THE INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE USE OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN PORTUGUESE PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION: A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
The effective usage of communication technologies to support educational purposes is an important issue on higher education institutions (HEI). HEI are being challenged by several internal and external factors, including the increasing use of web 2.0 technologies, the pressure to offer distance education programs, the open educational resources movement, and the need to cope with students holding a new and diverse set of habits about the use of communication technologies.
The use of communication technologies in HEI can be studied under different perspectives. On the doctoral program on Information and Communication in Digital Platforms offered by the Universities of Aveiro and Oporto (Portugal), a research project about the Portuguese reality is underway considering several perspectives. The institutional perspective is the object of this paper.
On this project, the institutional perspective is studied under two main concepts. The concept of “institutional framework” includes several dimensions, such as the institutional strategy to the use of communication technology or the resources made available for that purpose. The concept of “usage” includes the dimension of the agents that influence the usage and the communication technologies that are actually being used for teaching and learning. The main components of these concepts have been detailed and each component refined, producing a set of indicators.
A questionnaire was prepared and disseminated to all Portuguese public higher education institutions (Universities and Polytechnic Institutes), targeting faculty and administration staff with responsibilities related with the use of communication technologies on teaching and learning activities. Currently the data collecting phase is underway. Apart the questionnaire, some interviews will be carried out to refine data about specific subjects that emerge from questionnaires.
The paper will present the problem, the research questions defined, the corresponding analysis model, the research methodology adopted and the outline of the data collection instruments developed. It is expected that preliminary results will also be ready to be presented at the time of the conference. Outcomes from questionnaires are expected to be disclosed.