Predicting College of Agriculture professors' adoption of computers and distance education technologies for self-education and teaching at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico

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Carr, Ana
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Gregory S. Miller
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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This descriptive and associational study investigated whether personal and institutional characteristics of professors in the College of Agriculture in Guadalajara, Mexico, were related to the use of computers for traditional teaching, and for distance learning and teaching. These characteristics included: interest, attitudes, self-efficacy levels, uses, need for support for faculty development opportunities, and availability of equipment and communications. By using multiple regression and discriminant analysis a series of predictors were identified;Among the findings it was identified that, in general, professors were highly interested in the use of technology in teaching, and held a positive attitude toward the use of technology for teaching and learning. The professors were already familiar with distance education via satellite, but computer-based education at a distance was not as popular. A need for training was identified in: teaching college courses, taking courses at a distance, and teaching at a distance;Professors felt confident using electronic mail and the Internet but not in performing more active roles involving the Internet. Also, computers were commonly used for managing instruction, but were seldom used for actual teaching. A significant proportion of the variability in professors' adoption of computer technology in the classroom was explained by four variables: computer self-efficacy, socializing knowledge about computers, frequent use of the Internet, and planning for more use of computers in the classroom;Five professor characteristics were found to be predictors of potential adoption of distance education for learning. Professors who were not computer self-learners; professors who were in the veterinary discipline, professors who held a bachelor's degree as the maximum level of education, professors having more years teaching at CUCBA, and professors who would choose distance education via the Internet were more likely to adopt distance education for learning;Half of the professors were interested in delivering courses at a distance. They were more likely not to be members of a social science discipline, and were not computer self-learners; they more likely socialized knowledge about computers, planned to restructure courses for more use of computers in the classroom, tended to consider distance education an option for learning, and would choose distance education for learning via the Internet, and satellite.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1999