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Policy Delphi as a means of identifying and using stakeholder values in policy development and implementation

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Title:
Policy Delphi as a means of identifying and using stakeholder values in policy development and implementation
Creator:
Gier, Maria Cesario
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English
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xvii, 232 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Educational technology -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Education, Higher -- Decision making -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
College teachers -- Planning -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
College teaching -- Aids and devices ( lcsh )
Delphi method ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 226-232).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Maria Cesario Gier.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
47057919 ( OCLC )
ocm47057919
Classification:
LD1190.E3 2000d .G53 ( lcc )

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Full Text
POLICY DELPHI AS A MEANS OF IDENTIFYING AND USING
STAKEHOLDER VALUES IN POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND
IMPLEMENTATION
by
Maria Cesario Gier
B.S., Chapman University, 1982
M.S., Chapman University, 1988
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
2000


2000 by Maria Cesario Gier
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Maria Cesario Gier
has been approved
by
/z zaod


1
l
Gier, Maria Cesario (PhJD., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Policy Delphi as a Means of Identifying and Using Stakeholder Values in Policy
Development and Implementation
Thesis directed by Professor Michael Murphy
ABSTRACT
The integration of technology into academic instruction provides unique and
exciting opportunities for institutions of higher education; however, the challenges of
integrating technology into the curriculum primarily rest on the shoulders of full-time
faculty. Without the interest and support of full-time faculty, successful integration
of academic technology is problematic. Consequently, effective integration of new
technology into mainstream academic culture requires thoughtful changes in existing
institutional policies that support faculty in this endeavor.
Traditionally, institutions of higher education approach the examination and
exploration of policy issues through the committee process. This study examines the
utility of the Policy Delphi technique as a tool to provide meaningful policy-making
information to university policy-making bodies. Utility is examined by implementing
this research method to identify alternative resolutions, which represent the
viewpoints of full-time faculty, to academic technology problems at a university.
Specifically, I utilized the Policy Delphi technique to identify and to examine
alternative policy resolutions to the policy issues that directly influence the decision
of full-time faculty at the University of Colorado in Denver to integrate technology
into their teaching.
!
i
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Forty-six full-time faculty participated in a two-phase Policy Delphi survey.
Faculty ranked ten policy issues in order of importance and offered alternative
resolutions to academic technology problems associated with each policy issue. The
alternative resolutions were subsequently ranked for desirability to the faculty and for
the feasibility of the resolution being implemented at the University. Faculty ranked
the issues of limited access to technology, inadequate faculty incentives, and
inadequate technical support as the three most important issues that require attention
by university policy-making committees.
Four general themes were interwoven throughout the faculty responses in the
two phases of the Policy Delphi survey: (a) preference for decentralized decision
making, (b) preservation of academic freedom, (c) insufficient time to learn and
implement academic technology, and (d) genuine concern for enhancing student
learning. These themes, which represent needs, concerns, and values of the full-time
faculty, underlie faculty recommendations to address the academic technology
programs associated with the policy issues studied.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
(
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i
V


DEDICATION
For their understanding and support, I dedicate this thesis to my parents, John and
Doris Cesario, and my daughter, Jessica Parvin. Without their love, this would not
have been possible.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This dissertation could not have been completed without the generous help
and support of several people. I appreciate the support of my committee chair,
Michael Murphy, who worked with me on this project despite my move to California.
Special thanks to Marshall Costanino and Sandy Ruppert who devote their lifes work
to research and who willingly shared their expertise with me. I am also grateful to
Murray Turoff the originator of the Policy Delphi technique, for his advice on
designing the study. Thanks to Sandy Montana and Jennifer Stapanon whose
technical skills enhanced the presentation of this document.
I would also like to thank my family and friends who tolerated my
preoccupation with the study and sacrificed their time with me so this could be
completed. In particular, I thank Jane Urshel for five years of friendship and support
through our doctoral work and Rick Gunter for his patience and love and the many
fires he stoked while I wrote. And last, I acknowledge Chance, my bearded collie, for
sitting at my feet as I wrote every word.


CONTENTS
Figures..........................................................xiii
Tables............................................................xiv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION................................................1
Statement of Problem..................................3
Statement of Purpose..................................4
Statement of Procedure................................5
Definition of Key Terms...............................7
Information Technology Initiative...............7
Academic Technology.............................7
Stakeholders....................................8
Policy Delphi Technique.........................8
Policy Delphi Process...........................8
Organization of the Study.............................9
Chapter One: Introduction.......................9
Chapter Two: Review of Literature...............9
Chapter Three: Methodology.....................10
Chapter Four: Presentation of Findings and
Recommendations................................10
viii


Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusions, and
Recommendations for Future Research..........10
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..................................11
Integration of Technology in Higher Education......12
Strategies for Change and Decision Making in
Higher Education...................................18
The Policy Delphi Technique........................26
History and Development of the Delphi Technique ... 26
Characteristics of the Policy Delphi Technique.29
Summary............................................32
3. METHODOLOGY...............................................33
The Policy Delphi Technique........................34
Designing the Policy Delphi........................38
Framing the Policy Issues....................39
Selecting the Policy Delphi Participants.....42
Phase One of the Policy Delphi Survey..............45
Phase-One Survey Packet......................45
Response to Phase-One Survey.................47
Analysis of Rank Order of Policy Issues......49
Analysis of Suggested Resolutions to Policy Issues... 50
Phase Two of the Policy Delphi Survey..............51


Phase-Two Survey Packet.........................51
Response to Phase-Two Survey....................53
Analysis of Desirability, Feasibility, and Priority
Rankings for Suggested Resolutions..............56
Analysis to Evaluate Extent of Bias in Survey Results.57
Limitations of Research Method........................60
Selection of Participants.......................60
Timing of the Study.............................61
Attrition Rate of Phase-One Respondents.........63
Researcher Bias.......................................63
Summary...............................................64
4. PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
TO POLICY-MAKING COMMITTEES..................................66
Extent of Bias in Survey Results......................67
Importance Rank Order of Policy Issues................69
Policy Issues, Alternative Resolutions, and
Recommendations for Policymakers......................70
Policy Issue One: Limited Faculty Access to
Classrooms Equipped with Technology.............71
Policy Issue Two: Inadequate Faculty Incentives
and Rewards for Using Technology................76
Policy Issue Three: Inadequate Technical Support.... 81
Policy Issue Four: Clarification of Intellectual
Property Ownership for Electronic Coursework..85
x


Policy Issue Five: Insufficient Academic
Technology Training for Faculty...................90
Policy Issue Six: Inequity of Technology Resources
Among Schools and Colleges........................94
Policy Issue Seven: Absence of Evaluation and
Assessment of Technology..........................99
Policy Issue Eight: Inconsistent Quality Control.104
Policy Issue Nine: Incompatibility of Hardware
and Software.....................................108
Policy Issue Ten: Inconsistent Standards of Evaluating
Use of Technology for Retention, Tenure, and
Promotion........................................112
Summary.................................................117
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................119
Summary.............................................120
Conceptual Framework.........................120
Research Method..............................121
Data Collection and Analysis.................123
Conclusions.........................................125
Summary of Policy Issues.....................126
Summary of Faculty Recommendations ..........130
Identification of General Themes in
Policy-Making Recommendations................134


Evaluation of Policy Delphi Technique. 139
Recommendations for Future Research... 148
APPENDIX
A. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY AND TELEPHONE INTERVIEW
PROTOCOL ...................................150
B. INVITATION LETTERS AND RESPONSE RETURN
POSTCARD ...................................157
C. PHASE-ONE COVER LETTER, SURVEY, AND FOLLOW-UP
POSTCARDS...................................161
D. IMPORTANCE RANKINGS FOR POLICY ISSUES.......177
E. PHASE-TWO COVER LETTER, SURVEY, AND FOLLOW-UP
POSTCARDS...................................182
F. DESIRABILITY AND FEASIBILITY RANKINGS FOR
ALTERNATIVE RESOLUTIONS.....................198
G. CHI-SQUARE GOODNESS-OF-FIT DATA.............219
REFERENCES 225


FIGURES
Figure
3.1 Breakdown of Faculty Rank Status..........................44
3.2 Sample Phase-One Survey Question..........................46
3.3 Breakdown of Users of Academic Technology and
Faculty Rank Status for Phase-One Survey.................48
3.4 Sample Phase-Two Survey Question..........................54
3.4 Breakdown of Users of Academic Technology and
Faculty Rank Status for Policy Delphi Respondents........56


TABLES
Table
2.1 Comparison of Conventional and Policy Delphi....................31
3.1 Strengths and Limitations of Policy Delphi Technique............37
3.2 Sample Computation for Importance Rankings for Policy Issues...50
3.3 Breakdown of Policy Delphi Respondents by University School
or College......................................................55
4.1 Computed Values of Chi-Square for Five Tests....................68
4.2 Importance Rankings for Policy Issues...........................70
4.3 Resolution Rankings for Limited Faculty Access Issue............72
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.4 Resolution One.............................................73
4.5 Resolution Two.............................................73
4.6 Resolution Three...........................................74
4.7 Resolution Rankings for Inadequate Faculty Incentives Issue.....77
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.8 Resolution One.............................................78
4.9 Resolution Two.............................................78
4.10 Resolution Three..........................................79


4.11 Resolution Rankings for Inadequate Technical Support Issue..........81
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.12 Resolution One...............................................82
4.13 Resolution Two..............................................83
4.14 Resolution Three............................................83
4.15 Resolution Rankings for Clarification of
Intellectual Property Issue.......................................86
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.16 Resolution One..............................................87
4.17 Resolution Two..............................................87
4.18 Resolution Three............................................88
4.16 Resolution Rankings for Insufficient Technology Training Issue....90
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.20 Resolution One..............................................91
4.21 Resolution Two..............................................92
4.22 Resolution Three............................................93
4.23 Resolution Rankings for Inequity of Technology Resources Issue.... 95
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.24 Resolution One..............................................96
4.25 Resolution Two..............................................96
4.26 Resolution Three............................................97
xv


4.27 Resolution Rankings for Absence of Evaluation and
Assessment Issue...............................................100
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.28 Resolution One............................................100
4.29 Resolution Two............................................101
4.30 Resolution Three..........................................102
4.31 Resolution Rankings for Inconsistent Quality Control of
Technology-Based Courses Issue..................................104
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.32 Resolution One............................................105
4.33 Resolution Two............................................105
4.34 Resolution Three..........................................106
4.35 Resolution Rankings for Incompatibility of Hardware and
Software Issue..................................................108
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.36 Resolution One............................................109
4.37 Resolution Two............................................110
4.38 Resolution Three.........................................110


4.39 Resolution Rankings for Inconsistent RTP Standards for Use of
Technology......................................................113
Strengths and Limitations for Alternative Resolutions:
4.40 Resolution One............................................114
4.41 Resolution Two............................................114
4.42 Resolution Three..........................................115
XVII


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Advances in technology, coupled with a growing adult student body, are
forcing institutions of higher education to rethink the way that they provide
education. The proliferation of personal computers, the expansion of local and wide-
area networking capabilities, and the virtually limitless utility of interactive
multimedia and two-way video are having a profound impact on the curriculum of
institutions (Stuebing, 1994). In addition, the changing demographics of todays
college students make increased access to higher education a necessity. Less than one
fourth of the students attending institutions of higher education are what we once
considered traditional students, 18-22 years old, living in college housing, and
attending full time. Adult students have become the new majority with a future work
life that will consist of six or seven careers, each requiring new skills (Twigg, 1994).
Preferring to preserve their existing structure, institutions of higher education
now are compelled to invest in instructional technology to maintain a competitive
position, to enhance the curriculum, and to serve better the needs of their students
(Green & Gilbert, 1995). It is the predominance of adult students, or working
professionals, in todays institutions, however, that provide the strongest market
demand for technology-driven curriculum (Mingle & Heydinger, 1994).
1


As we enter the new millennium, futurists predict that each member of our
workforce will need approximately 30 credit hours of instruction every seven years to
remain competitive. If this prediction holds true, institutions of higher education will
be challenged to meet the demands of a significant increase in the number of adult
students (Dolence & Norris, 1995). Seduced by the promises of technology,
legislators around the country are asking higher educational institutions to find ways
to accommodate this growing number of students without the construction of new
buildings.
Adopting a position of no new construction, the Colorado General Assembly
passed legislation declaring that, "distance learning and technology-assisted learning
will be an indispensable part of the future of education..." (S. 96-197, 1996). Shortly
after legislation was passed, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education approved
a request by the University of Colorado at Denver (the University) for a $9 million
grant in State Capital Construction Funds. As one of the first of its kind, the
Universitys grant proposal requested construction money to retrofit the existing
campus buildings to accommodate advances in technology.
Focusing on increased access, enhanced quality, and contained costs, the $9
million Information Technology Initiative was sure to receive the attention of
Colorados policymakers. Further collaboration with two other Colorado state
institutions, Metropolitan State College of Denver and the Community College of
2


Denver on a shared urban campus, gave this project the potential of becoming a
showplace right outside the legislators backdoor.
Statement of Problem
Integration of technology into curriculum provides unique and exciting
opportunities to deliver programs to demographically diverse students. However, the
success and quality of integrating academic technology rests primarily on the
shoulders of the faculty. Although some motivated faculty have integrated
technology into their teaching, many more view it as a threat to their jobs and
traditions. Without the cooperation of faculty at the University, the success of the
Information Technology Initiative is at risk.
To integrate effectively the new technology into the mainstream academic
culture, it is imperative that faculty receive adequate support and leadership from the
administration at the institution (Olcott & Wright, 1995). However, administrative
support, in itself, does not ensure success. The integration of academic technology
affects the nature of faculty work. For the Information Technology Initiative to be
successful, significant and thoughtful changes in policies to address the integration of
academic technology are required. The successful implementation of new policies to
facilitate the integration of academic technology greatly depends upon the
participation of both faculty and administration in the policy reform process.


