The Petroleum Institute (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 8800-8810
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2083
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss research findings related to faculty attitudes towards the use of technology at two universities in the Middle East. A mixed-method study is being conducted with approximately 112 faculty members who teach in two English language foundation programs and two first year General Studies at two English-medium universities. Educators and administrators in attendance will be presented with recommendations for implementing educational technology policies.

Many universities, excited over benefits of new technologies, may potentially be adopting educational technology policies without basing decisions on thorough research of faculty knowledge and needs. There have been a number of studies that have focused on student attitudes towards educational technology (e.g. Dhalstrom 2012, Dahlstrom & Warraich 2012, Cassidy et al. 2014). However, there have been fewer studies that focus on teachers’ knowledge and needs, and no known study of this scale within the Middle East has surveyed faculty attitudes to the use of technology in the classroom.

During the presentation, findings related to the following research questions will be discussed:
1. Do university instructors in this study enjoy using technology in the classroom?
2. Do they believe technology helps their teaching?
3. What devices do instructors prefer to read information on both for entertainment and work?
4. What devices do instructors prefer to produce teaching-related content on?
5. How do educators prefer to present information in the classroom—on a whiteboard or electronic board?
6. Is there a difference in attitudes towards technology between educators who work at a university which has systematically implemented technology and educators who study at a university which is yet to systematically implement technology?
7. Is there a difference in attitudes towards technology between science/math educators and humanities/social sciences educators?

Analysis of preliminary data shows:
• The majority of participants were comfortable using technology in the classroom
• Teachers prefer using technological devices (e.g. phones, tablets, laptops) combined with books and paper.
• However, among the technological devices, laptops were more preferred than tablets and phones.
• Most instructors preferred a combination of electronic and whiteboards for the presentation of information.

The presentation will draw on survey data and focus group interviews to discuss these findings more in depth, as well as provide recommendations.
Technology, attitudes, higher education.