Author

Yurui Zhen

Date of Award

2008

Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Abigail Garthwait

Second Committee Member

Phillip M. Dickens

Third Committee Member

Phillip Pratt

Abstract

This study investiaged the important factors influencing faculty members' decision to use or not to use any form of online course management applications (OCMA) in higher education. Today, with the rapid growth of the internet, many higher educational institutions are using technology in courses or offering online courses and programs. With training and support, many faculty members use some form of OCMA in their teaching, but some faculty members choose not to. Administrators may benefit from understanding faculty use of general technology in teaching in higher education by exploring how faculty members make their decisions in the use of specific types of technology such as OCMA. This study was guided by four research questions. It examined six hypothesized independent factors. A random sample of four hundred teaching faculty members in the University of Maine was invited via print surveys to participate. Beyond the descriptive statistics, logistic analysis and path analysis led to a consistent statistical-artifact hypothesis: there are factors that correlate faculty members' technology adoption decisions. Motivational factors such as Self-Efficacy or Philosophy had a strong direct influence; class-Innovation had a small effect. Extrinsic factors such as Time or Peer-Pressure had a small indirect effect. Experience had no appreciable influence on faculty members' decisions to teach or not to teach courses using OCMA. In this study, Time or time-related challenges were shown not to be a direct factor. In addition, my research suggested specific ways in which administrators might play an important role in supporting faculty members' decisions toward online education.

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