Why hasn't technology disrupted academics' teaching practices? Understanding resistance to change through the lens of activity theory

Blin, F. and Munro, M. (2008) Why hasn't technology disrupted academics' teaching practices? Understanding resistance to change through the lens of activity theory. pp. 475-490. ISSN 03601315 (ISSN)

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The advent of the Internet heralded predictions that e-learning would transform and disrupt teaching practices in higher education. E-learning also promised to expand opportunities for lifelong and flexible learning, and offered a panacea for practical issues such as decreased funding and increasing student numbers. The anticipated disruption to teaching and learning has not come to fruition however. Although technology is now common place in most higher education institutions - most institutions have invested in a virtual learning environment (VLE) and employ staff dedicated to supporting e-learning - there is little evidence of significant impact on teaching practices and current implementations are accused of being focused on improving administration and replicating behaviourist, content-driven models. This paper discusses a preliminary analysis, rooted in Activity Theory, of the transformation of teaching practices, which did or did not take place in our university following the institution-wide deployment of a VLE. In particular, factors limiting a full uptake of the VLE more advanced functionalities by the wider university community are explored. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :77; Export Date: 23 February 2015; CODEN: COMED; Correspondence Address: Blin, F.; School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University, Dublin, 9, Ireland; email: francoise.blin@dcu.ie; References: Barab, S., Barnett, M., Squire, K., Developing an empirical account of a community of practice: Characterizing the essential tensions (2002) The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11 (4), pp. 489-542; Blin, F., CALL and the development of learner autonomy: Towards an activity-theoretical perspective (2004) ReCALL, 16 (2), pp. 377-395; Brill, J., Galloway, C., Perils and promises: University instructors' integration of technology in classroom-based practices (2007) British Journal of Educational Technology, 38 (1), pp. 95-105; Burbules, N., Callister, T., Universities in transition: The promise and the challenge of new technologies (2000) Teachers College Record, 102 (2), pp. 271-293; (1999) Activity theory and social practice, , Chaiklin S., Hedegaard M., and Jensen U.J. (Eds), Aarhus University Press, Aarhus; Christensen, C., (1997) The innovator's dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail, , Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA; Dewey, J., (1916) Democracy and education, , Macmillan, New York; Engeström, Y., (1987) Learning by expanding. An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research, , Orienta-Konsultit, Helsinki; Engeström, Y., Activity theory and transformation (1999) Perspectives on activity theory, pp. 19-38. , Engeström Y., Miettinen R., and Punamäki R.-L. (Eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; Engeström, Y., Expansive learning at work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization (2001) Journal of Education and Work, 14 (1), pp. 133-156; Friere, P., (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed, , Penguin, Harmondsworth; Helle, M., Disturbances and contradictions as tools for understanding work in the newsroom (2000) Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 12, pp. 81-114; Hémard, D., Evaluating hypermedia structures as a means of improving language learning strategies and motivation (2006) ReCALL, 18 (1), pp. 24-44; (2000) Theoretical foundations of learning environments, , Jonassen D., and Land S. (Eds), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ; Kaptelinin, V., Nardi, B., (2006) Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design, , The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Keller, C., Virtual learning environments: Three implementation perspectives (2005) Learning, Media and Technology, 30 (3), pp. 299-311; Kellner, D., Technological transformation, multiple literacies, and the re-visioning of education (2004) E-Learning, 1 (1), pp. 9-37; Kirkup, G., Kirkwood, A., Information and communications technologies (ICT) in higher education teaching - a tale of gradualism rather than revolution (2005) Learning, Media and Technology, 30 (2), pp. 185-199; Kuutti, K., Activity theory as a potential framework for human-computer interaction research (1996) Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction, pp. 17-44. , Nardi B. (Ed), The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Laurillard, D., Preface (2007) Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: designing and delivering e-learning, , Beetham H., and Sharpe R. (Eds), Routlege, London; Leontiev, A.N., (1978) Activity, consciousness and personality, , Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Löfström, E., Nevgi, A., From strategic planning to meaningful learning: diverse perspectives on the development of web-based teaching and learning in higher education (2007) British Journal of Educational Technology, 38 (2), pp. 312-324; Salmon, G., (2000) E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online, , Kogan Page, London; Scanlon, E., Issroff, K., Activity theory and higher education: Evaluating learning technologies (2005) Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21, pp. 430-439; Selwyn, N., The use of computer technology in university teaching and learning: A critical perspective (2007) Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23 (2), pp. 83-94; Tearle, P., ICT implementation: What makes the difference? (2003) British Journal of Educational Technology, 34 (5), pp. 567-583; Vygotsky, L.S., (1978) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes, , Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
Uncontrolled Keywords: Activity theory; Disruption; Functional organs; Higher education; Teaching practices; VLEs; E-learning; Education; Virtual reality; Education computing
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2015 19:25
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2015 19:26
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/1790

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