Appraising the Attitude towards Information Communication Technology Integration and Usage in Kazakhstani Higher Education Curriculum
The purpose of the study is to examine and understand the attitude of Kazakhstani universities’ instructors towards ICT integration into the curriculum and to find out the relationship between instructors’ attitudes towards ICT and their actual usage of ICT for teaching and learning processes.
The Kazakhstani government has taken initiatives and developed state programs to integrate information communication technologies (ICT) into all levels of education. According to previous research studies, instructors’ negative attitude towards ICT integration into curriculum can affect the implementation of ICT-related initiatives in education including higher education. Therefore, this research study examines the attitudes of Kazakhstani higher education instructors towards ICT integration into curriculum.
The study implemented an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. For quantitative and qualitative data collection paper-based questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used, respectively. Convenience sampling was conducted, and the sample consisted of 102 instructors working in two universities in Kazakhstan. In quantitative data analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics were used; Spearman’s rho correlation coefficient was used to identify the relationship between variables.
Understanding instructors’ attitude towards ICT in education and exploring reasons behind attitudes might be beneficial in accomplishing aims and purposes of governmental ICT-related programs in the higher education system.
Quantitative data analysis reveals that instructors generally possess positive to very positive attitude towards using ICT in education. Instructors often use simple basic tools such as multimedia presentation software; however, they very rarely use more advanced tools such as discipline-oriented software. No statistically significant relationship was found between attitude and advanced ICT tools. Qualitative data analysis identifies several barriers to ICT usage: insufficient or lack of provision of ICT tools and software, lack of technical support, and lack of technical knowledge among instructors.
As a result of the study, it is firstly recommended to university administrations to create and add positions of information technology (IT) specialists, to each department and on a permanent basis. Secondly, it is recommended to provide faculty members with training courses that focus on ICT in pedagogy. Thirdly, universities could ask for guidance from their existing faculty members who are advanced ICT integrators, that is to say, collegial learning should be encouraged more strongly. Finally, universities are recommended to reward those faculty members who are active and effective in their attempts to integrate ICT into teaching.
As I was not able to interview those instructors who possessed negative attitude towards ICT in education, I would recommend filling this gap in the future. Interviewing instructors who are reluctant to integrate ICT into teaching can help identify more issues related to using ICT in education which were not discovered in the current research study.
Also, the current research study did not investigate instructors’ attitudes in relation to their demographic background. Further research studies can examine how instructors’ age, gender, place of study, place of work, academic degree, or subject area of teaching influence their attitude towards using ICT in education and their actual usage of ICT in teaching practices.