Mercader & Gairin. (2020). University Teachers Perception of Barriers to the Use of Digital Technologies

Mercader, C., Gairín, J. (2020). University teachers' perception of barriers to the use of digital technologies: the importance of the academic discipline. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 17, 4.

Article looks at instructors' reported use/adoption/barriers of digital technologies for teaching.

The article appears to have been written in 2017, and only published in March 2020? Why the delay?

They propose a typology to classify barriers to adopting digital technologies:

  • personal and professional barriers
  • contextual and institutional barriers

surveyed 527 university instructors from 4 universities. 65% had never received training re: technology. (but how do they define training?)


a person’s personal traits are not as relevant to improving digital technology integration as are his or her professional attributes


strengthening teachers’ professional development in terms of digital competencies (time management, training, pedagogical approaches, experience and teaching approaches using digital technologies, etc.)


the type of academic discipline is an influential factor in teachers’ perception of barriers

(arts/humanities profs described more significant barriers to adoption. discipline-specific barriers…)

My questions:

  • are the differences really due to the discipline (are Humanities profs struggling that much more?) or is it a result of other institutional effects (sciences may have more ready access to tech? better PD? more community/networking support? etc…)
  • What is the role of community/peer support, rather than “training”?
  • How does their typology fit into my thesis framework?

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