Faculty computer self-efficacy and integration of electronic communication in teaching college courses

Kagima, Leah
Major Professor
Cheryl O. Hausafus
Committee Member
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Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

As technological innovations continue to change and expand, it becomes increasingly necessary to support faculty in adopting innovations to keep up with the educational demands of the 21st century such as the changing learning environments, distance education, computer based course management, and delivery technologies. Recent studies have indicated that successful implementation of educational technologies depends largely on educators who guide the daily experiences of learners. Understanding more about faculty confidence and skills for computer technology use can provide insights for intervention strategies in faculty development efforts. To prepare for this intervention, it is important to identify the extent to which faculty have integrated technology and their confidence in using educational technologies;The overall purpose of this study was to determine faculty computer self-efficacy and the extent of integration of electronic communication in teaching college courses. This study sought to determine: faculty computer-self-efficacy, extent of integration of electronic communication, faculty characteristics that influence adoption of technology, and characteristics of faculty integrating technology in teaching distant students via the Iowa Communications Network (ICN);Extent of integration was examined from two related theoretical frameworks: Roger's (1995) diffusion of innovations, and Bandura's (1986) theory of self-efficacy. Results revealed that for faculty teaching in both delivery systems, no significant differences were found in extent of integration of electronic communication in teaching face-to-face on campus or in teaching via the ICN. Based on the two theories, faculty categorized as high integrators and with high self-efficacy integrated technology more than those categorized as laggards and with low self-efficacy. Over half of the teaching faculty (52%) indicated that when using electronic communication in teaching college courses, they used it the most for course-related announcements/deadlines and least for real-time synchronous communication. Hierarchical regression analysis identified self-efficacy in using the World Wide Web to be a strong predictor of integration of electronic communication in teaching college courses. Results of this study partially support past studies that faculty characteristics including attitudes, computer experiences, technology education, age, self-efficacy, rank, and discipline have an influence on faculty's decisions to adopt technology. Based on the findings, it is recommended that faculty education be focused on increasing self-efficacy and providing hands-on experiences with a variety of computer applications in technologically supported learning environments. Future studies should incorporate both positivistic and interpretive modes of inquiry to gain in-depth understanding of the motivations and circumstances regarding the lack of innovativeness among teaching faculty and their perceptions of distance education, integration of technological innovations, and confidence in working in computer-related environments.