Summary of educational technology at omani higher education institutions
Educational Technology at Omani Higher Education Institutions<br />Dr. Ali Sharaf Al Musawi<br />Dr Hamoud Nasser Al Hashmi<br />Purpose of the study:<br />The purpose of this research was to address the current and prospective views on educational technology (ET) in order to discover the difficulties and develop its utilization in Omani higher education.<br />Instruments:<br />The main instruments were two questionnaires: the faculty members' questionnaire, and the technical/administrative staff questionnaire. They were developed by the researchers by generating a list of potential issues of ET derived from the literature and national level standardized surveys.<br />In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted to verify some areas of the effectiveness of instructional software/equipment use brought up by faculty members in the questionnaire.<br />Participants:<br />The participants were (159) ET specialists, administrators, and ET and learning resources centers’ (LRCs) staff representing all educational technologists who have been with the public and private Omani higher education institutions.<br />Findings:<br /><ul><li>No significant differences between the participants' views in relation to three variables (job, qualification, and type of institution) in terms of their abilities to use instructional equipment/facilities.
No significant differences between the participants' views in regard to: the impediments of use, and evaluation of instructional technology in relation to two variables (qualification, and type of institution).
No significant differences in regard to: the frequency of use in relation to two variables (job and type of institution).
No significant differences between the participants' views in regard to: the frequency of use, and ability to use instructional software in relation to two variables (job and type of institution).
Some other findings show significant differences in favor of faculty members in terms of instructional software design/production experience, and in favor of PhD holders in terms of the ability to use instructional software.</li></ul>We have discussed many issues of ET at many levels. Some of them as follow:<br />The technical resources level:<br />Issue: several institutions lack most of the equipment and facilities, and the new technologies (Intranet and multimedia labs).<br />Recommendations: expansion on the portable, new, and less expensive technologies and increase the quantities of updated technologies/ software /equipment.<br />The human and financial resources level:<br />Issue: the need for future resources in terms of staffing, budgeting, and research funding.<br />No higher education institution in the Sultanate has a specialized department of ET <br />Recommendations: prepare more technicians and administrators in the field of ET in order to meet these needs and manage the resources.<br />Omani higher education should initiate and fund ET university programs and research.<br />The design and production levels:<br />Issue: Technical/Administrative staff is far less in their instructional software design/production experience than the faculty members. Recommendations: improve their experience through training and practice to enable them to perform their technical/administrative tasks.<br />The use level: <br />Issue: PhD holders are more able to use instructional software than MA and BA holders.<br />Frequency of using instructional software and equipment was weak.<br />Recommendations: Intensive systematic in-service training programs should be conducted for staff in areas of new ET design, production, use, and evaluation. <br />