Traditionally, institutions of higher education approach the examination and
exploration of policy issues through committees. Despite the large number of full-
time faculty at the University, policy-making committees frequently experience
insufficient faculty representation on committees that address technology issues.
Whether faculty do not participate because of lack of time, knowledge, or interest in
technology is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that successful change requires
the ownership and participation of all groups of stakeholders involved in the process
(Linquist, 1978). Consequently, inadequate faculty participation on University
technology policy-making committees could jeopardize the success of the
Information Technology Initiative. To enhance the effectiveness of the committee
process an organized approach to soliciting and organizing policy-making
information from full-time faculty is needed.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of the Policy Delphi
technique as a tool to provide policymaking information to University committees.
Utility is examined in this study by using the Policy Delphi technique to identify
alternative resolutions to academic technology problems at a university.
Specifically, I utilized the Policy Delphi technique to identify and to examine
alternative policy resolutions to the policy issues that directly influence the decision
4


of full-time faculty at the University of Colorado in Denver to integrate technology
into their teaching.
The Policy Delphi technique is a structured communication process that is
effective in allowing a group of stakeholders to deal with a complex problem (Turoff
1975). Unlike a consensus-building Delphi, the Policy Delphi extracts a broad range
of views from participants on alternative resolutions to a policy issue. The policy-
making information gathered in the technique enhances the Universitys committee
approach to policy making.
Statement of Procedure
The procedures for conducting this study were:
1. The conceptual framework that guided this research was provided by an
examination of literature in the following areas: (a) the integration of academic
technology in higher education and its affect on the nature of faculty work, (b)
strategies for change and decision making in higher education, and (c) the Delphi
method of research and the subsequent decision to implement the Policy Delphi
technique to facilitate policy reform in the area of academic technology. Information
to frame the policy issues was obtained during my participation as a doctoral student
in University policy-making committee meetings and my attendance at faculty forums
that addressed the implications of the Information Technology Initiative on the nature
of faculty work.
5


2. Telephone interviews were conducted with 16 University faculty to obtain
additional information on the policy issues that require reform to facilitate the
integration of academic technology.
3. A Policy Delphi survey was conducted to obtain the policy-making
information for this research. The survey consisted of a preparatory phase and
implementation phase.
a. The preparatory phase consisted of framing ten policy issues that have
either a policy that requires reform in order to facilitate the use of
academic technology or the absence of a policy to facilitate the use of
academic technology. The policy issues were generated from a review of
related literature, participation in University policy-making committees,
attendance at faculty forums, and completion of faculty telephone
interviews.
b. The implementation phase consisted of administering a two-phase survey
to 46 University faculty to obtain their viewpoints on the ten policy issues
and to solicit and rank alternative resolutions to academic technology
problems associated with these policy issues.
4. Data from the survey responses was summarized, categorized, and
analyzed. Based upon these data, recommendations for policy reform to address
academic technology problems at the University were generated. These
6


represent the values, needs, and concerns of the full-time faculty. General themes in
the policy-making recommendations were identified.
5. An evaluation of the utility of the Policy Delphi technique as tool to solicit
meaningful policy-making information was completed.
Definition of Kev Terms
For purposes of this study, key terms were defined as follows:
Information Technology Initiative flTD
A $9 million grant in State Construction Funds from the Colorado legislature
to the University of Colorado at Denver. The purpose of this grant is to retrofit
existing campus buildings to accommodate advances in technology.
Academic Technology
The enhanced learning tools and environments that are funded by the
Information Technology Initiative. The ITI facilities and equipment are designed to
enhance the capacity of the University to use information technology in the
classroom. A detailed list of the facilities and equipment is included in the first phase
of the survey.
7


Stakeholders
A group of individuals at the University who are affected by policy reform in
the area of academic technology. The stakeholders who participated in the Policy
Delphi survey are full-time faculty at the University.
Policy Delphi Technique
A structured communication process that is effective in allowing a group of
stakeholders to deal with a complex problem (Turoflf 1975). For this study, the
Policy Delphi technique was implemented as a two-phase survey.
Policy Delphi process
The preparatory, implementation, and analytical phases of the Policy Delphi
survey comprise the Policy Delphi process. The preparatory phase consisted of
framing ten policy issues. The implementation phase consisted of implementing a
two-phase survey with University faculty to obtain their viewpoints on the policy
issues. The analytical phase consisted of summarizing and categorizing the data to
formulate policy recommendations the represent the viewpoints of full-time faculty.
8


Organization of the Study
This study is divided into five sections. Each section is described below.
Chapter One: Introduction
This chapter presents an overview of the study. The problem to be explored is
introduced, and the purpose of the study is explained. Key terms used in the research
are defined. A brief organization of the dissertation is summarized.
Chapter Two: Review of Literature
This chapter presents a review of literature that provided a conceptual
framework for the design and implementation of the study. Three related topics are
examined. First, the external forces that have influenced and continue to influence
institutions of higher education to integrate academic technology into the curriculum
are discussed. Second, the process of change and the necessity of involving the
stakeholders in the development of organizational policy are examined. Third, the
history of the Delphi method of research and the utility of the Policy Delphi technique
to provide policy-making information for managing academic technology issues are
discussed and examined.
9


Chapter Three: Methodology
This chapter describes the methodology used for the study, the Policy Delphi
technique. The design of the survey instruments, as well as the selection of survey
participants, are explained. The implementation of the two phases of the Policy
Delphi survey is described, and the methods to analysis the data from the surveys is
presented.
Chapter Four: Presentation of Findings and
Recommendations to Policy-Making Committees
The findings of the Policy Delphi process are presented. Based upon this
information, policy recommendations to academic technology problems are
formulated. These recommendations represent the values, needs, and concerns of
full-time faculty. The recommendations provide policy-making information for
University committees.
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusions,
and Recommendations
This chapter summarizes the research by restating the problem, purpose, and
conceptual framework of the study. The research method is reviewed and evaluated.
In addition, general themes that are interwoven throughout the policy-making
information are identified. Recommendations for future research are offered.
10


CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of the Policy Delphi
technique as a tool to provide policymaking information to University committees.
Utility is examined by using the Policy Delphi technique to identify alternative
resolutions to academic technology programs at a university. The perspectives that
guided the literature review for this study are (a) the integration of academic
technology in higher education and its affect on the nature of faculty work, (b) an
examination of strategies for change and decision making in higher education, and (c)
a discussion of the Delphi method of research and the subsequent decision to
implement the Policy Delphi technique to facilitate policy reform in the area of
academic technology. The assumption made by me was that these perspectives
provide a conceptual framework for understanding the need for policy reform in
institutions of higher education to facilitate the integration of academic technology.
In addition, they provide a framework for understanding the decision to implement
the Policy Delphi technique as a tool to facilitate policy reform. The review of
literature begins with an overview of the integration of academic technology in higher
education and its affect on the nature of faculty work.
11


Integration of Academic Technology in Higher Education
Traditionally, institutions of higher education approach change through the
influence of external forces. The industrialization of America in the late nineteenth
century inspired the shift from colonial, church-related colleges to public land-grant
institutions consisting of professional colleges. The need to preserve a war-related
research enterprise after World War II inspired federal policy that drives the research
agendas of American institutions. During this post-war period, institutions of higher
education also were pressed by the public to educate returning servicemen. A decade
later, the civil rights movement opened the doors of universities to minority groups.
As we enter the new millennium, institutions of higher education once again find
themselves externally pressured to change by the demands and expectations of
students for training in and use of information technology (Mingle & Heydinger,
1994).
Historically, the rate of change in academia is glacial. Effective integration of
the printed word into higher education took hundreds of years (Lewis & Wall, 1988).
Todays external demands on higher education to integrate academic technology into
the curriculum, on the other hand, challenge higher educations traditional unhurried
rate of change. In contrast to the introduction of printed material, the adoption and
integration of the calculator into university classrooms did not take hundreds of years;
however, the adoption of the calculator did not threaten traditional academic
traditions and the structure of the university (Green & Gilbert, 1995).
12


Unlike the calculator, the integration of academic technology shifts the nature
of communication between the faculty of institutions of higher education and their
students. Through its rapid development and rate of change, the technology
revolution facilitates national and global communication with few constraints in time
or cost (Peterson & Dill, 1997). As stated by Drucker (1997), thirty years from now
the big university campuses will be relics. Universities wont survive. Its as large a
change as when we first got the printed book (p. 126). According to Noam (1995),
the higher educational system, stable for over 2.500 years, is now in the process of
breaking down. Noam predicts that the traditional function of the universities will be
superseded by the new technologies, and the role of our institutions in intellectual
inquiry consequently will be reduced.
However, advocates of technology do not view the integration of academic
technology as the demise of our traditional education system. They prefer to see
technology as higher educations magic bullet, the enabler of reforms that will make
education more accessible, affordable, and effective in meeting the needs of todays
student (Van Duesen, 1999). Even an educational system where much of the
curriculum is insulated from the realities of the workplace, the lack of technology in
university classrooms does not meet the needs of the majority of nontraditional or
working adult students. Although higher education would rather work to preserve its
existing structure, universities presently are pressured to invest in technology to
13


achieve the goals of a competitive position and an enhanced curriculum that better
prepares their graduates who enter the labor market (Green & Gilbert, 1995).
To achieve these goals through the integration of academic technology,
significant reform is required in the way universities provide education. However,
educational reform in the area of academic technology also results in changes in the
nature of faculty work. Many faculty will experience a role shift from a sage on the
stage to the mentor at the monitor (Mingle & Heydinger, 1994). Such transition is
met with both interest and resistance by university faculty.
To date, the impact of academic technology on the nature of faculty work has
not been uniform. In addition to variances in the use of technology based upon the
allocation of university resources, use of technology varies by the faculty members
discipline. Faculty in the science, math, and professional areas are far more likely to
explore technological applications in their classrooms than those who teach the arts
and humanities (Baldwin, 1998). Science and math faculty see academic technology
as a means of allowing students to experience a complex mathematical or scientific
process from a multi-dimensional prospective (Van Duesen, 1999). However, other
faculty view technology as simply another gadget that is unable to deliver promised
educational outcomes. For these faculty, academic technology does not yield enough
value for the vast investment of time and effort required to master the technology
(Cartwright, 1994; DeSieno, 1995). As a result, faculty faced with the dilemma of
whether or not to integrate technology into their teaching frequently arrive at their
14


decision by constructing their own meaning to this change and by reacting to the
change based upon how they perceive it will affect the nature of their work (Hord,
Rutherford, Huling-Austin, & Hall, 1987).
According to Green (1996), academic technology has not radically
transformed university classrooms or the instructional activities of faculty. Green
explains that most technology used in the classroom is designed to supplement
traditional instruction and not to redefine the educational process. Muth (1995)
suggests that, in general, faculty find it easier to teach in their classrooms and that the
integration of academic technology requires significant time investments with little to
no immediate payoff. The investment of time, coupled with faculty intransigence
toward the use of academic technology, creates barriers to change.
Lewis and Wall (1988) and Dillon and Walsh (1992), identified a list of
reasons to explain faculty resistance to the integration of academic technology. In
addition to citing faculty concerns in the time it takes to plan and become proficient
in the use of academic technology, they emphasized the issue of faculty resistance to
collaboration with technicians and instructional designers in the development of
technology-driven courses. Not only does such collaboration infringe upon the
tradition of academic independence, it forces faculty to work in an area that is outside
their discipline. Additionally, Dillon and Walsh cite the potential loss of faculty
ownership of intellectual property and the belief that university faculty will be
replaced by technology as matters of concern.
15


