The impact of information technology on pedagogy in higher education

Karen Hyatt Sibley, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation is a qualitative case study that analyzed the effects of the use of information technology in teaching at Brown University. The research explored ways that faculty apply technology in teaching and modify pedagogy as a result. I conducted interviews with eight faculty, nine administrators, and seven teaching assistants. Interviews were approximately one and one half hours in length. Six classroom observations were made and student surveys of two classes were conducted. The literature that informed this research came from the fields of learning and teaching and information technology use in higher education. Authors of this literature ranged from scholars of learning theory to faculty, technology professionals and administrators in higher education. The research was also informed by attendance at faculty discussions on technology and teaching, demonstrations and instructional sessions. Three categories of faculty uses of technology emerged in this research. Faculty who were newer users of technology had significantly lower expectations for its usefulness and were tentative and fairly restrictive in their uses. For these faculty, technology presented a new method of accessing content materials. Longer-term users had multiple pedagogical applications for technology and explored ways to enhance classroom instruction and student interaction with materials, in addition to facilitating access to new information and electronically storing course materials. The faculty with the most experience in technology use considered new abilities students now need with information management and critical analysis. They developed ways to use technology to make students active in learning outside the classroom and to make the students themselves researchers and teachers. Conclusions drawn from this study underscore the need to offer learning opportunities for faculty and to demonstrate how instructional technology can be applied in their courses. Colleges and universities need to ensure staff support and effective classroom capacity for the use of these new tools. Higher education must also educate the next generation of faculty in technology and pedagogy, responding to professional demands in higher education and powerful expectations of students, parents and the work place.

Subject Area

Educational software|Higher education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Sibley, Karen Hyatt, "The impact of information technology on pedagogy in higher education" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3084862.