How do university teachers use digital technologies in class?

Cristina Mercader*, Joaquin Gairin Sallan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In recent years, integration of digital technologies in education is one of the priorities of education organizations. We live in a knowledge society that is constantly adapting to new digital tools. Nevertheless, education does not keep apace. Considering the above statement, it is urgent to comprehend what the current situation is at tertiary level regarding integrating technologies in class. This paper focuses on how teachers use digital technologies, identifying what tools they usually manage, the frequency of their usage and factors that affect their integration. Based on an interpretative paradigm, and using a mixed methodology, 527 surveys and 29 interviews with university teachers were conducted, and 120 syllabi were analyzed from four Catalan universities. The results show that teachers apply basic tools such as visual presentations or video platforms, whereas social networks, blogs or interactive software are used by a small minority; those who integrate advanced resources like Virtual Environments tend to underuse them. Furthermore, the frequency usage is very low and technologies are almost never mentioned in syllabi. On the other hand, it is possible to link this tendency to internal factors such as technology competence, age, experience, and external factors such as the area of expertise (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Science and Technology). Therefore, tertiary education needs a change regarding teaching methodologies. To improve this situation, this paper provides a set of good practices identified in the interviews and syllabi that may help teachers to successfully integrate digital technologies.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)257-273
Number of pages17
JournalRevista Docencia Universitaria
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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