Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Price, Linda and Kirkwood, Adrian (2013). Using technology for teaching and learning in higher education: a critical review of the role of evidence in informing practice. Higher Education Research and Development (in press).

The use of technology for teaching and learning is now widespread, but its educational effectiveness is still open to question. This mixed-method study explores educational practices with technology in higher education. It examines what forms of evidence (if any) have influenced teachers’ practices. It comprises a literature review, a questionnaire and interviews. A framework was used to analyse a wide range of literature. The questionnaires were analysed using content analysis and the interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings suggest that evidence has partial influence upon practice with practitioners preferring to consult colleagues and academic developers. The study underscored the difficulty in defining and evaluating evidence, highlighting ontological and epistemological issues. The academic developer’s role appears to be key in mediating evidence for practitioners.

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