Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

College and the digital generation: Assessing and training students for the technological demands of college by exploring relationships between computer self-efficacy and computer proficiency
by Morris, Kathleen M., Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 2010, 125; 3409122
Abstract (Summary)

Today’s college students are often labeled the “Net Generation” and assumed to be computer savvy and technological minded. Exposure to and use of technologies can increase self-efficacy regarding ability to complete desired computer tasks, but students arrive on campuses unable to pass computer proficiency exams. This is concerning because some colleges and universities have eliminated introductory computer courses following the 120-Hour Rule. This study’s purpose was to investigate relationships between computer self-efficacy and computer proficiency and to determine whether students are prepared for technological demands of college.

Quantitative data were collected from pre- and postcourse surveys and pre- and postcourse proficiency exams. Participants included students enrolled in introductory computer courses at one university. Courses used the competency based training product, SimNet for Office 2007, to train and assess students. Results indicated general computer self-efficacy (GCSE) ratings were highest for students that had taken three or more computer classes in high school. GCSE was higher than task-specific computer self-efficacy (TSCE) for Excel and Access applications, but lower than TSCE for the Vista operating system and Word. TCSE was found to be higher than performance scores for Vista, Access, Excel, PPT, and Word. Completing an introductory computer class was found to increase computer self-efficacy ratings and computer proficiency scores.

Results suggested that many students are not proficient in Office 2007 applications needed in college. Colleges and universities need to assess computer proficiency of incoming students and train them in the computer skills needed to be successful in college and beyond.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wright, Vivian H.
Commitee: Benson, Angela D., Heggem, David J., Jr., Rice, Margaret L., Stone, DeAnn K.
School: The University of Alabama
Department: Instructional Leadership
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Computer proficiency, Computer self-efficacy, Introductory computer course, Net generation, Proficiency testing, SimNet for Office 2007
Publication Number: 3409122
ISBN: 9781124061597
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