Maximising motivators for technology-enhanced learning for further education teachers: moving beyond the early adopters in a time of austerity

Keywords: educational technology, FELTAG, investment, attitudes, barriers, further education


Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) has become a prominent issue in further education (FE) since the publication of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) report in 2014, but many initiatives have concentrated on digital competence without investigating the role of staff attitudes and motivation in extending their use of new technologies. This research explored the views and experiences of FE staff using technology to support learning and the impact of these on their motivation to develop a technology-enhanced curriculum in their subject. The aim was to identify any common themes or factors linked to positive engagement with TEL which could inform institutional efforts to increase the extent and effectiveness of TEL use. This research used a mixed-methods approach to attempt to provide a broader and more reliable view of attitudes and also considered the similarities and differences between the experiences of further and higher education teachers through comparison with Bennett’s (2014) Digital Practitioner Framework and the particular barriers found in the resource-constrained environment of FE. It summarises the key factors identified as likely to influence staff engagement with TEL, and recommends how such motivating factors could be maximised and how potential barriers could be addressed.


Download data is not yet available.


Alazam, A., et al., (2012) ‘Teachers’ ICT skills and ICT integration in the classroom’, Creative Education, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 70–76. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.38B016

Armellini, A. & Hawkridge, D. (2012) ‘Utopian universities: A technicist’s dream’, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 132–142. doi: 10.1007/s12528-012-9058-y

Beckingham, S. & Nerantzi, C. (2015) ‘Scaling-up open CPD for teachers in higher education using a snowballing approach’, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practices, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 109–121. doi: 10.14297/jpaap.v3i1.148

Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (2011) Digital Literacies Workshop, Paper presented at the JISC Learning Literacies Workshop, [online] Available at: Literacy Workshop materials

Bennett, L. (2014) ‘Learning from the early adopters: Developing the digital practitioner’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 22, pp. 1–13. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v22.21453

Brantley-Dias, L. & Ertmer, P. A. (2013) ‘Goldilocks and TPACK: Is the construct ‘just right?’, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 103–128. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2013.10782615

Burke, J. (2015) New Feltag Group Aims to Help Practitioners. [online] Available at:

Clay, J. (2017) Show Me the Evidence. [online] Available at:

Clay, J. (2015) I Don’t Have a Dog. [online] Available at:

Cochrane, T. (2012) ‘Secrets of mlearning failures: Confronting reality’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 20, pp. 123–134. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19186

Coralesce (n.d.) Edtech Assess. [online] Available at:

Ecclesfield, N., Rebbeck, G. & Garnett, F. (2013) ‘The case of the curious and the confident – The untold story of changing teacher attitudes to e-learning and “technology in action”, in the FE sector’, Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 45–56. doi: 10.21100/compass.v3i5.71

ECORYS UK (2016) Digital Skills for the UK Economy. [online] Available at:

Ertmer, P. A., et al., (2012) ‘Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship’, Computers & Education, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 423–435. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.02.001

ETAG (2014) Education Technology Action Group – Our Reflections. [online] Available at:

FELTAG (2014) Recommendations: Paths Forward to a Digital Future for Further Education and Skills. [online] Available at:

Glover, I., et al., (2016) ‘Pedagogy first: Realising technology enhanced learning by focusing on teaching practice’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 993–1002. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12425

Gray, D. E. (2014) Doing Research in the Real World, 3rd edn., Sage, London.

Hämäläinen, R. & De Wever, B. (2013) ‘Vocational education approach: New TEL settings – New prospects for teachers’ instructional activities?’, International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 271–291.doi: 10.1007/s11412-013-9176-1

Hawksey, Martin (2017) Association for Learning Technology Annual Survey 2016 Report. [online] Available at:

Hixon, E., et al., (2012) ‘Beyond the early adopters of online instruction’, The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 102–107. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.11.005

Howard, S. K. & Gigliotti, A. (2016) 'Having a go: Looking at teachers’ experience of risk-taking in technology integration’, Education and Information Technologies, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 1351–1366. doi: 10.1007/s10639-015-9386-4

JISC (2015) Digital Launchpad. [online] Available at:

Jones, D. (2012) Beyond the Early Adopters of Online Instruction: Motivating the Reluctant Majority. [online] Available at:

Kim, C., et al., (2013) ‘Teacher beliefs and technology integration’, Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 29, pp. 76–85. doi:

Koehler, M. J. & Mishra, P. (2005) ‘What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical content knowledge’, Journal of Educational Computing Research, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 131–152. doi: 10.2190/0EW7-01WB-BKHL-QDYV

NMC (2017) Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from:

O’Leary, Z. (2014) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project, 2nd edn., Sage, London.

Plowright, D. (2011) Using Mixed Methods: Frameworks for an Integrated Methodology, Sage, London.

Prestridge, S. & Tondeur, J. (2015) ‘Exploring elements that support teachers engagement in online professional development’, Education Sciences, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 199–219. doi: 10.3390/educsci5030199

Reed, P. (2014) ‘Staff experience and attitudes towards technology enhanced learning initiatives in one faculty of health & life sciences’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 22, pp. 1–23. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v22.22770

Rogers, E. M. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations, 4th edn., Free Press, New York.

Sahin, I (2006) ‘Detailed review of Rogers’ Diffusion of innovations theory and educational technology’, The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 5, no. 2, [online] Available at:

Salmon, G. & Wright, P. (2014) ‘Transforming future teaching through “Carpe diem” learning design’, Education Sciences, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 52–63. doi: 10.3390/educsci4010052

Silverman, D. (2013) Doing Qualitative Research, 4th edn., Sage, London.

Silverman, D. (2011) Interpreting Qualitative Data: A Guide to the Principles of Qualitative Research, 4th edn., Sage, London.

Singh, G. & Hardaker, G. (2014) ‘Barriers and enablers to adoption and diffusion of eLearning’, Education & Training, vol. 56, no. 2/3, pp. 105–121. doi: 10.1108/ET-11-2012-0123

Tondeur, J., et al., (2017) ‘Understanding the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and technology use in education’, Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 555–575. doi: 10.1007/s11423-016-9481-2

UCU (2016) Workload is an education issue. [online] Available at:

UFI (2016) Blended learning essentials. [online] Available at:

White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) ‘Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement’, First Monday, vol. 16, no. 9. Available at:

White, S. (2007) ‘Critical success factors for e-learning and institutional change’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 840–850. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00760.x
How to Cite
Armstrong, E. (2019). Maximising motivators for technology-enhanced learning for further education teachers: moving beyond the early adopters in a time of austerity. Research in Learning Technology, 27.
Original Research Articles