However, at the heart of faculty resistance lies the consequence of teaching
with technology on the tenure and promotion process. For some untenured faculty,
the time and effort spent to develop academic software has been the kiss of death
(Cartwright, 1994). Cavalier (1992) described the need for a significant paradigm
shift in the area of faculty development, a shift that equalizes the weight of teaching
and research in the tenure and promotion process. The development of educational
software programs and the exploration of the use of these programs in the classroom
demand extensive investments in teaching time, time that is better spent on research
for the tenure and promotion process. However, some faculty are so interested in
computer-assisted teaching that they risk investing time in the development of their
own software even though this activity is not part of the normal tenure and promotion
trajectory (Cartwright, 1994). Without equal consideration to teaching in the tenure
process, faculty juggle their desires to enhance student learning through the use of
academic technology with promoting themselves professionally.
Boyer (1990) addresses a growing frustration with the traditional faculty-
development model in his Special Report for the Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching. Boyer supports reevaluating the roles of research,
teaching, and service, and he recommends that the definition of teaching should be
enlarged and equally weighted in the tenure and promotion process. In addition,
Boyer advocates expanding the traditional definition of classroom research to include
the design, development, and use of computer technology.
16


In addition to the difficulty of learning and working with technology while
working toward tenure and promotion. Lewis and Wall (1998) cite other barriers to
the integration academic technology by university faculty. First on their list is the
lack of rewards for faculty to learn how to integrate technology in their teaching.
Without incentives of release time, scheduling adjustments, or monetary
compensation, most faculty prefer to devote their time to traditional research and
writing. In addition, faculty are dissuaded from integrating technology into their
teaching because of the lack of training programs and technical support offered by
universities. These barriers, coupled with issues of access to and control of
technology resources, contribute to the challenge of integrating academic technology
into the curriculum.
Green (1996) believes that assisting faculty with the integration of academic
technology is the most important information technology issue that requires attention
at institutions of higher education. However, many universities invest in the
hardware and software components of academic technology while giving little
thought to the policies that either facilitate or hinder the integration of academic
technology. To reap the benefits of academic technology, universities initially need
to transform by removing the obstacles that impede the development of new policies.
This transformation requires significant policy reform in areas that enhance the value
of integrating technology into the faculty roles of teaching, research, and service.
Resistance of institutions to recognize the need for policy reform that reward faculty
17


for their use of technology is a critical obstacle to change (Muth, 1995; McNeill,
1990; Dillon & Walsh, 1992). As summarized by TurofF(1997) trying to shoehorn
the current policies into the new technology is a common approach that does not work
and discourages the use of technology (p. 21). However, policy reform in the area of
academic technology challenges the institution to change the way it provides
education. The structure of the institution, moreover, frequently becomes a
significant roadblock to this change (Muth, 1995).
Strategies for Change and Decision Making
in Higher Education
A common mistake of administrators, or leaders of any change process, is to
assume that once the technology is introduced into the organization and initial
training is complete, the intended users will put the innovation into practice (Hord et
al., 1987). Administrators on university campuses are often guilty of this mistake
when they assume that the installation of hardware and software in classrooms
automatically generates faculty enthusiasm accompanied by a willingness to change
their pedagogy to integrate the new technology. On the whole, nothing could be
further from the truth (Ehrmann, 1995).
Another mistake of administrators is to assume that all users of a new
technology will react in a similar way. Hord et al. (1987) define change as a process,
not an event, which is accomplished by individuals who do not respond collectively
18


to the change. These individuals relate to change in terms of what the change means
to them or how it affects the current nature of their work. Although equipment and
materials are important to the change process, the decisive component to accomplish
change is the modification of the behavior of the individuals, or the stakeholders,
involved in the change. Consequently, successful change in the area of academic
technology lies primarily in the human or faculty component of the process and not
merely in the introduction of the hardware and software.
According to Muth & Cooper (1994), however, university faculty cautiously
approach change to the extent that they will avoid significant change until the
institution faces a serious problem. Massey & Zemsky (1995) support this viewpoint
by proposing that the foremost barrier to adopting academic technology is the current
set of established institutional norms that relate to faculty autonomy, teaching
methods, and levels of productivity. Traditionally, higher education is characterized
by a commitment to constancy and the belief that the academy is immutable. These
values ultimately affect how or if academic technology will fit into the institutions
curriculum (Masland, 1988). The integration of academic technology potentially
threatens these tradition norms and requires change in areas that faculty would prefer
to leave untouched.
If it is, in fact, the individuals who accomplish change, then the process of
integrating academic technology needs to focus on the major group of stakeholders
involved in the change, the full-time faculty at the university. However, as explained
19


by Rogers (1995a) in his theory on the diffusion of innovations, individuals seldom
adopt a new idea or innovation on impulse. Rogers (1995b) claims that the decision
to either adopt or disregard a proposed technological innovation ultimately is based
upon information that is gathered from peer experiences. Rogers (1995b) further
explains that the adoption rate of any innovation escalates with the perception that the
new innovation is superior, or has a relative advantage, to the existing practice.
Drucker (Twigg, 1994) qualifies Rogers theory of relative advantage by suggesting
that the success of any new technology fundamentally depends upon its ability to do
the old job ten times better. If Druckers statement is true, it explains why university
faculty frequently question the relative advantage of a PowerPoint presentation over a
presentation that is supported by overhead transparencies.
Rogers work in the area of diffusion of innovations provides a framework for
behavior change models in the social sciences (Valente & Rogers, 1995). His theory
of diffusion effectively explains the role of the interpersonal influence in the
communication process. A basic premise of Rogers theory of diffusion is that the
new idea or technology is adopted very slowly in the early stages of the diffusion
process (Backer & Rogers, 1998). Specifically, diffusion studies conducted at the
turn of the century in rural settings discovered that farmers generally waited five
years after hearing about the innovation of hybrid com before planting a small
percentage of this new seed (Valente & Rogers, 1995). This statistic, coupled with a
questionable relative advantage of academic technology, would support a
20


significantly slow adoption rate of academic technology by the majority of university
full-time faculty.
Conrad (1995), however, contends that Rogers model falls short in providing
a complete picture of the process of academic change as it relates to the integration of
academic technology. The basis for Conrads assessment is that the diffusion theory
does not account for the external and internal forces that initially prompt a
universitys decision to invest in academic technology and that subsequently
influence the rate of adoption of the technology. The universitys desire to remain
competitive, coupled with its large monetary outlay for the acquisition of technology,
makes the traditional slow adoption rate of the academic technology, as proposed in
Rogers model, cost prohibitive and undesirable. For this reason, a strategy for
change that enhances the adoption rate of academic technology and allows the
university to remain competitive and to address the external demands of its students
and the workplace is needed.
Iff return to the assumption ofHord et al. (1987) that it is the individuals who
accomplish change, the process of integrating academic technology needs to focus on
these individuals or stakeholders involved in the change. As suggested by Hord et al.,
technological innovations and university norms and structure are important variables
to the change process, but they are not nearly as important as the people who are the
intended users of the technology. The intended users of the academic technology and
stakeholders involved in the change are the full-time faculty at the university.
21


Linquist (1978) stresses the role of ownership and stakeholder values in the
change process and suggests that the success of any innovation greatly depends upon
the stakeholders perception of the change belonging to them. Muth (1995) expands
on Linquists viewpoint by stating that many reforms fail because they are not
designed to support the self-interests of those who can make them work. In brief, for
a reform to be successful, it must be endorsed and reinforced by individual
commitments to the change. Therefore, for the integration of academic technology to
be successful, it must be endorsed and reinforced by the full-time faculty at the
university.
Traditionally, earlier uses of academic technology, such as the
programmable calculator, have evolved haphazardly in university academic
departments. Todays academic technology, however, is more powerful, and as such,
the technology has a greater impact on the nature of faculty work (DeSieno, 1995).
Because of the potential impact of todays academic technology to change the nature
of faculty work, a haphazard, unstructured approach to the integration of academic
technology is unfavorable. However, a structured and successful approach to
integrating academic technology at a university hinges upon active participation in
the decision-making process from the largest group of stakeholders, the full-time
faculty. Therefore, to initiate successfully this change process, it is necessary for the
full-time faculty to actively participate in the reform and implementation of policies
that facilitate the integration of academic technology into the curriculum.
22


Policymaking and policy reform, however, are not activities that most people,
including full-time faculty, find interesting or rewarding (Baldridge, 1998).
Furthermore, university faculty have evolved into a diverse group of individuals, no
longer a closely-knit group of scholars who see the world from one perspective. As
in society, political interests in universities are segmented. Faculty have different
goals and values that coincide with the goals and values of the sub-college, division,
or academic department that they represent (Clark, 1993). As a result, policymaking
in universities, as well as in society, typically becomes an administrative function that
is performed by a small number of people (Baldridge, 1998).
The role of faculty in the university policy-making process has evolved over
the years. According to Dill & Helm (1988), approaches to policy-making in
universities can be divided into three periods:
1. Faculty Control This early period of faculty participation in policy-making
activities is a direct descendant of medieval universities that operated as a guild of
academic men who controlled their own activities. The model eroded because of a
decline in the number of experienced professors, sectarian control of the institutions,
and limited state financial support. This erosion lead to the development of
institutional governing boards.
2. Democratic Participation In the late 1950s faculty members and
administrators were confronted by demands to democratize the governance process to
include students and other interest groups who did not typically participate in faculty
23


senates. In the 1960s and 1970s, the introduction of collective bargaining extended
policy-making participation to counselors, librarians, and research personnel and to
other faculty who never gained faculty control. Democratic participation ended in the
1970s with the decline of strong economic support for universities created by
inflation and increasing energy costs.
3. Strategic Policymaking By the end of the 1970s, declines in student
enrollments, federal support for research and financial aid, and family discretionary
income created an awareness of market competition among universities for students,
faculty, and revenue. Universities were forced to evaluate their strengths and
weaknesses in light of the changing environmental conditions and to develop policies
that influenced the priorities and values of the entire institution.
Dill & Helm maintain that neither a faculty control structure comprised of a
faculty senate nor a democratic participation structure with collective bargaining
tactics is a practical model for involving full-time faculty in todays strategic
policymaking process. They contend that a more productive approach to
policymaking is through a consultative decision-making process that utilizes the vast
experience and expertise of university faculty. Further, Dill & Helm emphasize the
need for faculty involved in the decision-making process to have an opportunity to
identify and phrase the policy issues under consideration as well as participate in the
formulation of alternative solutions to these issues.
24


