International Perspectives on the Role of Technology in Humanizing Higher Education: Volume 33

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(12 chapters)


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Part I: Creating Humanness with Technology


The world’s educational space is facing critical issues from globalization, accessibility and effort to integrate both technology and learner-centered knowledge. Educational practitioners, scholars and influencers are enthusiastic about infusing technology in their pedagogy and teaching–learning practices. There is a growing concern among policy-makers about the learning benefits of inducing technology into education, the psychological impact using technology and the safety of the information in learning environments. However, radical changes have taken place in the socio-political world, and education has become more democratized and humanized. Students are made aware the value of knowledge in a hyperconnected world and the need to continually learn throughout all stages of life. Successful inculcation of knowledge cannot happen only by improving the curriculum but also by achieving through an all-round development that allows the students the freedom to choose and participate in independent activities that result in social welfare and community well-being. The debate as to how to maximize the use of technology in education continues. This book aims to address the humaneness that surrounds the world of technology in education. It highlights the use of emerging technologies in pedagogy and case studies are cited to address the ongoing debate that technology brings a positive effect on education and mankind. The demand for technology continues as mankind faces unprecedented challenges where classroom education may not be possible. Technology continues to fulfill the challenges of creating a more democratic educational environment.


Connectedness is essential for student success in online learning. By projecting themselves as real people through video, instructors support connectedness. In this chapter, researchers apply the theory of social presence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) to case studies from two public higher education institutions: a four-year university and a large research university. Analysis identifies video as a humanizing element of online courses. Findings suggest video could be used in a variety of ways (e.g., video lectures, synchronous office hours, weekly overview videos), and no single use of video was perceived to be more or less effective in developing social presence and humanizing the learning experience. However, participants especially perceived connectedness when video was used in a variety of ways. Students from the second case study validated a perception of connectedness to the instructor that faculty in our first case study hoped to achieve. However, one instructor’s perception of disconnect illustrates that video is just one of several pedagogical practices necessary to create a satisfying learning experience for both students and instructors. While video is not the only way to establish social presence, findings suggest video is an effective practice toward creating a humanized and connected online learning community.


What is it like being a lecturer or teacher? 1 The classic image is an old, wise, and powerful stoic with oceans of knowledge: a bit like Yoda in Star Wars or Dumbledore in Harry Potter. With the rise of new technology in general and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular, teachers are no longer the sole source of knowledge. Does this mean that the teacher will soon be replaced by technology? Will AI take over?

This chapter considers the risks and benefits of AI in higher education. It argues that AI will not, should not, and, indeed, cannot replace the teacher, because of what is (for now at least) unique to the teacher: namely, her humanity. The idea is simple: to secure good education into the future, one must take advantage of teachers’ uniquely human expertise. State-of-the-art AI applications cannot be bodily present in the same way as human teachers, nor teach existential reflection, norms and values, or a sense of self, history, and society.


Contemporary education is in danger of losing that idea, expressed in Humboldt (1810/2002), Schleiermacher (1808/1991), Newman (1852/1996), Habermas (1987) and MacIntyre (2009), of the university as an autonomous, communal, intellectual space for scholars. The present chapter addresses the correlation between historical ideas of the university and pedagogies of learning but resists the easy pessimistic assumption that learners are contemporarily being reduced to elements in the reproduction of symbolic capital. It instead proposes an optimistic opportunity for learners to respond to changing material pressures in a socially autonomous way through an innovative pedagogical technique. Practices that manifest interdisciplinary, enquiry-based learning and are no longer dependent on outmoded individualistic modes of subjectivity are required in order to sustain an appropriate understanding of the autonomy of places of higher learning, as opposed to the ideological understanding of the autonomy of the individual. The main claim made in these pages is that, in order to protect the virtues of higher learning, the role of the lecturer needs to develop from that of expert, bastion or guardian of knowledge to that of steward or facilitator and the role of student needs to become more independent and productive through guerrilla, group-assessed context-based courses.


Higher education has struggled to find, implement, and adopt technology that is transformative to the learning experience. Most systems are disparate, old, data-poor, and heavily nuanced platforms with few champions and many detractors. At the same time, the process of learning, which is the ultimate goal of the institution’s students, does not leverage what we know about the brain, learning science, and more. However, all of these problems can be overcome if leaders and champions create learning technologies that are holistic to the student experience while assuring deep integration with other systems. This is how student success initiatives can be improved, at scale, and see technology assisting leaders.

Leveraging case studies of exemplar teaching, learning, technological, and data strategies by which to empower people and connect analytics, this chapter seeks to provide tangible ways by which to deliver “best” learning from a holistic perspective. The problems facing higher education and consistently presented in the media can be overcome with smarter, more connected solutions, such as the ones described in this chapter.

Part II: Emerging Technologies in Pedagogy


The Hellenic Open University (HOU) has recently ‘crossed the Rubicon’ into the e-learning era, offering learners the opportunity to attend online classes. For the teaching personnel, the specific change initiative involved stress-generating issues, associated with the ability to use new technologies and tools, and apply online active learning methods and techniques, as well as with issues related to e-learning effectiveness and self-efficacy. On these grounds, a qualitative study was conducted seeking to investigate academics’ views about the challenges they faced, influencing the implementation and effectiveness of online classes. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with randomly selected academics who taught online classes. The data of the interviews underwent a three-level qualitative analysis, following the ‘grounded theory’ methodology. Besides the limitations inherent in the study, the important point was that it enabled important aspects of issues related to design and delivery of effective online courses to be highlighted. The findings of this study clearly depicted the need to support academic staff on multiple levels in their endeavour to implement online courses.


This chapter highlights our survey that identifies faculty recommendations for incorporating emerging digital technologies to deliver eLearning content in online courses that help students learn more effectively. Results from the survey, which includes a sample of 478 online faculty at two higher education institutions, are presented.

In the findings of the survey, respondents identified several instructional technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and artificial intelligence (AI) as being on the cusp of changing learner engagement options and could soon become standard tools for the online course environment. While respondents predict an acceleration of new technology activity, they also caution that these technologies need a strong pedagogical foundation to match student needs and generate new use-learning real case scenarios.

This sentiment implies a more systematic approach to problem-solving that follows a process of identifying and refining multiple options to determine best practices for faculty preparation and staff development. The results of the survey included in this chapter are a directional means to help instructors and course designers explain what is relevant and exciting about techniques that can be employed and identify and use the emerging technological tools that enhance the delivery of instruction while meeting the ever-changing and dynamic needs of today’s learners.


With the widespread use of technology, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has recently gained a vital momentum as it improves communication competence in an authentic, real-life learning environment. Therefore, the current chapter presents a discussion of the humanization of English language teaching (ELT) by using CALL tools in a higher education institution. Sixteen Turkish students who were studying in the preparatory class in a Turkish state university were included in the study. The research was designed focusing on a qualitative research method. Joint interviewing was conducted at the beginning and end of the academic year, 2018–2019. The interview questions were asked about their perceptions of learning via CALL in the classroom. The findings from the first and second interviews were compared and analyzed according to what they thought and how they were affected. The empirical data presented in this chapter explicated students’ views on the humanization of ELT through CALL in Turkish tertiary English preparatory classes. Ultimately, this chapter sets the grounds for students, teachers, higher education institutions and designers to consider the possible effects of CALL to enhance the humanization of ELT.

Name Index

Pages 153-158
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Subject Index

Pages 159-161
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Cover of International Perspectives on the Role of Technology in Humanizing Higher Education
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Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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