Technology Choices

Part of planning your Unit will involve the selection of appropriate technologies to facilitate learning about your topic. There are some well-known approaches to selecting technologies that may be useful as you begin developing your plan.

An updated approach to using the SECTIONS model developed by Bates and Poole (described in the book, Effective Teaching With Technology in Higher Education) was produced by UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. The update embedded the 8 elements:

  • Students
  • Ease of Use
  • Costs
  • Teaching and learning
  • Interactivity
  • Organizational issues
  • Novelty
  • Speed

within a planning perspective. The four part process suggested by this approach includes:

Part 1:  Define - determine what you want to accomplish (from a student perspective)

Part 2:  Assess - use a SECTIONS checklist to evaluate the technology(ies) you have selected.

Part 3:  Implement - collect observations and feedback as you implement

Part 4:  Refine - reflect and plan for future improvements.

An example of how the selection step can be incorporated in a planning approach is Plan Your Online Learning Activity - a Linoit open bulletin board used in a previous SCOPE open seminar.

Check out the University of California Irvine's approach to reviewing tools and services. They consider five different criteria before adopting technology - you could use similar principles to guide your thinking when you choose technologies for your design.


Underhill, Cindy (2011) SECTIONS Framework, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, UBC Wiki.  Retrieved from

University of California Irvine, Instructional Cloud Computing, Tools & Services, Retrieved from