Instructional Technologist Lit Review: Categories for barriers to adoption of instructional technologies

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Citation: Reid, P. (2014). Categories for barriers to adoption of instructional technologies. Education and Information Technologies, 19(2), 383-407. doi: 10.1007/s10639-012-9222-z. Retrieved from

Reviewed by: Michelle Yeung

Categories for barriers to adoption of instructional technologies
Multiple barriers prevent the effective adoption of instructional technologies in higher education. This research provides a framework of the five most common barriers based on literature research: technology, process, administration, environment, and faculty. This framework provides institutions a starting point from which they can plan to minimize barriers and increase adoption rates at their institution.

In each of the categories and the barriers sub-categorized in the framework, the author cites qualitative and quantitative literature supporting and explaining why the barrier commonly occurs. At the end of each barrier, the author adds a conclusion and suggestion for institutional analysis.

The resulting framework includes 5 barriers to the adoption of instructional technologies (Figure 1):

  1. Technology barrier: access, reliability, and complexity
  2. Process barrier: project management, support, professorial development
  3. Administration barrier: control, institutional support, misunderstanding of required effort, compensation and time
  4. Environment barrier: technology effectiveness, legal issues, tensions between administration and academia, organizational change
  5. Faculty barrier: Participation in professional development, perception of quality and effectiveness, self-efficacy and background, resistance to change, effective use

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Fig. 1
Fishbone diagram of barriers to adoption of instructional technologies

The proposed framework provides management and staff tasked with supporting instructional technologies insight into potential barriers and pitfalls at their institution. While each institution must identify the priorities and importance of each barrier and their potential solutions on campus, the framework is a starting point of analysis

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