Traditionally, todays universities approach the decision-making process
through campus committees. Creating committees to address academic technology
issues that are based upon political representation and not upon the professional
experience or expertise of the faculty lessens the potential of the committees to
develop policies that adequately represent the values and concerns of the faculty. As
explained by Lindquist (1978), when a problem is solved in isolation from the
individual who will implement the solution, it is unlikely that the solution will fit the
needs nor be of much interest to that individual. Muth (1995) supports this statement
when he suggests that many reforms fail because they are not designed to support the
self-interests of those who can make them work.
However, it is difficult to create committees to address academic technology
issues that represent the majority of interests of the diverse group of faculty found at a
university. For this reason, academic reform occurs more readily at small colleges
simply because these institutions do not have the challenge of dealing wnth a large
number of decentralized and complex interests of faculty who represent various sub-
colleges and departments of a university (Linquist, 1978). If a university decides to
solicit a broad range of opinions from full-time faculty on a particular policy issue for
committee consideration, the institution must identify and implement an organized
approach to collect this information. The Policy Delphi technique, a policy-
facilitation tool, has the utility to systematically obtain a broad range of faculty
viewpoints on policy issues. By providing meaningful policy-making information
25


from the full time faculty to university committees for consideration and discussion,
the committee decision-making process is enhanced.
The Policy Delphi Technique
This study implements the Policy Delphi technique. This section discusses
the Delphi method of research.
History and Development of the Delphi Technique
The Delphi technique originated from defense research. In the early 1950s,
the Air Force sponsored a Rand Corporation study entitled Project Delphi. In this first
study that implemented the Delphi method of research, the U.S. Air Force sought the
opinions of experts to identify, from the Soviet point of view, the bomb capacity
required to destroy U.S. targets. Because of the sensitive nature of the topic for the
first study, 14 years passed before Rand Corporation introduced the Delphi technique
to individuals outside of the defense community. In 1964, a paper was published by
the Rand Corporation entitled Report on a Long-Range Forecasting Study. With
special emphasis on science and technology, Rand Corporation reported that the
Delphi technique is able to assess the direction of long-range trends and their effects
on society by communicating with geographically disparate groups of experts
(Lindstone & Turoff, 1975). Characterized as a group communication process, the
definition of the Delphi technique was expanded by Linstone and Turoff (1975) from
26


a research method that strictly forces compromise among a group of experts to one
that strives to produce a detailed examination and discussion of a particular issue.
They summarized the technique and its objective as follows: Delphi may be
characterized as a method for structuring a group communication process, so that the
process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with
complex problems (p. 3).
Linstone and TurofF(1975) further suggest that the Delphi technique is an
effective research method when one or more of the following situations are present:
1. The problem does not lend itself to precise analytical techniques.
2. Individuals represent diverse backgrounds and varying levels of expertise.
3. More individuals are needed than can effectively meet face-to-face.
4. Time and cost make frequent group meetings unfeasible.
5. Severe or politically unpalatable disagreements among individuals
necessitate a refereed and anonymous communication process.
6. The heterogeneity of the individuals must be preserved to assure validity of
the results.
7. Dominance by quantity or strength of individual personalities must be
avoided.
In addition to utilizing the Delphi technique for science and technology
studies, the method is used for educational research. The first reference to the
implementation of the Delphi technique in a higher educational study was reported in
27


the 1966. However, reports of the use of the Delphi technique in educational research
have been somewhat limited. According to Judd (1972), the limited use of the Delphi
technique in educational research is attributed to the reluctance of higher educational
administrators to allow researchers, who wish to publish these studies, to identify
their institutions in the publications.
Although the Delphi technique originally was designed as a forecasting tool,
the research method has not been applied extensively for this purpose in higher
educational studies. In published studies, the Delphi technique has been utilized
primarily in higher education as a method to think about the future and as a tool to
probe priorities held by administrators and faculty of an institution. As such, the use
of the Delphi technique in higher education has been concentrated in areas of
strategic planning, identification of educational goals and objectives, curriculum
planning, and the development of evaluation criteria for faculty and programs (Judd,
1972; Murry & Hamons, 1995).
Since its inception, variations to the Delphi technique have evolved. In
addition to its traditional application as a forecasting tool, Delphi techniques were
designed for use in decision making, consensus building, and policymaking. The
decision to implement a particular Delphi method depends upon the researchers
intended use of the results. Since the intended use of the results of this research was
to provide meaningful policy-making information from the full-time faculty to
university committees, the Policy Delphi technique was chosen for this study. The
28


multiple-phase Policy Delphi process provides an anonymous forum for a diverse
group of university faculty to examine policy issues that emerge when academic
technology is introduced into instruction. In addition, the Policy Delphi technique
provides a systematic structure for faculty participants to identify alternative
resolutions to academic technology problems at a university and to rank these
resolutions for desirability and feasibility.
Characteristics of the Policy Delphi Technique
Murray TurofFintroduced the Policy Delphi technique in 1970 as a policy
analysis tool. TurofF (1975) identified three primary objectives of the Policy Delphi
technique: (a) to ensure that all possible options to a policy issue are identified; (b) to
estimate the impact and consequences of the options; and (c) to examine and estimate
the acceptability of these options.
Beyond being iterative, interactive, and anonymous methods of polling
people, the original Delphi method of research and the Policy Delphi technique have
little in common. Unlike the conventional Delphi that seeks consensus from a group
of experts, the Policy Delphi seeks to generate the strongest possible opposing views
on the potential resolutions of a major policy issue (TurofF, 1975, p. 84). TurofF
explains that the Policy Delphi technique rests on the premise that decision makers do
not want to rely exclusively on the opinions of experts in a given area to formulate
policy. Instead, decision makers prefer to have an informed group of individuals
29


present alternative solutions to a policy issue, along with supporting evidence, from
which they can make decisions and formulate policy. Accordingly, the consensus-
building Delphi is a decision-making tool whereas the Policy Delphi is a decision-
facilitation tool (deLoe, 1995).
In addition to having different research goals, the two Delphi techniques have
different criteria for respondent selection. As mentioned earlier, the conventional
Delphi requires the selection of respondents who are assumed to be experts in a given
field and thus better able to forecast future events. The Policy Delphi, on the other
hand, does not exclusively seek the input of experts and does not give the opinions of
those identified as experts extra weight. According to Turoff (1975), policy issues do
not have experts, only informed advocates and referees. Consequently, experts are
not exclusively selected to participate in a Policy Delphi study. Table 2.1
summarizes the similarities and differences of the two Delphi techniques.
The implementation of the Policy Delphi technique is intended to enhance the
university committee approach to policymaking by creating a method for collecting
the broadest range of views and opinions from a major group of stakeholders, the full-
time faculty, involved with policy reform. The Policy Delphi technique gives
participants an anonymous and equal opportunity to express their views on policy
issues that relate to the integration of academic technology into the curriculum. The
views subsequently will be presented to policy-making committees in the form of
30


Table 2.1
Comparison of the Conventional and Policy Delphi Research Methods
Conventional/Consensus Delphi Policv Delohi
Multiple iterations Multiple iterations
Anonymity among respondents Anonymity among respondents
Interactive method of polling people Interactive method of polling people
Seeks group view/perspective Seeks group view/perspective
Seeks consensus from group on issue Seeks to expose pros and cons arguments for policy issue
Three to six rounds for consensus Three to six rounds for broad range of policy alternatives
Respondents are experts in field under study Respondents are informed individuals who are affected by the policy decisions
Extra weight given to expert opinions All opinions weighted evenly equally
Decision-making tool Decision-facilitation tool
policy recommendations that represent the needs, values, and concerns of the full-
time faculty as they relate to the integration of academic technology.
In this study, the Policy Delphi technique was used as a tool to allow full-time
faculty to identify the policy issues that require reform to facilitate the integration of
academic technology. In addition to identifying the issues, faculty were able to offer
alternative resolutions to the issues and to rank the resolutions for desirability to them
as faculty members and for the feasibility of the resolution being implemented at the
university. A detailed description of the design and implementation of the Policy
Delphi technique as it was implemented in this study appears in Chapter Three.
31


Summary
Three perspectives guided the literature review for this study: (a) the
integration of academic technology in higher education and its affect on the nature of
faculty work, (b) an examination of strategies for change and decision making in
higher education, and (c) a discussion of the Delphi method of research and the
subsequent decision to implement the Policy Delphi technique to facilitate policy
reform in the area of academic technology. The assumption made by this researcher
was that these perspectives provide a conceptual framework for understanding the
need for policy reform in institutions of higher education to facilitate the integration
of academic technology.
Traditionally, external forces influence reform in higher education. Todays
external demands on higher education to integrate academic technology into the
curriculum force institutions of higher education to rethink the way they deliver
education. The integration of academic technology, however, promises to change the
nature of faculty work. For this reason, the process of integrating academic
technology needs to focus on the major group of stakeholders involved in the change,
the full-time faculty at the university. In other words, for the change to be successful,
the viewpoints of full-time faculty must be presented to policy-making committees at
the university. The Policy Delphi technique provides an organized approach for
collecting faculty opinions on issues that relate to the integration of academic
technology for discussion and consideration by policy-making committees.
32


CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of the Policy Delphi
technique as a tool to provide policymaking information. Utility is examined by
using the Policy Delphi technique to identify alternative policy resolutions to
academic technology problems at a university. The study centers on the Information
Technology Initiative (ITI) at the University of Colorado at Denver, a $9 million
grant from the state of Colorado to retrofit existing campus buildings to accommodate
advances in technology. I utilized the Policy Delphi technique to identify and to
examine policy resolutions to the policy issues that directly influence the decision of
full-time faculty at the University of Colorado in Denver to integrate technology into
their teaching.
In this chapter, I describe the methodology used for this study, the Policy
Delphi technique. I also explain the design of the survey instruments, the selection of
the survey participants, and implementation of the two phases of the Policy Delphi
technique.
33


The Policy Delphi Technique
A common strategy for identifying and addressing policy issues is to assemble
a committee. In small organizations, the committee approach to policymaking is an
effective method of bringing people together who represent the interests of those who
will be affected by policy reform. However, in a situation where a number of
stakeholders are affected by a change in policy, a committee that adequately
represents the spectrum of viewpoints or interests on a policy issue is often large and
unmanageable. More specifically, a committee with twenty or more members
impedes a complete exchange of opinions and presents a challenge to the committee
members to arrive at a decision in the allotted meeting time (Turofif 1975).
Traditionally, the University of Colorado at Denver employs the committee
approach in their examination of policy issues. In particular, a number of campus
committees were assembled to plan for the implementation of the Information
Technology Initiative and to explore the impact of this initiative and other technology
ventures on the University policies and procedures that are currently in place to
govern the use of technology at the University. Many of the policies and procedures
under consideration by these committees are those that potentially affect the overall
nature of faculty work at the University. Frequently, committees fail to have broad
representation from the academic segment of the University. Without adequate
academic representation, policies on the integration of technology at the University
34


are discussed without sufficient input from a large group of stakeholders, the full-time
faculty.
Whether faculty fail to participate on committees because of lack of time,
knowledge, or interest is uncertain. Possibly, faculty are hesitant to commit hours as
a committee member participating in discussions that they perceive will produce little
or no substantial outcome. Whatever the reason, successful policy development and
implementation relies heavily on the ownership and participation of a broad range of
stakeholders involved in the process. Without broad participation of faculty in
formulating policies to support the integration of technology into the curriculum, the
success of the Information Technology Initiative and other technology projects could
be jeopardized.
The implementation of the Policy Delphi technique to examine policy issues
was not intended to replace the Universitys policy-making committee process. Its
intent was, in fact, to enhance the committee approach to policymaking by creating a
method for collecting the broadest range of views and opinions from a major group of
stakeholders involved with policy reform and to present these views in an organized
manner to the policy-making committees. Unlike the committee approach where
faculty can dominate discussions through formal or informal power, the Policy Delphi
technique gave participating faculty an anonymous and equal opportunity to express
their views on the policy issues that relate to the integration of technology into
academic technology (Whitman, 1990).
35


