Although faculty identified barriers specifically as time, lack of access, and lack of awareness, usually these have underlying issues which must be resolved (Reid 2014). Categories of barriers (Reid) outside faculty control which influence faculty adoption include

  • • Technology barriers such as access, reliability, and complexity,
  • • Process barriers such as support and professional development,
  • • Administrative barriers such as compensation and time requirements, and
  • • Environmental barriers such as legal issues and technology effectiveness.

At Purdue University we have worked on the underlying issues to ensure that faculty adoption (or lack of adoption) is within their control. Although we have not completely eliminated all the barriers, we have made a good start.

Technology Barriers

Wireless Access and Reliability

Although our purpose was not specifically to improve social media access, our wireless network has been strengthened to improve student and faculty use of social media in all classrooms. Areas of difficulty have historically been the very large classrooms and some underground rooms. However, in summer 2014, Hotseat was used to gather incoming freshman responses to questions. With thousands of students all using Hotseat almost simultaneously, students had no problems sending responses via smart phones, tablets, and laptops.

Tool Access, Reliability and Complexity

Purdue-developed social media tools such as Hotseat and Mixable are designed to reflect common features of external social media tools. This has decreased the faculty and student learning curve. They are also designed for all major platforms. Students are auto-enrolled in the space and only connect with classmates in the same class. This blends students’ social and academic lives into a more engaged learning environment.

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