How do you determine technology enhancement and needs for a course?


by Jessica Grant

Throughout my past semester at AU in Survey of Current Technical Applications I learned how to assess, analyze and determine technological enhancement for a chosen course. This was completed through projects and assignments over the semester.

The first step in determining a technology enhancement and needs analysis for a course is to examine the course itself. The first step is to look at the course and what the intended learning goals and outcomes are. In addition to the learning goals, the course participants enrolled in the course hold equal value in establishing a technology needs and enhancement. For example the age and demographics of the students in the course may have a bearing on the technology you will incorporate.

(Bates,2022) describes the differences between media and technology and the various applications. Technology being a tool requiring human interaction and our senses being used to interpret the sights and sounds of graphics, text, audio, animation etcetera that are delivered to us by media. Some examples Bates gives of media are text, graphics, audio, film + video, computing, and social media, each consisting of sub-systems. These sub-systems allow the creator to manipulate the message conveyed to the audience to influence the interpretation. 

In our course we chose a course to identify a problem with the current technological platforms and later on, through further assignments and projects determine an appropriate technology to incorporate. This was helpful in breaking down the course itself and examining areas that could benefit from improvement.


Bates’ SECTIONS model can be used once a technology has been decided upon. We decided on two technologies, and applied SECTIONS to them, narrowing it down to one. Then, we chose 2 platforms (or applications) for that technology and again applied SECTIONS to both of those, in a more expanded model, and were left with an ideal technology enhancement for our course.

Figure 9.1.2 Image: Sheila Jagannathan, World Bank, 2020

Bates, A.W. (2022). Understanding Technology in Education, Pedagogical Differences Between Media. In Bates, A.W. (3rd Ed.) Teaching in a Digital Age (Ch.7 , 8 + 9). Tony Bates Associates Ltd. 

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