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Title:Effects of a Microcomputer-Intensive Residence Hall Environment on the Computer-Related Attitudes and Skills of Undergraduate Students: A Study of Gender Differences
Author(s):Palmer, Carolyn J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Technology of
Abstract:During the 1985-86 academic year, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) sponsored a project which provided microcomputer work stations, software, and computer education in a coed residence hall housing undergraduate students. This dissertation examined the effects of this microcomputer-intensive environment on the computer-related attitudes and skills of residence hall students and explores the extent to which these effects differ for men and women.
Data were obtained from survey instruments providing pre-test and post-test measures of computer skills and attitudes reported by students in the experimental residence hall and students in a comparison group. Dependent variables, empirically derived from the data, include four survey scales reflecting self-assessed computer skills, perceptions of the importance of knowing how or learning how to use computers, desire to use computers, and computer anxiety.
Analyses associated with the major research questions include two-by-two (sex-by-group) univariate and multivariate analyses of variance and covariance. Pre-test results show no significant group differences, but show a significant overall sex difference, with men higher on skills and desire and women higher on anxiety. Analyses of post-test scales, using pre-test scales as covariates, show significant overall effects for group and for the interaction of sex and group. Experimental effects, associated with lower importance and anxiety and higher desire and skills, are greater for women than men.
This study suggests that access to computers and computer education in the residence hall environment may serve to narrow the gender gap with respect to computers. Further research regarding the development of this gender gap and the efficacy of compensatory programs in narrowing this gap is recommended. In light of the growing need for college students in an increasing number of disciplines to use computers, and in light of considerable diversity in students' previous experiences with computers, it is recommended that researchers explore various forms of interventions which may make it possible for students to approach higher education and careers in an expanding high-technology world with equivalent probabilities of success.
Issue Date:1987
Description:194 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711848
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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