Attitudes of higher education interior design faculty toward the innovation of distance education
Diane Marie Bender, Michigan State University, United States
Michigan State University . Awarded
The purpose of this investigation was to explore interior design faculty attitudes toward distance education. The need for this investigation was promulgated by the lack of research on educational innovations and the minimal attention given to distance education by faculty members teaching in the arts. Diffusion of innovations conceptual framework argues that the perceptions of an innovation's attributes will predict an individual's intention to adopt an innovation.
The sample for this study included sixty-seven self-selected interior design faculty members from across the United States who had no previous experience with distance education. The experimental treatment was a 15-minute presentation demonstrating interior design instruction using distance education. A Solomon four-group experimental design was used with a questionnaire addressing the attributes of an innovation serving as both the pretest and posttest instrument.
Major findings included: (1) posttest scores compared to pretest scores for relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, complexity, and the intention to adopt were higher regardless of whether they were in the treatment group or not; (2) subjects who received the treatment intervention yielded significantly higher posttest means on the variables relative advantage and the intention to adopt than those not exposed to the treatment intervention; and (3) compatability and trialability are significant predictors of the intention to adopt distance education.
These findings can help explicate the faculty member's perceptions of distance education endeavors. The unique characteristics of interior design faculty members and traditional interior design instructional methods need to be considered when implementing persuasive campaigns for the integration of distance education into interior design curricula. Such an understanding will prove helpful to faculty members and academic administrators who are planning to adopt distance education methodologies into their curriculum. Examining the attributes of an innovation as an approach to determining faculty attitudes toward distance education does appear to have potential. The implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Bender, D.M. Attitudes of higher education interior design faculty toward the innovation of distance education. Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University.
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