L. Verhelst

Odisee (BELGIUM)
Why it is so difficult to move teachers to the challenge of using new technology? Are technologists using the right “movers". A lot of research is already done in the area of technology in education. How to maximize the chance of implementing the results of expensive research in the world of teaching?

If we are convinced that technology has to play an important role in education, because we believe that technology is a sound idea for education, then:
• We have to (re)analyse it first, thinking about the following questions. What do we expect from academici? How to use educational tools in the reality of a university, what are the right methods and procedures to implement these tools? Who are involved as experts for support? Who are the other users and what are their experiences?
• We have to prove the soundness by linking benefits to each of the answers of the questions above (no benefit = no importance).
Many good ideas about educational technology dissapear because of bad communication. To make them work, we have to concentrate on our way of communication by always considering the objectives of the academici. This means :
• Bundling benefits into the objectives, obtained from your audience. A board of directors defends that one mission of their institution, but in the end, every policy maker will be focused on his own mission or his own objectives. That is why a financial director will fall asleep during your presentation of free Open Educational resources. Communicate your idea, starting with the user/audience-objective to gain acceptance.
• Recognizing resistance towards new technology. Show respect by understanding this resistance. Answer with a solution. The content of your solution will depend on the kind of resistance (fear, habit, lack of information,…).

This approach is a way to translate the idea of a sound educational tool into action, while thinking about the way academics think. The defining and redefining of all kinds of technology and offering it as a broad range is necessary but not enough. “Universities are not like supermarkets where one can drop all products in racks” (Steve Fuller).

“Movers” like Action, Benefit, Objective, Resistance are a way to translate information on educational technology into communication on educational technology.

My lecture will demonstrate a vision on digital formative testing in Higher Education, using the communication framework called ACSI (Analysis & Communication of a Sound Idea).