Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Patterns of Instructional Technology Use by Faculty in Marketing: An Exploratory Investigation

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Patterns of Instructional Technology Use by Faculty in Marketing: An Exploratory Investigation

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The present study was undertaken in order to gain a preliminary perspective on the use of technology in academic instruction in Marketing in the United States. The sampling frame consisted of professors and others interested in marketing. A questionnaire addressing usage of various types of classroom hardware, software, and distance education activity, was modified from a previous study of finance professors. A "call for participants" was posted on the American Marketing Association's e-mail list service (ELMAR) during the fall of 2003. Marketing faculty members were requested to respond to the questionnaire through an Internet homepage, which was accessible via a provided hotlink. Usable responses were received from 102 marketing faculty.

The results indicated that the process of adoption of technology for marketing instruction in the United States is well underway. With respect to hardware, it was found that more than 92% of the respondents employ front-orientation computer projection systems, and over half used the systems in over eighty percent of the class meetings. Very high usage rates were found for presentation and spreadsheet software. It was also discovered that roughly one out of three respondents have taught one or more courses by distance education.

Interesting variations were found among the respondents with respect to implementation of technology as a function of gender and years of teaching experience.

INTRODUCTION

Worldwide, colleges and universities are rapidly accelerating the development of technology-based infrastructures in order to facilitate the use of various forms of technology for instructional purposes. Indeed, a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Campus Computing Project (2003) indicated that U.S. universities are rapidly adopting a variety of technology-based options. As just one example, the results of this survey indicated that 77.2% of participating institutions reported the use of wireless LANS in 2003, as compared to 67.9 % in 2002 and 29.6 % in 2000.

Correspondingly, the literature in Higher Education is replete with reference to the adoption and use of various forms of technology for educational purposes. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in Colleges of Business. At present, however, there appears to be some difference of opinion concerning the implementation of instructional technology in Higher Education in general and in business curricula in particular. Whereas some authors wholeheartedly embrace the use of technology for instructional purposes (e.g. Reeves, 1998), others voice concern, suggesting that the educational benefits to the student have yet to be adequately assessed and that faculty costs in time may outweigh the benefits of learning new technologies for pedagogical purposes (e.g. Smith, 2001).

Educators in the field of marketing have not remained outside of the debate taking place in higher education more broadly. Like their peers in other fields, marketing faculty are moving toward greater and greater reliance on "technology-enhanced" course instruction (Evans, 2001; Ferrell and Ferrell, 2002). As is true elsewhere in higher education, however, there is little empirical evidence assessing the potential benefits of instructional technology to teach marketing (Malhotra, 2002). Within the marketing education literature, it has been proposed that discussions concerning the merits of implementing instructional technology often suffer from a lack of consensus concerning just what is meant by the term, "Instructional Technology" (Peterson et al., 2002; Malhotra, 2002). Indeed, a variety of specific technology-based techniques have been employed and their relative efficacies discussed. A partial list of technologies employed in marketing instruction includes presentation software such as PowerPoint, faculty websites, e-mail, BlackBoard and WebCT, in classroom and out of classroom use of the Internet, etc. …

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