Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Integrating Technology into Course Design

December 5, 2005

When developing learning objectives at the course level as well as for each unit taught, it is important to consider the advantages that teaching with technology can have for students. Technology should be used to enhance the learning experience for students, not to completely replace instruction. When selecting technology to use in a course, there should be a range of activities and varied instructional methods to meet the needs of the diverse learning styles in your course. These instructional methods and activities should be included in course assessment as well. The following “SECTIONS” model, developed by A.W. Bates and Gary Poole is a good resource for selecting multimedia and technology during course design and development:

S Students: What is known about the students and the appropriateness of different technologies for this particular group? What types of learners might you have in your course?
E Ease of Use and reliability: How easy will it be for both faculty and students to use the technology under consideration? How smooth will the transition be if used in a lecture? How much explanation will students need?
C Costs: What are the time demands on faculty and students for this technology? Do students need to purchase hardware/software?
T Teaching and Learning: What are the learning outcomes? What instructional approaches will best meet these outcomes? What are the best technologies for supporting these teaching and learning outcomes?
I Interactivity: What kind of interaction is needed and which technologies best support this kind of interaction? Think of learner-technology interaction, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-learner interaction.
O Organizational Issues: What are the organizational requirements and the barriers to be removed before any technology under consideration can be used successfully?
N Novelty: How new are these technologies? What advantages and/or disadvantages does this bring?
S Speed: How quickly can these technologies be integrated into course design? What external resources do you need to rely on?

The ATC Staff is available to meet one-on-one with faculty to provide consultation and assistance on a variety of teaching with technology topics, including technology selection. Visit our Individual Consultations page in the Teaching with Technology Collaboratory for more information.


A.W. Bates & G. Poole. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Last modified: Dec 02, 2005, 17:20 EST
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