being adopted.” For Carr (1999), “diffusion” applies to “the stage in which the technology spreads to general use and application” and “integration” refers to “a sense of acceptance, and perhaps transparency, within the user environment.”
Several scholars have proposed technology adoption models. As Farguar and Surry (1994) describe, these models are useful because “an analysis of the factors which affect a product’s adoption can play an important role in increasing the utilization of the product” (p. 20). Perceiving the stage of the technology adoption and the factors that shape this stage can lead us to the effective use of technology. Stockdill and Morehouse (1992) describe the factors that influence the adoption of technology as educational need, user characteristics, content characteristics, technology considerations, and organizational capacity.
The adoption process of innovations has been studied for over three decades. As the most popular adoption models, Hall and Hord's (1987) Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) and Rogers' (1995) Diffusion of Innovations, have been used in many studies (Sherry & Gibson, 2002). Since the rapid and continuous changes in technology require using a dynamic and recursive model to evaluate the technology adoption process, Sherry, Billig, Tavalin and Gibson (2000) proposed another adoption model, the Learning/Adoption Trajectory model based on Rogers’ diffusion theory.