Learning technology in Scottish higher education - a survey of the views of senior managers, academic staff and 'experts'
Central concerns within the field of learning technology in higher education have been the promotion of institutional change and staff awareness and development. This focus on the need to bring about a 'culture shift' and the importance of 'change agents' is reflected in the Dearing Report (DfEE, 1997) and in Funding Council initiatives such as TLTP and TLTSN (Davies, 1995). It is common for many of us who work in this area to feel that although we see clearly the task ahead, we have little at our disposal by way of evidence about how far we have come. Much of the evidence which does exist, and which has been incorporated into lectures and reports, is anecdotal, local and small scale, although there have been some larger studies, notably the Information Technology Assisted Teaching and Learning project (ITATL, 1997), and a 1999 study of C&IT materials funded by the Funding Councils (HEFCE, 1999a), and in the United States the national survey of desktop computing and IT in higher education (Green, 1989-99). These showed a rapidly increasing use of learning technology in higher education, and some of the limitations and restrictions which staff feel, such as technical support. However, there had been no indepth study of the subject and institution-specific influences on academic staff use of, and attitudes to, learning technology.