Date of Award

9-12-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Steve W. Harmon - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Talburt

Third Advisor

Dr. Laurie B. Dias

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Wanjira Kinuthia

Abstract

In the context of continuous innovations in information and communication technology (ICT) and its impact on higher education, this descriptive study explores the state of instructional technology (IT) integration by university lecturers in pre-service secondary school teacher education programs in Zimbabwe. Specifically, the study examines how the lecturers conceptualize IT integration, how they integrate IT into their instruction, the support given by their institutions, and the constraints they face. The qualitative methodology used is basic or generic in nature (Merriam, 1998). Twenty-one lecturers in the colleges of education at 3 universities participated. The 3 data collection methods used are questionnaires, interviews and analysis of documents. Analysis of data was inductive and Miles and Huberman’s (1994) interactive data analysis model was employed. Findings show that the conceptualization of IT and its integration by the majority of the lecturers was largely as hardware in nature, with focus put on viewing technological tools as audiovisual aids. Lecturers with qualifications in educational technology (ET) viewed IT and its integration from what Schiffman (1995) calls a narrow systems view. Most of the lecturers used technological tools for illustrating key points in their lecture delivery and lecturers who used computers used these for lecture preparation. Lecturers’ computer proficiency and competencies were at the basic level in Internet usage, with little confidence shown in basic productivity software skills and in IT integration tasks and processes. The lecturers’ integration of IT was at the Entry and Adoption stages (Dwyer, Ringstaff and Sandholtz, 1991). Institutional support was characterized by poor availability and access to appropriate technological tools by both lecturers and students, and in the context of a hyper-inflationary operating environment, constraints ranged from lack of institutional funding, to the absence of an IT integration policy framework, and lack of appropriate initial and continuous staff development. This study is part of the genesis of instructional technology research in the Zimbabwean context. It is hoped that insights gleaned will influence policy, practice and future research. From a global perspective, this study will add to the limited knowledge and literature on instructional technology integration in “developing” and/or low-income countries like Zimbabwe.

Included in

Education Commons

Share

COinS