University Teachers’ Perspectives on the Use of Educational Technology in the Research Supervision Process : A case-study on the supervision process of students during their final thesis at the Jönköping University in Sweden

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Informatik; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Informatik

Abstract: Educational technology has been proven to potentially impact higher education institutions, but the true extent of this potential often remains vague. In times when higher education and research become increasingly relevant for the economic welfare of society, research supervision itself emerges as an important field of research. This qualitative research investigates the teachers’ view and approaches to the use of educational technology during the research supervision process of undergraduate and graduate students at the Jönköping University. Through the application of the TPACK framework in higher education, we gained a better understanding of the teachers’ personal values when using educational technologies in their supervision process. Furthermore, we are contributing an empirical example of a TPACK application in higher education while shedding light on the decision-making of supervisors when using or not using educational technology. We conducted seven interviews with research supervisors and answered the questions of (1) how educational technology is used during research supervision and (2) why educational technology is used or not used during the supervision process. The findings showed five main use cases for educational technology. We observed that supervisors mostly used educational technology when collaborating with their students whereas they preferred a more analog or hybrid approach to technology for executing individual tasks like reading and commenting. Educational technology has a supporting role for supervisors, and it is creating personal value to them through convenience, reading comfort, increased efficiency and effectiveness. For further research we suggest investigating how the personal value for teachers can be accounted for in the existing TPACK framework, and the possible benefits the application of the original or an extended version of the TPACK framework has for the field of information system research.

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