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C. Barette1, M. Gazaille2

1Association pour la Recherche au Collégial (CANADA)
2Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (CANADA)
Several meta-analyses have concluded that the majority of pedagogical interventions using information technology (IT) were proven inconclusive with regards to student academic success. Yet, it has been shown that a certain number of interventions distinguish themselves by showing positive student outcomes. In order to address the question of IT impact on student learning, the Association pour la Recherche au Collégial (ARC) analysed 32 pedagogical IT experimentations carried out between 1985 and 2005 in the collegial network, a network of post-secondary schools. This meta-synthesis revealed characteristics and elements that would be setting apart interventions with positive effects from those which were either mainly ineffective or negative.

The results from this meta-synthesis brought forth factors which need to be considered for successful IT pedagogical integration i.e. one that would have positive impacts on students’ success. At that point, were proven efficient devices which resulted in learning achievement and which would be: 1) falling back on adaptive and specialized tools for drill and practice; 2) soliciting meta-cognition; or 3) supporting collaborative learning. The meta-synthesis also indicated that all three categories remain sensitive to the influence of conditions linked to the organisational milieu. These conditions refer to: users’ proficiency level of (teacher and student training), equipment (material, software), appropriateness of support, and changes in practices for professionals and administrators (pedagogical management and institutional policy).

In order to improve this first heuristic model of successful IT pedagogical integration, another question also had to be considered: how do professionals’ patterns of action meet or compare to those which come from the ARC’s meta-synthesis? To answer this question, the second part of the study was put into place. Four college network experts (in pedagogical counselling and in research) were interviewed on what they considered to be the determining factors for successful IT pedagogical integration in the classroom. Using a specific and pre-identified series of verbs, conceptual maps were created to reproduce and analyse the data gathered from the interviews with the four experts. All four conceptual maps were validated with their authors. The maps were compared to each other and also to the meta-synthesis model. This resulted in an enriched heuristic model aiming to explain successful IT integration at the collegial level.

Within the frame of this presentation, our objectives are: 1) to present the heuristic model; and 2) to discuss it in light of the factors which were found to be important for successful IT pedagogical integration.