Exploring the culture and complexity of three British Columbia post-secondary institutions in their support of instructors using educational technologies

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Educational technologies
Disruptive technologies
Organizational complexity
Competing values framework

The purpose of this study was to explore how faculty at three post-secondary institutions are supported in their use of educational technologies, given the changing landscape of institutions and the demands placed on them by the government, community, industry, and students. This study used organizational complexity and a competing values framework to examine the culture of these institutions with respect to the opportunities and challenges provided for instructors by the latest educational technologies for teaching. As a qualitative exploratory study, it employed a qualitative methodology based on literature, strategic plans, and 15 interviews with participants from three post-secondary institutions in the Vancouver lower mainland in British Columbia, Canada. The research design used was carried out in three phases. First, it examined the current strategic plans and the directions and goals of the three institutions. Second, to understand the complexity and dynamics within these institutions, it reviewed the literature available on educational and disruptive technologies, organizational culture, trends in higher education, strategic plans, and theoretical frameworks. Third, it considered the direct experiences of eight instructors and seven administrators who work at the three institutions. The study made four key recommendations: 1) adopt an “in the moment concept” with respect to support for educational technologies as needed, 2) set up an “educational technology playground” for instructors to give them an opportunity to play with the latest educational technologies, 3) rethink the culture and complexity of post-secondary institutions prior to the preparation of “strategic plans,” and 4) require “administrators” to have a better understanding of what their instructors are dealing with in regard to how they are supported in their use of educational technologies.

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Michelle Pidgeon
Larry Sackney
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.