Chapter Summary

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2.7 Chapter Summary This chapter has reviewed several concepts and theories relating to adoption, diffusion and use of web technologies including affordances, DOI, TAM and other aspects such as the factors determining and impact of learning styles on adoption, diffusion and use of WebCT, and integration of technology into pedagogical practices. Gibson (1979) defined affordances as all "action possibilities" latent in the environment, objectively measurable and independent of the individual's ability to recognize them. With an "ecological approach" he assumed the mutuality between actor and environment formed the base for the actor to perceive and act – ‘actor-environment mutuality’. Section 2.1 of this chapter attempts to build on Gibson’s concept and theory of affordances to draw out the inherent properties – affordances of technologies. The two theoretical frameworks of DOI and TAM incorporate social affordances into the web-based learning environment to facilitate social interaction among users. The two frameworks of DOI and TAM have been discussed in Section 2.2 and 2.3 of this chapter respectively. Rogers’ diffusion approach provides insights into adoption decisions and strategies to gain adoption of new technologies by explaining how those new technologies diffuse in a social system. It is useful in understanding the process of social change. The focus is on how the characteristics of the technology (e.g. complexity, compatibility and relative advantage) impede the technology’s rate of adoption, develop and promote the technology to improve users’ acceptance. Roger’s DOI (2003) fits the needs of this empirical study that attempts to examine factors that may determine the adoption, diffusion and use of web technologies. ... ... middle of paper ... ...n 2.6, the determinants affecting technology use have been categorized as personal (teacher-level), institutional (school-level) and technological (system-level) characteristics. Based on previous research results, technology integration decisions are affected by teachers’ individual attitudes and beliefs towards technology. Integration of technology in education will be successful if software applications are developed to cater for teachers’ technology needs. An ongoing technology development program is essential for teachers to use technology appropriately in the classroom. Moreover, the TPACK framework can be used to identify important components of teacher knowledge for effective pedagogical practice in a technology enhanced learning environment. The next chapter describes the research methods which have been used to conduct the study reported in this thesis.

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