As stated earlier in this chapter, I selected the Policy Delphi technique for this
study to examine its utility as a tool to obtain policy-making information. I began this
research with the assumption that the Policy Delphi technique would facilitate the
collection of meaningful policy-making information for University committees in the
following ways:
1. The design of the Policy Delphi technique can be customized to address the
research problem and to effectively utilize the time of the respondents.
2. The Policy Delphi technique provides an anonymous forum for a large group
of faculty to share information on the issues that emerge when technology is
introduced into academic instruction.
3. The survey format of the Policy Delphi technique provides a venue for faculty
to examine the policy issues and express their views without devoting large blocks of
time to committee meetings.
4. The technique allows faculty to rank the importance of the policy issues under
consideration and offer resolutions to these issues.
5. The technique allows faculty to consider the resolutions proposed by peer
faculty and to rank alternative resolutions to the policy issues for desirability and
feasibility.
6. The Policy Delphi technique provides a vehicle to collect, condense, and
analyze policy-making information that can be presented to small University policy-
making committees for consideration in policy reform discussions.
36


i
i

1
f
i
Before deciding to test the utility of the Policy Delphi technique in this study,
consideration was given to its strengths and limitations as a research method. The
strengths and limitations of the Policy Delphi technique, as they were uncovered in
the literature, are shown in Table 3.1.
Table 3.1
Strengths and Limitations of the Policy Delphi Technique
Strengths Limitations
Ability to tap a wide range of opinions on the issue Demanding nature of surveys may lead to respondent attrition
Anonymity of responses enhances creativity Time it takes to prepare and administer questionnaires
Eliminates committee-approach problems Time it takes to process and analyze written responses
Cost effective for geographically dispersed respondents Necessity to readapt method for each policy issue study
Allows freedom to challenge alternative viewpoints Arbitrary respondent selection
Structures the debate process Researcher bias in interpreting data
Facilitates a convergence of opinions with controlled feedback Possibility of miscommunication or misunderstanding of survey questions
Note. Critcher and Gladstone (1998), deLoe (1975), Linstone and Turoff (1975),
Murry & Hammons (1995), Philips (1991), and Turoff (1975).
The limitations of the methodology as they specifically relate to this study are
addressed at the end of this chapter.
i
37


Designing the Policy Delphi
As compared to the consensus-building Delphi research method, few
applications of the Policy Delphi technique are found in the literature. Moreover, the
published Policy Delphi studies contain survey instruments that are uniquely designed
to the research problem and are administered in varying numbers of phases. Possibly,
Murray Turoff, the originator of the technique, anticipated the flexible use of the
Policy Delphi in this way because his early description of the technique focuses on
guidelines and principles rather than rigid procedures (deLoe, 1995). In outlining
these guidelines for designing a Policy Delphi, Turoff (1975) listed six phases of the
communication process:
1. Formulate the issues.
2. Expose the policy options for each issue.
3. Determine initial position on each issue
4. Explore reasons for disagreements.
5. Evaluate underlying reasons for disagreements.
6. Reevaluate the options.
To avoid respondent fatigue during the communication process, the six phases
of the communication process are frequently combined to create a two or three-phase
process.
In this study, the design of the Policy Delphi incorporates these guidelines
while customizing the communication process to (a) obtain meaningful policy-
38


making information for the University of Colorado at Denver and (b) accommodate
the time limitations of the full-time faculty respondents. Consequently, the process
for designing and implementing the Policy Delphi for this study can be summarized
as follows:
1. Explore and frame the policy issues under discussion.
2. Determine the views and positions on each policy issue.
3. Identify alternative policy resolutions for each policy issue.
4. Determine and evaluate disagreements on alternative resolutions for each
policy issue.
5. Analyze the information and generate policy recommendations.
Framing the Policy Issues
The initial task in the design of the Policy Delphi survey was to generate of a
list of policy issues that have either (a) a policy that requires reform in order to
facilitate the use of academic technology or (b) the absence of a policy to facilitate
the use of academic technology. The list of ten policy issues was generated from
three activities: (a) preparation of a literature review in the area of technology and its
impact on faculty work, (b) attendance at faculty forums at which University faculty
discussed the implications of the Information Technology Initiative on the nature of
their work, and (c) completion of 16 telephone interviews with full-time faculty at the
university.
39


Upon completion of the literature review, the next two steps in the design of
the first phase of the Policy Delphi were to attend the faculty forums and to conduct
30-40 minute informal, personal telephone interviews with 16 campus full-time
faculty. The objectives of the telephone interview process were (a) to identify the
incentives and barriers associated with integrating technology into the academic
curriculum and (b) to explore the implications of faculty attitudes and perceptions for
policy development and implementation in the area of academic technology. Prior to
conducting the interviews, the telephone protocol was reviewed by a group of faculty
and administrators both in and outside of the University of Colorado at Denver. The
questions were modified based upon the suggestions of the group, and 20 questions
were finalized for the telephone interview.
The faculty who participated in the interviews represented four of the five
schools in the University, were from both the tenured and non-tenured ranks, and had
a range of experience in the use of technology. Selection of faculty for the telephone
interviews was based upon recommendations from the Universitys Office of
Teaching Effectiveness, deans and program coordinators from the Universitys
schools and colleges, and participants in the Universitys Academic Information
Technology Committee. Prior to the interview date, participating faculty received a
short description of the study and a copy of the interview protocol that included a
description of the facilities provided for by the Information Technology Initiative (see
Appendix A for a copies of the description of the study and interview protocol).
40


The interviews were taped with the permission of the faculty member and
transcribed. Answers to 18 of the 20 questions were summarized on a spreadsheet by
respondent number. Two of the questions, numbers 1 and 20, were open-ended and
conversational in scope and. as such, the responses were not entered on a spreadsheet.
Each spreadsheet entry indicated the name of the school or college in which the
faculty respondent is employed and whether the faculty member is tenured and a user
of academic technology. Three of the interview questions asked the faculty member
to rank the responses from high to low in importance. The interview questions (see
Appendix A) that required ranking were numbered on the telephone protocol as
follows:
4. What are the three most important factors that motivate you to use
technology in your teaching?
5. What are the three most significant factors to using technology in your
teaching?
19. What do you see as the three key policy issues UCD will need to address
to encourage faculty to use the technology provided by this initiative in
their teaching?
To categorize the responses for the above three questions, responses were
grouped by similar theme and entered on the spreadsheet. Frequency distributions for
each of the questions priority responses were generated. The information gathered
from all the interview questions, coupled with my reading and attendance at the
41


faculty forums, framed the list of the ten policy issues which subsequently would be
rank ordered by a another group of full-time faculty during the first phase of the
Policy Delphi process.
Selecting the Policy Delphi Participants
As the largest group of stakeholders affected by policy reform in the area of
academic technology, the full-time faculty at the University were selected as the
population of interest for this study. Unlike the conventional Delphi technique that
seeks consensus from a group of experts in a given area, the goal of the Policy Delphi
is to solicit the broadest range of opinions from a group of stakeholders that is
affected by a change in policy. For this reason, expertise in the use of technology for
academic instruction was not a criterion for selecting the faculty participants.
All of the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) full-time faculty, with the
exception of the sixteen UCD faculty who participated in the telephone interviews
and four UCD faculty' on my dissertation committee, were invited to participate in the
study. On February 25, 1999, invitation letters with return postcards were mailed to
324 UCD full-time faculty (see Appendix B for copies of the invitation letter and
return postcard). Faculty were asked to return the self-addressed stamped postcard
by March 9, 1999, indicating either a willingness or an inability to participate in the
study. Each faculty member was assigned a respondent number and participation
responses were tracked using these numbers. In addition, participating faculty were
42


asked to indicate on the return postcard whether technology was integrated into their
teaching in one or more the following ways:
1. Instruction of course work delivered on line.
2. Preparation of course work delivered on CD ROM or video tape.
3. Participation in satellite teleconferencing.
4. Use of compressed video to create face-to-face classrooms at a distance.
5. Utilization of multi-media software in the classroom.
6. Utilization of computer lab as a course requirement.
7. Utilization of the Internet as a course requirement.
8. Other: ___________________________________________
9. None of the above.
Classification as a user of academic technology for the purpose of this study
was based on the faculty members selection of one of the methods listed above. Any
other method for integrating technology, such as use of e-mail, did not qualify a
faculty member as a user of academic technology. The methods of technology
integration listed on the postcard were selected for user classification because they
coincide with the enhanced learning tools and environments that are funded by the
Information Technology Initiative (ITI). Respondents also were classified based
upon their faculty rank, tenured or non-tenured.
43


As of March 9, 1999, the response date on the invitation letter, 109 of the 324
full-time faculty returned the postcard. On March 11, 1999, a second letter was sent
to the faculty who had not responded (see Appendix B for a copy of the non-response
follow-up letter). This letter generated an additional 46 responses making a total of
155. Of the 155 faculty who returned the postcard, 61 agreed to participate in the
Policy Delphi survey. The 61 respondents represented 18.8 percent of the 324 faculty
who were asked to participate. The faculty rank breakdown for the 324 UCD faculty
asked to participate is represented in Figure 3.1.
Policy Delphi study.
44


Phase One of the Policy Delphi Survey
This section describes the implementation and analysis of data of the first
phase of the Policy Delphi survey.
Phase-One Survey Packet
The phase-one survey packet was mailed to the 61 respondents on April 15,
1999 (see Appendix C for copies of the phase-one cover letter and survey). The
packet of materials for the first phase of the Policy Delphi consisted of the following:
1. Cover letter explaining the purpose of the survey and the importance of the
respondents participation in the study.
2. Phase-one survey form and directions for response.
3. Definitions of the Information Technology Initiative and technology as it
relates to this study.
4. Return-addressed, stamped envelope.
In the phase-one survey, respondents were asked to review the descriptions of
ten policy issues that emerge when technology is introduced into academic instruction
and to rank each policy issue according to its importance to the faculty member. As
stated earlier in this chapter, the list of ten policy issues was generated from three
activities: (a) preparation of a literature review in the area of technology and its
impact on faculty work; (b) attendance at faculty forums at which university faculty
discussed the implications of the Information Technology Initiative on the nature of
45


their work; and (c) completion of 16 telephone interviews with full-time faculty at the
university.
After ranking the issues for importance, respondents were then asked to offer
alternative resolutions to academic technology problems associated with the policy
issues. Respondents could agree with and comment on one of the suggested
resolutions, or they could offer an entirely different resolution to the policy issue.
Responses were to be no more than five lines in length. An example of a survey
question appears in Figure 3.2 below.
INADEQUATE FACULTY INCENTIVES AND REWARDS FOR USING TECHNOLOGY
The Issue:
The integration of technology into academic instruction provides unique
and exciting opportunities for the University. However, the success and quality' of
integrating the technology' rests primarily on the shoulders of the faculty'. Faculty who
are doing more with technology are. for the most part, learning the skills on their own
time while performing their other professional responsibilities. Although UCD seems
eager to integrate technology' into academic instruction. little recognition or reward is
provided to faculty who do so. How important is this issue to you as a faculty member?
PIease circle only one number on the following scale________________________
5 4 3 2 1
very- important important no judgment unimportant very' unimportant
The Resolution:
In order to resolve the issue of inadequate faculty' rewards and incentives for
the use of technology, some people think that faculty' should be granted one or two
course releases for planning and teaching a class which relies heavily on the use of
technology. Others suggest that monetary compensation in the form of a course
development fee or an internal grant is more appropriate. At the same time, there are
faculty who feel that incentives are unnecessary, and they base their decision to leant
and use the new technology upon what is best for them and their students.
Given the issue, how do you think it could be resolved? In the space below,
please identify' and explain one or more resolutions to this problem. Please provide no
more than 5 lines of written response for each resolution.
Figure 3.2. Phase-one survey sample question.
46


Respondents were requested to return the completed phase-one survey
by April 26, 1999. Upon receipt of a completed survey, a postcard was mailed
thanking the respondent for the timely response and informing the respondent
that phase two would be distributed during the week of May 10, 1999 (see
Appendix C for copy of thank you postcard).
Response to Phase-One Survey
As of the April 26th target date, 25 of the 61 respondents returned the first
phase of the survey. On April 27th, I called the 36 faculty members who did not
respond and sent each a reminder postcard, (see Appendix C for copy of reminder
postcard.) As a result of these efforts, an additional 23 faculty completed the phase-
one surveys for a total of 48. A breakdown of academic technology users and tenure
rank for the 48 faculty who returned the phase-one survey, as well as the 13 faculty
who did not return the survey, appears in Figure 3.3.
The 48 phase one respondents represent 79% of the 61 faculty who received
the phase-one survey and 14.8% of the 324 University faculty invited to participate in
the Policy Delphi study. This response rate concluded the first phase of the survey.
47


4*
00
Figure 3.3. Breakdown of users of academic technology and faculty rank status for phase-one survey,


