Understanding of the Major Areas in the Educational Technology Field

This question was a follow-up question to the previous one to find out more detailed information about participants’ understanding of this field. The question was more specific. Forty-six participants answered this question. Six participants skipped this question. Of the six, two did a very detailed answer to the previous question, which provided the reason why they did not answer this question. They had actually included the answer to this question in the previous answer. Examining the other four participants’ answers to the previous question, I found they all used one very short sentence to make a comment on the educational technology. They were “improving learning,” “will have a great impact on higher education,” “takes a very important role in education,” and “diffusing to more areas.” From their answers to the previous question and the fact that they skipped this question, we may assume they did not have much knowledge in this field.

The participants were asked to provide their rationales for their answers to the question. Twenty participants wrote rationales but 26 did not include a rationale. These 20 rationales can be coded into three categories. They were understandings based on (1) personal opinion, (2) reading and/or practice in the field, and (3) AECT definition. Four responses were based on personal opinions, six based on their reading and/or practice in the field, and the remaining ten based on the AECT definition. Most of those whose responses were based on the AECT definitions focused their answers on the AECT five standards at various detail levels. However, one who said his/her understanding was based on the AECT’s 1994 definition did not provide a substantial answer by saying: “I never seriously thought about it; my understanding is AECT’s 94 definition.” Summarizing the responses collected, I found, in general, except for those who did not have much knowledge or conceptions about this field, the understanding of the majority of those who answered the question was quite consistent with the understanding of scholars in the western countries.

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