Faculty and dean's expectations and attitudes on adopting computer as an instructional tool: A study of a College of Education in a Taiwan university
Yu-Chen Chen, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States
The University of Alabama at Birmingham . Awarded
The prevailing use of computerized instructional methods in colleges and universities is already a part of our lives. Many studies have indicated that this computerized method has influenced teachers' teaching and students' learning. Many researchers have focused on students' accomplishments and accountability in their learning results, but less attention has been given to faculty members' feelings and willingness to adopt computers as an instructional tool.
This dissertation used a mixed method design of utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods. The purpose of this study was to analyze the climate of computer use for instructional purposes, to determine the expectations and attitudes of the faculty members and the Dean of the College of Education regarding adopting computers to assist in instruction, and to examine the amount of influence from the leadership of the Dean of the College of Education and its effect on the faculty members' willingness to use computers for instructional purposes. This research was conducted in a College of Education at a university in Taiwan. Ninety-two questionnaires were sent to the faculty members of this college, and 11 faculty members were interviewed, including the Dean of the College of Education. Five classroom observations were conducted.
The results of the surveys gave the approximate conditions of faculty members' instructional performances in this college. Fifty of the faculty members believed and were somehow satisfied that computer technology could enhance their teaching. Almost four fifths of the faculty members believed that they still need “teaching assistants,” “classroom facilities,” and “teachers' facilities” for their instructional performances.
As a result of the old design of school buildings, the national universities' budget cuts, and the Taiwan academy network's (TANet) slow speed, the Dean's decision did not satisfy all faculty members. After analyzing the participants' interview statements, I found that time was the most influential and critical factor for their decision to use computers. Although every faculty member believed that the Dean assisted his faculty members to the best of his capability, most statements from interviewees conveyed their complaints and unsatisfactory feelings.
This study revealed that most faculty members took advantage of computerized instruction, but that they hoped to get more support from administrators because computerized instruction involved software designers, graphic designers, and web programmers. This involvement becomes a cooperative effort and a possible burden for individual faculty members and the organization.
Chen, Y.C. Faculty and dean's expectations and attitudes on adopting computer as an instructional tool: A study of a College of Education in a Taiwan university. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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