Analysis of Rank Order of Policy Issues
In the first phase of the Policy Delphi survey, faculty respondents were asked
to rank each policy issue according to its importance to the faculty member. To
determine the importance rankings of the policy issues, the results of the Likert-like
scale were analyzed using the following computation: Total rank sum for a policy
issue is divided by the total number of respondents. The rank sums were calculated
by multiplying the rank response (numbers 1 to 5) by the number of respondents who
selected the rank response. The total rank sum was determined by adding the rank
sums for each policy issue. This method of computation was chosen because it
generates the overall weighted average value of the responses. An example of this
computation for one policy issue appears in Table 3.2 (see Appendix D for
importance ranking computations for the ten policy issues).
This concluded the analysis of the quantitative information from the phase-
one survey.
Analysis of Suggested Resolutions to the Policy Issues
In the first phase of the survey, faculty respondents were asked to offer
alternative policy resolutions to the academic technology problems associated with
the policy issues. The request for suggested resolutions to the ten policy issues
generated 422 responses for an average of 42 responses per question. The range in
49


number of responses for the individual policy issues was 38 to 46. For the most part,
all responses remained within the five-line limit.
Table 3.2
Sample of computation to determine the importance rating for policy issues
Limited Access to Technology
Rank Response No. of Respondents Rank*No. of Respondents= Rank Sum
5 26 130
4 16 64
3 4 12
2 l 2
1 1 1

Totals: 48 Respondents 209 = Total Rank Sum
Importance Rating: 209/48 = 4.35
The resolutions suggested by each respondent were typed and grouped under
headings for each of the ten policy issues. Some difficulty occurred in reading the
handwriting or deciphering the meaning of a sentence if one word was omitted or
illegible. This made the transcription of the responses a time-intensive exercise.
However, since accurate transcription was critical for the development of the second
phase of the Policy Delphi survey, it was completed as efficiently as possible.
After the respondents suggested resolutions were grouped under the policy
issue headings, the responses were reviewed and regrouped by similar and dissimilar
themes. Generally, the responses were in short, direct phrases eliminating the need to
50


develop a complex descriptive coding system to identify the major themes. Each set
of policy issue resolutions generated 3 to 5 similar themes. Using the wording of the
respondents as much as possible, three resolution statements were formulated for each
policy issue that captured the major themes and suggestions from the survey
respondents. These resolution statements provided the framework for designing the
second phase of the Policy Delphi survey. This concluded the analysis of the
qualitative information from the phase-one survey.
Phase Two of the Policy Delphi Survey
This section describes the implementation and analysis of data of the second
phase of the Policy Delphi survey.
Phase-Two Survey Packet
The phase-two survey was mailed to the 48 respondents on May 13, 1999.
(see Appendix E for copies of the phase-two cover letter and survey). The packet of
materials for the second phase of the policy Dephi consisted of:
1. Cover letter explaining the purpose of the second phase of the survey.
2. Phase-two survey and directions for responding to the survey.
3. Return-addressed, stamped envelope.
In phase two of the Policy Delphi survey, the policy issues were again defined
for the respondents as they were in phase one; however, in the second phase survey
the issues appeared in the order of importance as they were ranked by respondents in
51


the first phase. The prioritization of the issues on the second survey enabled faculty
respondents to see how other surveyed faculty ranked the issues for importance in
phase one.
Under each policy issue, three alternative resolutions to the academic
problems associated with the policy issue were listed. The alternative resolution
statements were generated from the information gathered in the first phase of the
survey. Respondents were asked to rank each alternative resolution for its desirability
to them as faculty members and for the feasibility of the resolution being
implemented at the University. To facilitate communication in common terms, the
following definitions for desirability and feasibility alternatives were provided:
Desirability
5 = Very desirable; extremely beneficial
4 = Desirable; beneficial
3 = No Judgment
2 = Undesirable; can have a minor negative effect
1 = Very undesirable; can have a major negative effect
Feasibility
5 = Definitely feasible; no implementation obstacles
4 = Possibly feasible; minor implementation obstacles
3 = No Judgment
2 = Possibly unfeasible; major implementation obstacles
1 = Definitely unfeasible; cannot be implemented
My original intent in designing the second phase of the Policy Delphi survey
was to ask the respondents to rank all the alternative resolutions that were identified
for each policy issue in phase one of the survey. However, to ensure continued
participation in phase two of the survey, the number of resolutions for consideration
52


by the faculty in the second phase was limited to those resolutions that represented
the major themes as identified from the responses in phase one. This decision was
made for two reasons. First, in phase two, respondents were asked to rank each
resolution for desirability and feasibility and to comment on the strengths and
limitations for each resolution. I was concerned that addressing strengths and
limitations for each resolution would create respondent fatigue and, in turn, increase
the attrition rate for the phase-two survey. Second, the second phase of the survey
was mailed in mid-May. Many faculty leave campus at the end of May. It was
important that the survey response could be managed within a two-week period of
time.
Consequently, the final design of the phase-two survey listed three resolutions
for each policy issue to rank for desirability and feasibility and to identify the
strengths and limitations. The three resolutions that were chosen for the second phase
of the survey were those that generated the greatest number of comments from
respondents in the first phase of the survey. An example of a phase-two survey
question appears in Figure 3.4.
Response to Phase-Two Survey
Respondents were asked to return the second phase of the survey by June 1,
1999. By this date, 32 of the 48 respondents returned phase two of the survey. On
June 5, 1999,1 called the 16 faculty who did not respond and sent each a reminder
53


INADEQUATE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR FACULTY USING TECHNOLOGY
The Issue:
Without adequate technical support even a highly motivated faculty member finds using
technology a frustrating experience. Many faculty would like to try the new technology
provided by the Information Technology Initiative (I'l l), however, they fear that prompt
technical assistance in the classroom is unavailable. Presently, the Computing. Information &
Network Services (CINS) does not provide evening or weekend support. Given the present
staffing of CINS. a quick response to technical difficulties is difficult
Be sure to indicate your choices for each of the three proposed resolutions.
The Proposed Resolutions:
The best resolution to the issue of inadequate technical support for faculty using technology is to
dissolve CINS and to provide faculty with technical support in the academic departments.
Desirability
5 Very Desirable 4 Desirable 3 No Judgment 2 Not Desirable 1 Very Undesir- able
Feasibility
5 4 3 2 1
Definitely Possibly No Possibly Definitely
Feasible Feasible Judgment Unfeasible Unfeasible
Provide a strength or weakness for this resolution ifyou wish here:
The issue of inadequate technical support for faculty using technology can best be resolved by training
faculty to become reasonably proficient with technology so they are able to address the majority of
technical malfunctions in the classroom.
Desirability
5 Very Desirable 4 Desirable 3 No Judgment 2 Not Desirable 1 Very Undesir- able
Feasibility
5 4 3 2 1
Definitely Possibly No Possibly Definitely
Feasible Feasible Judgment Unfeasible Unfeasible
Provide a strength or weakness for this resolution if you wish here:
The best resolution to the issue of inadequate technical support for faculty using technology is to
centralize
all support under CINS, and to provide CINS with adequate funds to extend their support to evenings
and weekends.
Desirability
S Very Desirable 4 Desirable 3 No Judgment 2 Not Desirable 1 Very Undesir- able
Feasibility
5 4 3 2 1
Definitely Possibly No Possibly Definitely
Feasible Feasible Judgment Unfeasible Unfeasible
Provide a strength or weakness for this resolution if you wish here:
Figure 3.4. Sample question from the phase-two survey of the Policy Delphi
54


postcard, (see Appendix E for copy of the reminder postcard.) As a result of these
efforts, a total of 40 completed surveys were received by June 17, 1999. On June
19th, e-mails were send to the remaining 8 respondents. This generated an additional
6 returned surveys for a total of 46. The breakdown of the respondents who
participated in both phases of the Policy Delphi by University school or college
appears in Table 3.3.
Table 3.3
Breakdown of Policy Delphi Respondents bv University School or College
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 21
School of Education 8
College of Business and Administration 5
College of Engineering 4
College of Arts and Media 4
Graduate School of Public Affairs 3
College of Architecture 1

Total Survey Faculty 46
The breakdown of academic technology users and faculty rank for the 46
faculty who participated in both phases of the Policy Delphi appear in Figure 3.5. The
46 respondents who participated in both phases of the Policy Delphi represent 96% of
the 48 faculty who responded to the first phase survey and 14.2% of the 324
55


University faculty invited to participate in the Policy Delphi study. These responses
concluded the second and final phase of the survey.
Figure 3.5. Breakdown of academic technology users and tenure rank status for
Policy Delphi respondents.
Analysis of Desirability, Feasibility, and Priority
Rankings of Suggested Resolutions
In phase two of the survey, faculty respondents were asked to rank each
resolution for desirability and feasibility. The same computation used to rank the
policy issues in order of importance in phase one was used to determine the
desirability and feasibility rankings of the suggested resolutions for each policy issue,
(see Appendix F for desirability and feasibility rankings for alternative resolutions).
The priority rankings for the alternative resolutions were determined by combining
56


the desirability and feasibility rankings for each resolution. This method of
computation was chosen because it generates the overall weighted average value of
the responses.
Analysis to Evaluate Extent of Bias in Survey Results
Bias arises when the results of a study are not representative of a given
population (Mason & Lind, 1993). For purposes of this study, it is important to
evaluate whether the survey results are representative of the opinions of the entire
full-time faculty at the University. Bias in the results of this study could arise in one
of the following ways (Krathwohl, 1993; Costantino, 2000):
1. Inappropriate selection of survey participants.
2. Missing information from second-phase survey dropouts.
3. Missing information from non-respondents.
All full-time faculty at the University, with the exception of those who
participated in the preliminary telephone interviews or who agreed to serve on my
dissertation committee, were eligible and invited to participate in the Policy Delphi
survey. Since the respondents self-selected from the entire population of interest, the
possibility of bias through inappropriate participant selection was eliminated. Further,
only two respondents who completed phase one of the survey were unable to
complete the second phase. The high completion rate of both phases of the survey
minimized the possibility of bias in the survey results because of survey dropouts.
57


However, since 324 full-time faculty were invited to participate in the Policy
Delphi and only 46 full-time faculty completed the two-phase survey process, it is
possible that the results of the study are biased because of the missing information
from non-respondents. To evaluate whether bias existed that would prevent
extending the survey results to the entire faculty, I posed the following questions:
1. Does the faculty rank impact the decision to return the invitational postcard?
2. Does faculty rank impact the decision to participate in both phases of the
Policy Delphi survey?
3. Does faculty rank impact the decision of those who returned the postcard to
participate in the Policy Delphi survey?
4. Does faculty rank impact the decision of the respondents who agreed to
participate in the study to complete and return phase one of the survey?
5. Does the use of academic technology impact the decision of respondents who
agreed to participate in the study to complete and return the first phase of the survey?
I posed these five questions because I wanted to determine whether faculty
rank or the use of academic technology influenced the decision of a faculty member
to participate in the study to the extent that the results of the Policy Delphi survey
were biased. The categories of data applicable to these questions provided adequate
sample counts to test for bias.
To test for bias in the five categories of data, I constructed five 2x2
contingency tables and applied the Chi-square Goodness-of-Fit test to the data to
58


evaluate the extent of bias in the survey results. The Chi-square test was chosen for
two reasons: (a) the data are nominal in nature, and (b) the group samples sizes are
small. Values of Chi-square were computed for each category of data by completing
the following steps (Mason & Lind, 1993):
1. State the null and alternative hypotheses for each category.
2. Construct a 2 columns x 2 rows contingency table of the observed frequencies
for each category of data.
3. Calculate the degrees of freedom for each test.
Degrees of freedom = (number of rows-l)(number of columns-1)
One degree of freedom was calculated for this study.
4. Determine the level of significance to be used to test the hypothesis. A .05
level of significance was chosen for this study because the .05 level is used in
standard statistical analysis practice (Costantino, 2000).
5. Determine the critical value for 1 degree of freedom and a .05 significance
level by referring to a Critical Values of Chi-Square table. By determining this value,
a decision rule is formulated to either accept or reject the null hypothesis. The critical
value for tests performed for this study is 3.841 (Mason & Lind, p. 806).
6. Calculate expected frequencies for data in each cell of table.
Expected frequency for a cell= (Row totaDfColumn total)
Grand Total
59


