The Impact of Generational Status on Instructors’ Reported Technology Usage

 

Although the majority of colleges and universities are equipped with the latest instructional technologies, an appreciable integration of technology has not been observed in instructional practices (Flavin, 2013; Garrison & Akyol, 2009; Salinas, 2008). The purpose of this research is to understand the impact that generational differences can have on developmental education faculty members’ self-reported familiarity, use, and challenges with instructional technology as measured by the Developmental Education Technology Survey (DETS; Skidmore, Saxon, Zientek, & Edmonson, 2012). The DETS was developed to examine the level of technology integration in developmental education programs across Texas higher education institutions. Responses from 753 developmental education faculty members from 68 institutions (69% institutional response rate) are the focus of this study. Findings suggest that generational classification serves as a statistically significant predictor of familiarity with instructional technology. A statistically significantly larger proportion of the faculty of the Silent generation also identified their own skill level as a challenge compared to other generations. Developing an understanding of faculty members’ proclivity to use instructional technology through the lens of generational classification can lead to more targeted professional development, which can help faculty members move towards using instructional technology as a resource to improve teaching and learning.