Barriers to Integrating Information Technology in Libyan Higher Education

Faiza Saad Elshaikhi

Abstract


This study investigated the perspectives of Libyan faculty use of information technology and possible barriers that might influence the adoption of educational technology at Benghazi University. Analyses of self-report survey data from 183 Benghazi faculty showed that the overall level of faculty knowledge of information technology was moderate (M=2.55) using a 4-point technology experience scale (4=high experience). The faculty’s use of information technology was low (M=1.19) on a 5-point usage scale (5=high use). Ratings of the policy barriers indicated that Benghazi faculty would benefit from additional university access to information technology and more professional development in integration strategies (M=2.26) on a 5-point support scale (5=strong support). Benghazi faculty members had positive attitudes and highly value the integration of technology (M=4.00) on a 5-point attitude scale (5= highly positive attitude). Males (M=2.02) reported a higher use information technology than Females (M=1.84), t(181)=2.00, p=.047. Females (M=2.16) also reported that there were more barriers to the use of educational technology than males (M=2.41) t(181)=2.75, p=.007. The difference between male and females opinions regarding infrastructure resources was not significant.

Results indicate that while Benghazi faculty feel that they are moderately prepared in the use of information technology they will appreciate greater access to information technology and more professional opportunities in integrating technology into their teaching. The study also indicated that female faculty have less experience and saw more usage barriers than male faculty. Additional university access to information technology and professional development, targeting both males and females, should significantly benefit Benghazi faculty and may positively impact their students who will be competing in a global information economy.