7. Compute value of chi-square for each table using:
x~ = y fffrequencies observed frequencies expected)2!
frequencies expected
8. Determine whether null or alternative hypothesis is accepted.
Complete statistical tests for the five categories of data are available in Appendix G.
Limitations of the Research Method
The Policy Delphi technique was an excellent method to solicit a wide-range
of full-time faculty viewpoints on policy issues that emerge when technology is
integrated into the academic curriculum. It was especially beneficial to formulate
recommendations for policy resolutions to academic technology problems that reflect
the values, needs, and concerns of full-time faculty. Nevertheless, in a hindsight
evaluation, the design of the Policy Delphi, as it was implemented in this study, was
not without limitations:
Selection of Participants.
My initial goal was to select a group of faculty respondents who
proportionately represented the total number of the tenured and non-tenured faculty a
faculty from the seven schools and colleges of the University. By inviting all 324
full-time faculty to participate in the study, I felt confident that I would be able to
identify respondents who met this criteria. This was not the case. The 46 faculty who
60


participated in both phases of the study were self-selected from the entire population
of interest.
If I were to redo the faculty selection process, I would include a letter of
support for the study from a recognized policy-making committee chair with my letter
of invitation to the 324 faculty. In doing so, faculty have assurance that the results of
the study are of interest to University policy-making committees and that their time
completing the survey would be well spent.
Timing of the Study
The development and administration of both Policy Delphi survey instruments
was a lengthy process. In addition, a tremendous amount of time was required to
process, and sometimes decipher, the handwritten data from the first phase of the
survey that was needed to develop the second phase of the survey. The telephone
interviews began in early February, the beginning of the spring semester. Faculty
were invited to participate in the Delphi study in early March. The issues were
formulated and distributed for the first phase of the survey in April. My goal was to
complete both phases of the Policy Delphi survey by late May, the end of the spring
semester. With faculty off campus for the spring break, approximately 16 weeks
were available for the completion of the study.
Because of the limited time for completion of the study, the design of the
Policy Delphi was limited in the following ways:
61


1. The design and wording of both surveys were subject to the critique of my
dissertation committee chair and two outside reviewers; however, there was no time
to field test the instruments before distribution to the survey respondents.
2. The phases of the Policy Delphi survey were limited to two. The initial task of
the Policy Delphi process, formulation of the policy issues, was achieved through a
review of literature, attendance at faculty forums, and completion of telephone
interviews with full-time faculty. Although I feel that these activities, coupled with
the two phases of the Policy Delphi survey, were adequate to collect the data for this
research, there was no time to administer a third round of the survey should that have
been necessary.
3. The number of resolutions offered for each issue in the second phase of the
survey was limited to three. The resolutions selected did represent the major themes
of the responses; however, the more unique or abstract resolutions uncovered in the
first phase were not distributed for desirability and feasibility ratings. In addition,
respondents were asked to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each
suggested resolution but they were not required to do so. I did not want to jeopardize
the return rate of the second phase of the survey by requiring extensive written
responses.
62


Attrition Rate of Phase-One Respondents
In addition to ranking items on a Likert-like scale, each phase of the Policy
Delphi required a written response. In light of the time demands on full-time faculty,
I suspect that the written parts of the survey were a deterrent to survey completion.
Out of the 61 faculty who agreed to participate in the study, 48, or 78%, returned the
first survey. As of the return deadline, only 36 faculty returned the survey. Postcards
and follow-up calls were sent to those who did not respond by that date, generating
the additional 12 responses. Since time was running short and the second survey
needed to be distributed, no additional attempts to generate more responses were
made. However, the Chi-Square analysis of the survey data revealed that the attrition
rate had no significant impact on the validity of the Policy Delphi process and results.
Researcher Bias
I began this study with two biases in the area of academic technology and its
relationship to full-time faculty work. After spending the last five years studying
academic technology and its impact on higher education, it was my belief that
institutions that do not motivate their faculty to integrate technology into their
teaching are creating a disservice to the students. Second, I believed that faculty,
unless motivated by self-interest in technology, would not seek to introduce
technology in their teaching without a monetary incentive or recognition of the use of
technology in the tenure process.
63


Fortunately, I overcame both of these biases early in the research process
while conducting the 16 telephone interviews with full-time faculty. The interviews,
conversational in scope, provided me with valuable insiglit on the motivators for
faculty to integrate technology into their classrooms. Ironically, neither money nor
tenure proved to be primary motivators, and my earlier viewpoints were immediately
dispelled. Although I still believe that exposure to technology is an integral part of
any students education, the interviews with full-time faculty tempered my position in
this area. After speaking with several faculty, it became evident that faculty are
interested in academic technology provided that they have some assurance that the
technology will, in fact, enhance the learning experience. Given this assurance,
faculty, in general, seem eager to make the effort to investigate the integration of
technology into their teaching.
Summary
This study examines the utility of the Policy Delphi technique as a tool to
provide policymaking information. Utility is examined by using the Policy Delphi to
identify alternative resolutions to academic technology problems at a university. As
described in the beginning of this chapter, the Policy Delphi technique is a structured
communication process that is effective in allowing a group of stakeholders to deal
with a complex problem. Unlike a consensus-building Delphi, the Policy Delphi
64


extracts a broad range of views from the participants on potential resolutions to a
policy issue.
The Policy Delphi process used in this study initially involved the exploration
and formulation of policy issues through telephone interviews with 16 full-time
faculty at the university, as well as through my attendance at faculty forums that
focused on the integration of technology into the academic curriculum and through
my extensive reading in the area of technology and its impact on faculty work. The
data collection process consisted of a two phases of the Policy Delphi survey. In
phase one, respondents were asked to review the descriptions of the ten policy issues
that emerge when technology is introduced into academic instruction, rank each issue
according to its importance to the faculty member, and offer one or more resolutions
to each policy issue. Responses were compiled to create the second phase of the
questionnaire. In phase two, the respondents were asked to rank three alternative
resolutions for desirability and feasibility and identify strengths and limitations for
the resolutions. Forty-six full-time faculty participated in both phases of the Policy
Delphi survey. The data collection process was completed on June 25, 1999.
65


CHAPTER FOUR
PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS TO
POLICY-MAKING COMMITTEES
The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of the Policy Delphi
technique as a tool to provide policymaking information. Utility is examined by
using the Policy Delphi technique to identify alternative policy resolutions to
academic technology problems at a university. The study centers around the
Information Technology Initiative (ITI) at the University of Colorado at Denver, a $9
million grant from the state of Colorado to retrofit existing campus buildings to
accommodate advances in technology. I utilized the Policy Delphi technique to
identify and to examine policy resolutions to the policy issues that directly influence
the decision of full-time faculty at the University of Colorado in Denver to integrate
technology into their teaching.
In this chapter, I present the findings of the Policy Delphi process. I also
outline policy recommendations to academic technology problems that reflect the
values, needs, and concerns of full-time faculty. These recommendations provide
meaningful information from one group of stakeholders for consideration by
University policy-making committees.
66


Chapter Four is divided into three sections. First, the results of the Chi-square
Goodness-of-Fit tests that were performed to evaluate the extent of bias in the survey
results are presented and explained. Second, the results of the rank ordering for
importance of the policy issues to full-time faculty are presented. Third, the results of
the desirability and feasibility rank ordering for the alternative policy resolutions to
the policy issues, with accompanying comments on strengths and limitations, are
presented. Based upon this information, policy resolutions to the issues are
recommended that capture the viewpoints of the survey full-time faculty.
Extent of Bias in Survey Results
Chi-square Goodness-of-Fit tests were performed to evaluate the extent of
bias in the survey results for five categories of data. Null hypotheses for the five
Chi-square tests were stated as follows:
1. There is no difference in the decision of those who returned the invitational
postcard with respect to faculty rank.
2. There is no difference in the decision to participate in both phases of the Policy
Delphi survey with respect to faculty rank.
3. There is no difference in the decision of those who returned the postcard to
participate the Policy Delphi survey with respect to faculty rank.
4. There is no difference in the decision of those who completed and returned
phase one of the survey with respect to faculty rank.
67


5. There is no difference in the decision to complete the first phase of the survey
with respect to the use of academic technology.
The level of significance used to test the hypothesis was .05 with one degree
of freedom. The critical value for formulation of a decision rule was determined by
referring to a Critical Values of Chi-square Table (Mason & Lind, p. 806). Based
upon this table, the critical value was 3.841. Thus, a decision rule for the five tests
was set as follows: Computed values of Chi-square that are less than 3.841 result in
acceptance of the null hypothesis. Computed values of Chi-square that are greater
than 3.841 result in rejection of the null hypothesis. Computed values for the five
Chi-square Goodness-of-Fit tests appear in Table 4.1.
Table 4.1
Computed Values of Chi-square for the Five Tests
Test Number Computed Chi-square Critical Value Bias in Survey Results
1 .0000 3.841 No
2 .0000 3.841 No
3 .1226 3.841 No
4 .9494 3.841 No
5 .0000 3.841 No
For all five tests, computed values of Chi-square was less than 3.841, the
critical value. Therefore, the null hypothesis is accepted for each test and no
68


