Educational Research Journal

A Caveat to Researchers on the Implementation of Information Technology

2000.第15卷第1期(Vol. 15 No. 1).pp. 241–256

A Caveat to Researchers on the Implementation of Information Technology

Chi-Chung LAM & Fong-Lok LEE(林智中、李芳樂)


This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative study of Hong Kong secondary school teachers' concepts of Information Technology. In the qualitative study, forty teachers in six schools were interviewed. It was revealed that the teachers held different conceptions of the nature of IT. Some teachers admitted not knowing what IT was. For those who attempted to describe it, marked differences were found in their concept of its scope. To some, IT was restricted to the use of computers or computer-based environment for teaching and learning but some had a more undefined definition — this included the use of overhead projectors. Such differences in conception suggest that the validity of previous questionnaire surveys on teachers' attitudes and beliefs related to information technology is questionable. It is argued that researchers of questionnaire surveys should define clearly what IT means when they design their studies. In doing so, they should refer to the purpose of their study. As the Government and the stakeholders are most interested in the use of computer-based IT devices and contents to enhance teaching and learning qualities, IT in education should be defined accordingly in implementation studies to prevent their validity being questioned.

Keywords: information technology; curriculum implementation; research design