Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Quantitative Comparative Study of Student Achievement, Faculty Age, Gender, and Use of Digital Technology at Postsecondary Institutions in Northern Alberta, Canada
by Seabrook, Lynn, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2019, 128; 22622358
Abstract (Summary)

Blended learning and the use of modern teaching technology in postsecondary schools is important for all postsecondary institutions. Because of technology available today, rural students are no longer required to move to urban areas to get an education. The necessity for faculty to teach classes in non-traditional ways - by using some form of digital technology - has increased substantially due to growing student demand for distance education. The purpose of this study was to examine whether differences exist between the use of digital technology in the classroom vs. the traditional face-to-face teaching and student achievement, and differences that may exist between faculty age, gender, and technology use and course achievement. There are two theoretical frameworks that helped to guide this research, transformational leadership theory (Burns, 1978) and connectivism theory (Siemen, 2005). Both frameworks assist in conceptualizing the inclusion of new technologies within classrooms and its importance for educational administrative bodies and change initiatives within postsecondary institutions. The sample consisted of 50 first- and second-year instructors who teach using technology, faculty members who teach strictly face-to-face, students who partake in classes delivered using technology, and students who took only face-to-face courses. Using both an analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a Chi-square test of independence, a comparative analysis helped to determine if there were differences between the variables. Results from the ANOVA indicate statistically significant differences in student achievement, based on the instructors’ age, gender, and digital technology delivery format. Results from the Chi-square test of independence for hypothesis two indicate the use of technology, and the delivery method instructors used to instruct their classes, was dependent on the gender of the instructor. Results from hypothesis three indicate the use of technology and the delivery method instructors used to instruct their classes, was dependent on the gender of the instructor. Some of the implications that can be inferred from this research are that methodology to instruct classes using technology, age, and gender of the faculty members should all be factors considered when introducing new technologies into postsecondary schools. Furthermore, leadership personnel of postsecondary institutions would likely benefit from incorporating technology usage into their strategic management documents in order to facilitate institution wide “buy-in” from all employees. A recommendation for future research and practice could be to include a larger population of postsecondary institutions in Canada to learn if they obtain similar results. This would allow for a better representation of faculty members’ use of technology and its effects on student achievement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thomas, David
Commitee: Barnhart, Bruce, Watkins, Julia A
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational technology, Secondary education, Higher education
Keywords: Blended learning, Education, Educational technology, Online learning, Postsecondary learning, Teaching pedagogy
Publication Number: 22622358
ISBN: 9781687939593
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