Challenges University Students Face When Integrating New ICT Tools into Their Learning: An Exploratory Study of a Social Annotation Tool

Jackie W W Chan, Mei Ki LAU, Sandy S C LI, Jacky W C POW, Alpha Chun Kiu Wong

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    To facilitate students' learning, teachers are keen to try out various ICT tools, recommend those they find useful to their classes, and even tailor-make tools for their classrooms with the assistance of engineers. However, students are not always eager to voluntarily apply these tools to their assignments. This paper reports on findings from a study that explored the introduction of a commercial social annotation application, Diigo, to university students enrolled in three different courses. All participating students were given a two-hour, in-class, face-to-face tutorial at the beginning of the semester. Diigo was expected to facilitate students' collaboration in collecting, sharing, analysing, and elaborating data while engaged in a group inquiry learning assignment. Seventeen students were invited to participate in individual interviews. Qualitative content analysis of transcripts was conducted to examine the challenges students faced when they decided to incorporate new technology into their studies. Findings indicate that although Diigo is helpful for data collection and sharing among students, students prefer Google Drive, an online file storage and synchronization service, for data analysis and elaboration. Interviewees pointed to the usability of the ICT tool, their motivation as students, peer influence, and the arrangement of the face-to-face tutorial as challenges associated with integrating the ICT tool. We argue that addressing these four areas of student concern is pivotal to the cultivation of a conducive atmosphere that encourages students to try out and integrate new ICT tools into their learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-23
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of the International Society for Teacher Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    User-Defined Keywords

    • collaborative inquiry learning
    • higher education
    • ICT
    • social annotation


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