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Technology integral to education

Sammy Elzarka talks at the faculty lecture series in the President’s Dining Room on Monday on the topic, “Technology Use in Higher Education Instruction.” He is the director of assessment and accreditation for the College of Education and Organizational Leadership. Among the facts offered by Elzarka, 89 percent of four-year public universities in the United States offer online courses, while only 60 percent of four-year private universities offer online courses. / photo by Kelley Magguilli

Sammy Elzarka talks at the faculty lecture series in the President’s Dining Room on Monday on the topic, “Technology Use in Higher Education Instruction.” He is the director of assessment and accreditation for the College of Education and Organizational Leadership. Among the facts offered by Elzarka, 89 percent of four-year public universities in the United States offer online courses, while only 60 percent of four-year private universities offer online courses. / photo by Kelley Magguilli

Michelle Nunez
Staff Writer

Sammy Elzarka, director of assessment and accreditation for College of Education and Organizational Leadership, analyzed the different variables that affected the use of integrating technology in higher education Monday in the President’s Dining Room.

Elzarka researched 19 variables that would affect the technology adoption process.

“I am trying to figure out how to increase the adoption rate of technology in the use of higher education.” Elzarka said.

“The significance of integrating technology use in higher education instruction is undeniable,” he said.

According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, 89 percent of universities offer at least one online course.

In the fall of 2011 6.1 million students took online courses.

It is predicted by 2019 that 50 percent of high school classes will be online.

Elzarka discussed his dissertation, for which he administered an online survey that targeted 379 full- and part-time faculty in schools of education throughout the nation.

A total of 203 faculty members responded and participated in the survey.

“There were eight out of 19 variables that were powerful enough to effect or change the adoption rate,” Elzarka said.

Some of these variables included whether or not an individual knows how to solve their own technology problems, the use of trial and error to solve technology problems, personal use of technology, and if professors would use technology if trained by similar colleagues.

“The variable that had the strongest relationship with the adoption rate for professional use was the adoption rate for personal use,” Elzarka said.

Those at the lecture were stunned by the results, which found that the strongest variable for adopting technology was the variable of personal use.

Furthermore, the findings concluded that faculty would be less likely to use technology more if they were trained by similar colleagues.

As the presentation came to an end, Elzarka said that using current technologies for instructional purposes has a great impact on student engagement, learning styles, student-faculty interactions, faculty satisfaction and demands for technology use as well as learning outcomes.

Marga Madhuri, associate professor of education, said she wanted to learn what prompts one to adopt technology in the classroom.

“What I found to be most interesting was the negative correlation to learn (technology) from a colleague,” Madhuri said.

Madhuri added that without the help of her colleagues she believes she would not be able to accomplish as much as she does.

Mark Goor, dean of College of Education and Organizational Leadership, said the lecture was important and interesting because it helps in understanding what can be done to help faculty with using technology to reach students .

“We want to know what we can do to promote adopting technology use in instruction,” Goor said. “It provides insight.”

Goor said that in his department every program offers choices of either online or a hybrid course.

“How to deliver technology through instruction has been part of an initiative that was started several years ago,” Goor said.

“I believe that…for La Verne to be competitive it has to be at the forefront of education and the use of technology,” Elzarka said.

Michelle Nunez can be reached at michelle.nunez@laverne.edu.

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