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Title:Facilitating and Limiting Factors in Job-Related Computer Use of Illinois Community College Personnel
Author(s):Barry, Phyllis Hasbrouck
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:Recent advances in computer technology have brought the capabilities of sophisticated computer systems within the reach of virtually every educational agency. But while the computers have become readily attainable, the skills necessary to use them have not kept pace. This study attempts to clarify what individual and institutional factors facilitate or limit job-related computer usage in Illinois community college personnel.
The theoretical basis of the study and instrumentation was provided by three major conceptual models including: (1) Farmer's Three-Foci Model of approaches to adult learning, (2) Katz and Kahn's Open Systems Theory, and (3) Katz and Kahn's concept of Role Behavior.
A mailed survey was sent to a random sample of 1,000 professionals in the community colleges of Illinois. The sample was structured into three groups: administrative, instructional, and support personnel. There were five types of variables examined in the study: (1) demographic variables of the individual; (2) demographic variables of the institution; (3) situational variables, such as voluntariness of usage; (4) process variables, such as related learning activities; and (5) outcome variables, such as change in knowledge and skills.
The major findings from the data indicate that the introduction of computer technology is seen largely as having a favorable effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Most respondents learned to use the computer by acquiring new information and skills, or by using the computer to address a particular task or problem. For most respondents the use of a computer is voluntary. Involuntary use was found mainly among support service personnel such as admissions officers or librarians who are involved with large institution-wide systems. Interestingly, these people who reported major change in their jobs from computer usage also reported the greatest increase in perceived functionality of role behavior.
The implications point to the need to take into account the learner's situation when providing institutional support for an innovation such as computer technology.
The recommendations include: offering training designed to address the specific needs of the professional, offering opportunities for professionals to learn computer skills from each other, and allowing sufficient time for training in the introduction of any computer technology. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
Issue Date:1987
Description:200 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721582
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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