statistically significant bias exists in the survey results based upon the respondents
faculty rank or use of academic technology. The rank order of importance for the
policy issues, as well as the rank orders of desirability and feasibility for the
alternative resolutions, can be generalized to the entire body of full-time faculty at the
University. These results are a valid representation of the entire full-time faculty's
viewpoints. Complete statistical tests for the five categories of data are available in
Appendix G.
Importance Rank Order of Policy Issues
Forty-eight of the 324 full-time faculty at the University of Colorado at
Denver ranked the policy issues according to importance on a five-point Likert-like
scale. The results of the importance rankings for the policy issues are reflected in
Table 4.2.
A score of 2.0 or less ranks an issue as unimportant. As evidenced in the
Table 4.2, the respondent group of full-time faculty did not rank any issue at 2.0 or
less. All issues received a minimum score of 3.50. Overall, I interpret these scores to
indicate that faculty viewed the ten policy issues identified in the first phase of the
survey as issues that merit attention by the University policy-making committees for
successful integration of academic technology.
However, a score of 3.0 indicated a neutral ranking, and a score of 4.0 or
higher ranked the issue as important. Interestingly, only three of the ten issues
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received scores of 4.0 or higher. I interpret the ranking of these issues to indicate that
expedient policy reform in these areas is crucial for the successful integration of
technology into the academic curriculum.
Table 4.2
Importance Rankings for Policy Issues
Policy Issues Importance Ranking
Limited Access to Technology 4.35
Inadequate Faculty Incentives 4.20
Inadequate Technical Support 4.02
Clarification of Intellectual Property Ownership 3.95
Insufficient Technology Training 3.93
Inequity in Technology Resources 3.75
Absence of Evaluation and Assessment 3.75
Inconsistent Quality Control 3.64
Incompatibility of Hardware and Software 3.60
Inconsistent Standards for Technology in RTP 3.50
Policy Issues. Alternative Resolutions, and Recommendations for Policymakers
In phase two of the Policy Delphi survey, respondents were asked to review
three alternative policy resolutions for each issue and rank each resolution, on a five-
point Likert-like scale, for the desirability of the resolution to full-time faculty and the
feasibility of the resolution being implemented at the University of Colorado at
Denver. For seven of the ten issues under consideration, the policy resolution ranked
highest in desirability was also the policy resolution ranked highest in feasibility. In
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addition to ranking the policy resolutions, respondents were requested to comment on
the strengths and limitations of the alternative policy resolutions.
For each policy issue, the following is presented in this section: (a) the
definition of the issue, (b) the results of the desirability and feasibility rankings for
three alternative policy resolutions to the issue, (c) the priority rankings for the
alternative policy resolutions, (d) the strengths and limitations of the alternative
policy resolutions, and (e) the policy recommendations that reflect the values, needs,
and concerns of the full-time faculty.
Policy Issue One: Limited Faculty Access To Classrooms
Equipped With Technology
Issue Description. Faculty prepare differently for courses that
integrate technology than for courses that are delivered through standard
lecture methods. Preparation for technology-driven courses is time
consuming. However, faculty are more willing to invest the time if they have
some degree of confidence that they would be repeatedly assigned to a
classroom equipped with the necessary technology. Presently, no scheduling
system is in place that guarantees a faculty member the repeated use of a
classroom equipped with technology.
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The results of the desirability, feasibility, and priority rankings for the
alternative resolutions to resolve the issue of limited faculty access to classrooms
equipped with technology appear in Table 4.3.
Table 4.3
Resolution: Rankings for Limited Faculty Access Issue
Limited Access to Technology (4.35) Desirability Feasibility Prioritv
Give priority to faculty who use technology 3.74 3.85 1
Redesign all classrooms to accommodate technology 4.35 2.93 2
Discontinue centralized scheduling of classes 3.48 3.20 -> 3
Note. Priority ranking is determined by combining the desirability and feasibility
rankings. Number in parenthesis is importance ranking of issue.
Strengths and Limitations of the Alternative Resolutions. The top priority
resolution to the issue of limited faculty access to classrooms equipped with
technology, as shown in Table 4.3, is to give faculty who demonstrate consistent use
of academic technology priority to the classrooms equipped with technology. Faculty
comments on the strengths and limitations of this resolution appear in Table 4.4.
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Table 4.4
Resolution: Give Priority to Faculty who use Technology
Strengths Limitations
Efficient use of facilities Discourages faculty from using technology
Good motivation for faculty to use technology New faculty would have difficulty demonstrating their ability to use technology
Faculty committed to using technology receive support Not a democratic method of room allocation
Rewards faculty who use technology Difficult to monitor
The second priority resolution to the issue of limited faculty access to
classrooms equipped with technology, as identified by the Policy Delphi survey
respondents, is to redesign all classrooms to accommodate advances in instructional
technology. Faculty comments on the strengths and limitations of this resolution
appear in Table 4.5.
Table 4.5
Resolution: Redesign Classrooms to Accommodate Technology
Strengths Limitations
Removes excuses for faculty not to adopt technology Expensive
Greater accessibility to classrooms with technology Unnecessary and inefficient; technology becomes obsolete in three years
Availability and desire equals implementation Lack of technical support for greater number of classrooms with technology
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The third priority resolution to the issue of limited faculty access to
classrooms equipped with technology, as identified by the Policy Delphi survey
respondents, is to discontinue the centralized classroom scheduling policy and have
the University schools and colleges schedule classrooms. Faculty comments on the
strengths and limitations of this resolution appear in Table 4.6.
Table 4.6
Resolution: Discontinue Centralized Scheduling of Classes
Strengths Limitations
Faculty will be more eager to integrate technology into their teaching Classroom availability would depend on initial demand and not keep pace with changes
Strength in local control Three institutions share one campus
Scheduling can be done by those familiar with needs of the faculty Large class size makes it difficult to put students in rooms with technology
Recommended Policy Resolutions. To address the issue of limited faculty access to
classrooms equipped with technology, the surveyed full-time faculty ideally prefer to
have all University classrooms retrofitted with the necessary technology to support
their teaching. However, because of the ever increasing rate of obsolesce of current
technologies, full-time faculty identified this resolution as unnecessary, inefficient,
and expensive. Moreover, given the broad range of disciplines offered at the
University, the integration of technology into every class session of all courses each
74


semester is highly unlikely. The inconsistent use of technology, coupled with the
additional need for technical support, makes retrofitting all campus classrooms with
up-to-date computing equipment cost prohibitive.
Nevertheless, the inability to easily access the computing equipment, after a
great deal of time and effort is expended in developing a course that integrates
technology, is cited by full-time faculty as the number one policy issue that requires
attention by University policy-making committees. University technical support
systems that often require faculty to push a technology cart through the snow across
the campus or depend upon the Universitys Media Center to deliver the technology
are discouraging. Faculty continually stated in the survey responses that they would
be more inclined to incur the set-up cost of time in developing a class that integrates
technology if they have some degree of confidence that the technology-equipped
classroom is repeatedly available. Consequently, the guarantee that the technology is
easily accessible each semester strongly influences the decision of faculty as to
whether or not to integrate technology into the course.
Based upon information gathered in the Policy Delphi survey, the following
recommendations to address the issue of limited faculty access to classrooms
equipped with technology reflect the viewpoints of the full-time faculty:
1. Full-time faculty who demonstrate consistent use of academic technology in
their teaching are given priority to classrooms equipped with technology in the
classroom scheduling system.
75


2. The University should continue its efforts to increase the number of
classrooms with up-to-date computing equipment to accommodate the growing
number of faculty who desire to integrate technology into their teaching.
Policy Issue Two: Inadequate Faculty Incentives and
Rewards for Using Technology
Issue Description. The integration of technology into academic instruction
provides unique and exciting opportunities for the University. However, the success
and quality of integrating the technology rests primarily on the shoulders of the
faculty. Faculty who are doing more with technology are, for the most part, learning
the skills on their own time while performing other professional responsibilities.
Although the University seems eager to integrate technology into academic
instruction, little recognition or reward is provided to faculty who do so.
The results of the desirability and feasibility rankings for the alternative
resolutions to resolve the issue of inadequate faculty incentives and rewards for using
technology are shown in Table 4.7.
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Table 4.7
Resolution: Rankings for Inadequate Faculty Incentives Issue
Inadeauate Faculty Incentives to Use Technology (4.20) Desirability Feasibility Priority
Provide faculty with monetary compensation 4.02 3.91 1
Provide faculty with release time 4.02 3.89 1
No incentives are necessary 2.28 3.37 2
Note. Priority ranking is determined by combining the desirability and feasibility
rankings. Number in parenthesis is importance ranking of issue.
Strengths and Limitations of the Alternative Resolutions. Two resolutions are
identified as having equal priority for this policy issue. Many full-time faculty
indicate that the issue of inadequate faculty rewards and incentives for the use of
technology is best resolved by giving faculty release time to learn how to incorporate
technology in their teaching, develop a technology-based course, or assist other
faculty with the use of technology. However, an equal number of full-time faculty
favor compensation in the form of course development fees, grants, summer stipends,
and merit pay as the best resolution for the issue of inadequate faculty rewards and
incentives. The feasibility rankings for compensation and release time, 3.91 and 3.89
respectively, indicate a .02 difference. Faculty comments on the strengths and
limitations of the resolutions of release time and compensation appear in Tables 4.8
and 4.9, respectively.
77


Table 4.8
Resolution: Provide Faculty with Release Time
Strengths Limitations
Time is the biggest barrier Removing faculty from classrooms
Can teach other classes well while learning the technology Counterproductive to reward better teaching by teaching less
Time is worth more than money Create funding problems
Table 4.9
Resolution: Provide Faculty with Monetary Compensation
Strengths Limitations
Recognizes faculty for learning technology Create funding problems
Can be given as summer stipends Raises the question of course ownership
Very feasible way to address issue Creates a division between professors who use technology and those who dont
Makes using technology more important than other contributions to teaching
The least desirable and feasible resolution to the issue of inadequate faculty
incentives and rewards for using technology, as shown in Table 4.7, is to provide no
faculty incentives for the use of technology and to expect faculty to remain current as
a fundamental aspect of teaching. Faculty comments on the strengths and limitations
of this resolution, or lack of a resolution, appear in Table 4.10.
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Table 4.10
Resolution: Provide No Incentives for Use of Technology
Strengths Limitations
No impact on budget No relationship between remaining current and using technology
Faculty will leam if they want to without incentives Perpetuates the if you build it, they will come approach
The University will lose in the long run
Recommended Policy Resolutions. Presently, a University-wide policy does
not exist that provides incentives or rewards to faculty who integrate technology into
their teaching. Some faculty believe that external rewards for the use of technology
in the classroom will not motivate faculty to do any more than they are already doing.
These faculty contend that the real rewards for using technology are those that are
internal and those that lead to the satisfaction of better teaching with newer methods.
Others object to removing faculty from the classroom to leam technology because
they feel that the loss of full-time faculty in the classrooms potentially damages the
quality of the universitys academic programs.
Similarly, some faculty oppose a policy of giving monetary compensation to
full-time faculty to leam the technology because it detracts from the money that is
available for enhancing the Universitys technology resources. Still other faculty
believe that remaining current in both discipline and process of instruction is a
79
i


fundamental aspect of teaching, and as such, it is the faculty members responsibility
to determine whether the use of the technology benefits the student. For this reason,
these faculty support a merit review process that includes an evaluation of the faculty
members knowledge in the use of new teaching technologies.
However, a greater number of full-time faculty support the need for a
University policy that provides incentives and rewards to faculty who desire to
integrate technology into their academic instruction. Release time and monetary
compensation are ranked equal in priority as a resolution to the issue of inadequate
faculty rewards for using technology. Proponents of release time argued that it is
time, not money, which is the biggest barrier to learning the new technologies. Some
faculty, in fact, support a policy resolution that not only provides adequate release
time to develop the necessary materials for the technology-driven course work but
also provides release time to instruct the course.
Based upon information gathered in the Policy Delphi, the following
recommendations to address the issue inadequate faculty incentives and rewards for
using technology reflect the viewpoints of full-time faculty :
1. Compensation is given to full-time faculty who develop or redesign a
course that integrates academic technology.
2. For each technology-driven course developed, the full-time faculty
member can choose between release time and monetary compensation as an
incentive.
80


Policy Issue Three: Inadequate Technical Support for
Faculty Using Technology
Issue Description. Without adequate technical support, even a highly
motivated faculty member finds using technology a frustrating experience. Many
faculty would like to try the new technology provided by the Information Technology
Initiative (ITI), however, they fear that prompt technical assistance in the classroom is
unavailable. Presently, the Computing, Information & Network Services (CINS) does
not provide evening or weekend support. Given the present staffing of CINS, a quick
response to technical difficulties is difficult.
The results of the desirability and feasibility rankings for the alternative
resolutions to resolve the issue of inadequate technical support for faculty using
technology appear in Table 4.11.
Table 4.11
Resolution Rankings for Inadequate Technical Support Issue
Inadequate Technical Support (4.02) Desirability Feasibility Priority
Centralize all support under CINS 3.15 3.50 1
Dissolve CENTS and provide support in departments 3.19 2.83 2
Train faculty to address technical malfunctions 3.15 2.72 3
Note. Priority ranking is determined by combining the desirability and feasibility
rankings. Number in parenthesis is importance ranking of issue.
I
81


Strengths and Limitations of the Alternative Resolutions. Survey responses
revealed that the top priority resolution to the issue of inadequate technical support
for faculty using technology is to centralize all support under Computing Information
Network Services (CINS) and to provide CINS with adequate funds to extend their
support to evenings and weekends. Faculty comments on the strengths and
limitations of this resolution appear in Table 4.12.
Table 4.12
Resolution: Centralize All Support Under CINS
Strengths Limitations
Extends current coverage Centralization of support too powerful
Logical and organized solution High staff turnover at CINS; cannot build relationships
CINS does a good job with limited resources. With more money, CINS would do better Adding hours and money will not help poor quality of service
The second priority resolution to the issue of inadequate technology support
for faculty using technology, as identified by survey respondents, is to dissolve CINS
and to provide faculty with technical support in the academic departments. Faculty
comments on the strengths and limitations of this resolution appear in Table 4.13.
82


Table 4.13
Resolution: Dissolve CINS and Provide Support in Departments
Strengths Limitations
Never use CENS now, would not miss them Academic departments in worse shape than CINS
Lead to rapid problem solving Assumes the critical mission of CINS is faculty support. Not true.
Duplication of efforts without centralized function
The third priority resolution to the issue of inadequate technology support for
faculty is to train faculty to become reasonably proficient with technology so they are
able to address the majority of technical malfunctions in the classroom. Faculty
comments on the strengths and limitations of this resolution appear in Table 4.14.
Table 4.14
Resolution: Train Faculty to Address Technical Malfunctions
Strengths Limitations
Immediate assistance in classroom Drains scarce time of faculty
Puts knowledge in hands of implementers Technology changes quickly; like taking on a new profession
Recommended Policy Resolutions. According to surveyed faculty, the fear of
designing a course that integrates technology and having the technology fail in the
middle of a class session is prevalent among many University faculty. Moreover, the
frustration of waiting for technical assistance while limited class time slips away
83


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