Date of Award

8-1990

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Sanders

Second Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole

Third Advisor

Dr. Ken Dickie

Abstract

The purpose of this study were: (a) to describe characteristics of faculty at Western Michigan University who hold favorable or unfavorable attitudes towards computing with respect to the 13 variables used in previous research; (b) to investigate other selected variables which could be used to describe faculty who are likely to have favorable attitudes towards computing at Western on which little, if any, research has been reported in the literature; and (c) to develop implications of findings for identifying possible interventions with faculty who hold unfavorable attitudes towards computing at Western Michigan University.

A Computing Favorability Scale (Shields, 1984), used by researchers at Brown University, was used to collect survey data. The internal consistency of the instrument was.8945. Five hundred faculty at Western Michigan University completed and returned the survey, representing a response rate of 65%. The variables found to be moderately related to favorability towards computing for Western faculty included: (a) frequency of computer use; (b) past experience using computers, in particular using computers to write documents and prepare course related materials; (c) multiple computer use; (d) having a computer at home to use; and (e) writing style, in particular composing a first draft of a manuscript on a computer, composing on the computer throughout the writing process, and the amount of writing done on a computer. The findings of research at major research institutions did not generalize to Western.

Possible interventions for the 24% of Western Michigan University faculty found to hold unfavorable attitudes towards computing include: (a) building on existing faculty energy, (b) starting new users on the right foot, (c) creating support structures to decrease isolation, and (d) fostering incremental change.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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