THE STRATEGIC DIMENSION OF THE USE OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT LEARNING: THE CASE OF PORTUGUESE PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION

J. Batista, F. Ramos

University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
The Higher Education Institutions (HEI) have been pressured by several factors. One of those factors is the quick evolving pace that communication technologies have been facing, leading to important changes. Changes in education, in general, and in HEI, in particular, are inevitable, as the possibilities of communication technologies open new opportunities, on one hand, and new challenges, on the other hand.
A project has been done in Portugal, aiming to know how communication technologies are being used in public HEI. This project runs on the doctoral program on Information and Communication in Digital Platforms offered by the Universities of Aveiro and Oporto. The institutional perspective is one of the concepts under study, and it concentrates on dimensions like institutional strategy, resources and institutional policies, and management.
An online questionnaire was sent to all public HEI in Portugal. Teachers and administration staff with responsibilities within the use of communication technologies on teaching and learning activities were the data sources for the project. Two samples resulted after the process of cleaning and validating data: one large sample of teachers (n = 639), and a small sample of administration staff with responsibilities within the use of communication technologies on teaching and learning activities (n = 31).
In this paper we present some of the results related with one of the specific research questions of the project. This specific question refers to strategy, and so we wished to know if teachers and staff perceive institutional strategies to the use of communication technologies on their HEI. Indicators were designed and specific questions were prepared to the questionnaire. Under the issue of the use of communication technologies to support learning, the indicators considered are on the perception that teachers and staff have on the existence of an institutional strategy; on the perception of explicit existence of that strategy (on documents, for instance); on strategic leadership; on the integration of this strategy with other institutional strategies; and on factors that can influence that strategy.
The paper will describe the results obtained by these indicators and will propose an answer to the research question already mentioned.