Effective use of communication and information technology: bridging the skills gap

Littlejohn, Allison H. and Stefani, Lorraine A.J. (1999). Effective use of communication and information technology: bridging the skills gap. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 7(2) pp. 66–76.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0968776990070208


There is a revolutionary culture change taking place within higher education in the United Kingdom. Part of this change is the adoption of new communication and information technologies (C&IT), such as the World Wide Web (WWW), for teaching, learning and assessment. Many academics have limited experience of the WWW for teaching and learning and perceive that the use of new technologies involves transferring traditional teaching methods into an electronic format, with no regard for the underlying pedagogical implications. Our current research with teaching staff has given insight into essential skills and competencies required to empower the use of C&IT bearing in mind the importance of the underlying pedagogy. In this paper we present an analysis of research carried out with academic staff members to determine the nature of staff and student skills needs regarding the use of C&IT in teaching and learning. This analysis is followed by a case study of how these findings were incorporated into the development and implementation of a staff development programme aimed at encouraging innovative teaching at the University of Strathclyde.

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