Technology

How to Incentivize Faculty Use of Technology

Money - used under Creative Commons License http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355351769/

Let’s play a game. The game is How Do You Incentivize Faculty Use of Technology, but, unlike previous iterations of this game, course releases and money are not options. It’s an issue that many of us whom work with educational / instructional technology face. There is a mandate or an assumption that faculty need to use more technology or to better use technology. Between lecture preps, teaching, research, advising, grading, and committee work though, when is there time? How does one justify the time spent learning or experimenting with a technology that may or may not be of use in teaching and learning?

One incentive could be investing a small amount of time to save a larger amount of time in the future. Take student evaluations for example. Instead of handing out paper surveys to be filled out in class, why not use Survey Monkey or Google Forms and have students complete the evaluations outside of class? There will be time spent learning how to create a form, but the payoffs are: freed class time, reduced time sorting and collating responses, legible responses, automatic summaries (at least in Google Forms), and saved paper.

What are your ideas? It’s okay if it’s a little crazy. What incentives, beyond course releases and money, could be created to increase faculty use of technology?

Timothy A. Lepczyk

Tim is an instructional technologist and former librarian. On the side, he writes fiction and poetry, and publishes the magazine Scintilla. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.

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