Over 70% of faculty feel they are not proficient using online web space to teach

Going through some lit for my thesis this evening I came across this study on higher education faculty self-perceptions of technology literacy and how it relates to their pedagogical practice. Not surprising, the research shows that faculty who perceive themselves as technology literate are more likely to integrate technology into their teaching and learning practice.

What I did find interesting about this study was that 71% of faculty do not feel proficient enough to publish content to the web.

Perhaps the most overlooked area of software use has been in website/web page construction and/or personal web spaces. According to the survey results, only a mean response of 2.18 (16.5% of faculty felt that they were proficient in creating learning-based websites/pages, and 19.9% of the faculty felt that they were proficient with the integration of word processing software and websites/pages). Using online web space to teach or add breadth to a course ranked even lower, registering a mean response for faculty self-perception of 1.61 (71.2% not proficient).

It’s not that this is a particularly surprising result, but given how important the web is these days it does feel like a bit of a clarion call. After all, if faculty don’t feel like they have the necessary technology literacy to do something as trivial as post content onto the web, then having them move beyond this relatively basic function and onto more engaging models of pedagogy is going to be a big ask and, as the researchers note, a missed opportunity.

This may be a missed opportunity for faculty; students are working with learning-based web spaces from the time they enter elementary school until the time they graduate from high school. It may be time that faculty became more familiar with technology tools in order to better facilitate student learning.

David A. Georgina and Myrna R. Olson, “Integration of technology in higher education: A review of faculty self-perceptions,” The Internet and Higher Education 11, no. 1 (2008): 1-8.


Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out https://edtechfactotum.com/.


5 thoughts on “Over 70% of faculty feel they are not proficient using online web space to teach

  1. when our library offers very short workshops on researching the web, no uptake.
    lots of our faculty may feel inadequate, but not so much they will do anything about it.

    1. Interesting you say that, Richard. My experience as well. The research talked about faculty preferring small group workshops as the primary method of training, but yet we have had many workshops with less than a handful of participants. I am sure there are many factors that go into this, not the least being trying to create a training schedule that works for the vast majority of faculty who are often teaching with different timetable systems (quarter/semester). But it is still disappointing preparing a workshop, and then have no one show up.

  2. Georgina and Olson (2008) – a modest sample size with NO analysis of how representative the respondent sample is. Don't bet your house on it.

    1. Never bet the house on a single piece of research. $20 bucks maybe…but it does validate my experiences supporting higher ed faculty. However, in my experience, it has been changing, and I suspect that if same research was done today, just 2-3 years later, the percentage would be much smaller.

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