Aligning the needs of colleges with technology plans

John David Nichols, Purdue University


Colleges within a university setting exhibit a unique learning environment. Universities often focus their technology plans in terms of replacement cycles. It may be beneficial to compare different College's faculty to gain a perspective on important aspects of technology at the University that could lead to better allocation of equipment, funds and support. This Delphi study investigated how faculty in two different Colleges in a Midwestern university: the College of Business and the College of Education use technology in their learning environments. Round one was a collection of open-ended questions developed from a previously administered University-wide survey. In the survey, participants provided insight into how technology is used by faculty and students as well as how it compares to the use of technology in their respective professions. For example, most College of Education students are preparing to become K-12 teachers which would result in the students using technology similar to what they would be exposed to in K-12 classrooms; College of Business students may be in a professional work environment that relies more on individualized report generation through the use of Microsoft products. Specific areas of emphasis on the survey were technology, teaching and learning with respect to student engagement, students as independent learners, assessing teaching, professional development, barriers to progressing, and teaching and communicating effectively. The feedback generated themes that were the basis of the Round two surveys. Round two allowed the participants to rate how important they perceived technology such as computers, software, equipment and learning management systems to be within their course learning environment. This round provided insight into the connections between how technology is used in the classroom and in the professional arena. Round three used the themes from the previous round and required the participants to prioritize them. The open-ended questions resulted in 29 common elements coded from the response data from round one. The participants evaluated the level of importance of each of the elements as it pertains to the individual Colleges. The prioritization, then, of round three created a snapshot of the focus of each College's technology usage in the learning environment. The median scores from the round two data segmented the data to 14 important common elements that were similar between the two Colleges. Discussion focuses on the similarities and differences between the colleges as they pertain to technology in teaching and learning. Because each College's results indicated a different technology use in their profession, the need to identify and prioritize technology elements was evident.




Newby, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational technology|Higher education

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