Sunday, August 18, 2013

EDEM630 : Reflection 2

The journey of EDEM630 continued and moved to Personal Perspective of theories of change. Here I came across various models of change and innovations regarding the technology. However, the model that attracted the most is Technology Acceptance Model.

Going through the weeks of exploring the theories, I asked the following questions to myself:
How willing are students to embrace a new technology-supported approach that engages them in the entire education lifecycle?
Can information technology improve the education process, making it more enjoyable and increasing learning?

On the other hand, I also believe that the online participatory education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Learners learn, create and solve problems in an asynchronous virtual learning environment in which they can see all content, questions, answers and feedbacks.

While some students have trouble adjusting to the radical change in their traditional role, research shows overall acceptance and recommendation of the participatory approach.

It also supports a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) adapted to the educational context for predicting acceptance of this new approach to learning made possible by information technology.

The online education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Collaborative learning often results in higher learning compared with individual-oriented learning due to social interaction among students. On the one hand, this enhances knowledge sharing, helping students clarify confusing course materials as well as grasping understanding beyond the individual‘s perception. On the other hand, the underlying assumption for educators is that collaborative learning holds the promise of active construction of knowledge, enhanced problem articulation, and benefits in exploring and sharing information and knowledge gained from peer-to-peer communication.

Among the pedagogical advantages of collaborative learning online, besides its fundamental characteristic of helping students to actively construct knowledge, are that collaboration models activity in the workplace, enhances students' understanding and appreciation of diversity, and may give students a sense of belonging .Perhaps most importantly, collaboration allows distant students to interact socially and develop a feeling of community in online courses. For information systems researchers, there is a need to further investigate students‘psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills in computer-supported collaborative learning environments. A number of technologies (e.g., online discussion boards, visualization tools, multimedia) have been implemented to support the online educational content delivery. Our participatory learning engage the students to increase their learning and their enjoyment of the learning process.

What factors lead to the acceptance of a technology supported educational innovation?

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the most widely used model in Information Systems, predicts that Behavioral Intention to Use an information system in the future is a product of Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use. I t has seen many variations in its development and has been criticized for treating its constructs as ―black boxes with little effort going into understanding what actually makes a system useful . A number of authors have extended TAM by proposing external variables as antecedents to better explain perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use 


This unified TAM model identifies a variety of individual differences (i.e., gender, age, and experience, social influence, etc.) that may affect acceptance of IT within an educational context. Recent TAM research has further incorporated individual characteristics and situational/contextual variables to understand initial and continuous acceptance and adoption of an IT.

Higher education and e-learning sectors is an important and widespread domain utilizing information systems, so understanding what constructs impact educational technology acceptance is critical. Therefore, researchers have utilized TAM to evaluate educational technologies acceptance. They adapted TAM to examine effectiveness of a particular desktop technology or online learning communities

Therefore, it is useful to build on adapting and extending the TAM model and not to a particular technology, but to a particular technology-supported learning process in asynchronous learning networks.

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