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818 R. Chitiyo, S. W.

818 R. Chitiyo, S. W. Harmon researchers used the data displays that they created, as well as the analytical memos they wrote on the information being gathered. In most cases, the convention used was to mark off the reflective remark or note ‘‘with double parentheses to signal that it is of a different order from the data it comments on’’ (Miles and Huberman 1994, p. 66). These reflective writings included reactions, feelings and insights (Lincoln and Guba 1985; Patton 1990) concerning the attitudes and opinions expressed by the participants, questions that developed as a result of the interviews and reflection, and formal field notes. Rigor or trustworthiness To ensure rigor and trustworthiness of the research, the researchers ensured that there was adequate and appropriate collection and analysis of data. In order to ensure credibility of the study, triangulation, peer review, and member check techniques were used. While reliance on any one source of data may lead to a distorted interpretation of the subject under enquiry, multiple sources reduce the risks by offering differing perspectives. In this study, the researchers triangulated the findings using data from the analysis of the universities’ strategic development plans, course outlines, lecturer interviews and lecturer questionnaires. Peer review could be seen as the review of the research process and findings by someone who is knowledgeable but external to the problem being explored. Two peer review sessions were held; the initial one, after interviews with lecturers at institution A, and the second after interviews with lecturers at institution B. During the debriefing sessions, methodology, findings and progress of the study were discussed in the context of the researchers’ views and beliefs, and this helped the researchers to identify their biases and discover how these could affect the interpretation of the data. Lincoln and Guba (1985) say that member checking is ‘‘the most crucial technique for establishing credibility in a study’’ (p. 314). Member checking affords participants the opportunity for them to ask questions, clarify issues and to verify that the findings accurately reflect the participants’ views. In this study, the technique of member checks involved presenting transcriptions and interpretations of the face-to-face interviews to the participants and seeking confirmation from them (participants) that the interpretations were valid. The first member checks were done after interviews at each institution and after the initial peer review. The second member checks were carried out after the researchers had had further chances of analyzing both the interviews and collected documents, and after the second peer review. Integration of instructional technology by teacher educators in Zimbabwe Lecturers’ hardware approach to IT integration Other than the audio-visual aids (AVA) courses taken in their initial teacher training or education, the lecturers in this study lacked training in ET or IT. As might be expected, this influenced their approach to IT integration. With the majority of lecturers indicating that they largely use the overhead projector (OHP) and transparencies, chalkboards, charts and flip-charts and a few saying they use TV screens, VCRs, film and projectors, and the electronic/LCD projector as teaching and learning aids, the media view or hardware approach to their IT integration appeared predominant. Further evidence to this media or hardware approach to the lecturers’ 123

An analysis of the integration of instructional technology 819 integration of IT is in the finding that 90% of the lecturers indicated that they use these technological tools, which do not include computers, for illustrating, highlighting or showing concepts or key points in their lecture delivery. About a third of the lecturers indicated that they use computers for purposes of preparing lectures through their research, word processing, computing marks and grades, and looking up information on the Internet. Another one-third of the lecturers said they use computers for instructional purposes in the form of typing exercises and examinations, research and downloading materials on the Internet. It can be seen that all these are lecture preparation activities largely involving the production or preparation of teaching and learning materials or aids. As can be seen from these findings, these lecturers seem not to regard lecture preparation as part of the instructional process. Their interpretation of using computers for instructional purposes is that of using computers for purposes of presentation and/or delivery of lectures, not for preparation. This interpretation is quite consistent with the hardware approach to the integration of IT, with its little or no emphasis on needs and learner analysis, which are prerequisites for effective instructional design. The main reason given by the lecturers for not currently using computers for instructional purposes is the lack of resources—both hardware and software. This lack of resources leads to poor or limited access to offices and computer laboratories. Available laboratories may not have adequate numbers of computers, appropriate application software or Internet connection. Where computers are available, slow Internet speed is also cited as a limitation to using the available tools for instructional purposes. The significance of the fact that only one lecturer indicated that he uses the computer for ‘‘demonstrating instruction on the screen,’’ through his Web publication on the International Education and Resource Network (IERN) website, and in the context of a collaborative learning project, is that the lecturer holds the post-graduate diploma in ET and is in charge of the teaching of ET at his institution. This represents a situation where the lecturer uses the computer (and Internet) during the course of the presentation or delivery of the lecture to demonstrate what he wants the students to learn. This finding is further proof of the importance of staff development for lecturers, as evidenced by this lecturer’s relative progress in the integration of IT. Probably the most critical and revealing finding, and a problem that the institutions can do a lot more in solving, even given their limited capacities, is that lecturers are not using computers for instructional purposes because they are not capable of using computer for that purpose. The problem is strongly linked to the absence of relevant skills and knowledge, resulting from lack of training. This is an important finding which tends to point to the absence of a properly coordinated policy and structure to support initial (pre-service) teacher education and continuous (in-service) staff development in IT integration. It should, however, be noted that the lack of resources at these institutions, and the finding that lecturers said they were not capable of using computers for IT integration, becomes a cycle in which the absence of resources makes it difficult and at times impossible for the institutions to put in place the appropriate staff development activities or programs. Lecturers’ computer technology proficiencies and competencies The finding that all the lecturers feel confident that they can do the basic and common email and Internet tasks like sending e-mails with attachments and using search engines to look for information on the Internet shows that the lecturers can, to some extent and given relevant training, use the computers and the Internet as communication tools. However, the 123

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