Emerging Educational Technology: Assessing the Factors That Influence Instructors' Acceptance in Information Systems and Other Classrooms

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Although emerging educational technology usage in the classroom, which is primarily led by information systems (IS) instructors, has increased in recent years, technology acceptance and usage of non-IS instructors continue to be problematic for educational institutions (Baylor & Ritchie, 2002; Gong, Xu, & Yu, 2004; Saunders & Klemming, 2003; Wozney, Venkatesh, & Abrami, 2006). In today's competitive educational environment, emerging educational technologies are required to provide competitive educational services to an increasingly demanding student body (Cheurprakobkit, 2000). Emerging educational technology can be used to provide more flexible approaches to teaching. However, evidence has shown that extensive lecturing continues to be the pedagogical method used most often in IS and other classrooms (Newman & Scurry, 2001). Although general technology usage has increased in the classroom, there is little evidence that these technologies are being integrated into instruction, primarily in the case of non-IS courses (Oncu, Delialioglu, & Brown, 2008).

Emerging educational technology refers to computers and other new electronic technologies that, when applied to educational settings, can be used to significantly change education (Nilson, 2005; Roblyer, 2006). Examples for such emerging educational technology include: a) tools to generate course materials; b) planning and organizational tools for concept mapping and lesson planning; c) electronic research and reference tools; d) tools to support specific content areas; as well as e) tools to record class lectures and notes, and others (Roblyer). While the essence of emerging educational technology is that such technology is nowadays enabled by the Internet. Nilson suggested that integrating emerging educational technology into courses may provide new methods for teaching course content and designing educational experiences. It may also improve learning, provide ways of affirming diversity, and facilitate problem solving and creativity (Wozney et al., 2006). According to Hiltz and Turoff (2005), students generally rate courses that integrate emerging educational technology into traditional classroom settings as significant improvements in their educational experience. Neither students nor instructors see emerging educational technology use as automatically benefiting their education, however; it depends on how and why the emerging educational technology is being used within the curriculum (D'Angelo & Woosley, 2007). Although distance learning is very popular, Hiltz and Turoff stated that "research indicates that 10%-20% of students always prefer the face-to-face environment and believe they learn best in that environment" (p. 61).

Unfortunately, to enable higher education institutions to continue to compete, there has been a rush to implement educational technology and to bring courses online quickly; as a result, quality and educational effectiveness have often been of secondary concern (Lightfoot, 2005). Kingsley (2007) suggested that technology in the classroom often ends up being an obstacle, add-on or seemingly unrelated to the current lesson. According to Lightfoot, traditional curricula and emerging educational technology can be integrated successfully, as long as courses are developed with classic educational pedagogy in mind, and the pedagogy drives the choice of technology. Given the annual investment institutions make in emerging educational technology and the critical role instructors play in return on investment, additional research is necessary to more fully examine the factors involved in instructors' acceptance of emerging educational technology and its use in the classroom (Venkatesh, Speier, & Morris, 2002). This study attempted to address such issues by trying to uncover the factors influencing instructors' intention to use emerging educational technology in traditional classrooms. …