A Mixed-Methods Exploration Of Community College Administrators’ Assumptions About The Basic Computer Skills Of Instructors And Students

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Katrina Lewis Boone (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Patrick O'Shea

Abstract: Community college administrators and leaders have assumptions about the students’ and instructors’ basic computer skills that may or may not be accurate, and there may not be adequate support structures and training available. This study shows that the lack of even basic computer literacy skills can affect academic success and the ability of instructors to integrate technology in their teaching effectively. This mixed-methods study investigates the assumptions made by community colleges about the computer literacy skills of students and instructors and explores the accuracy of these assumptions and the student experience through digital and visual methods. Community colleges’ role in serving a wide range of learners from all walks of life, socioeconomic status and rural areas. If they do not have systems in place to assess the basic computer literacy skills of students (and their instructors), creating barriers in the progression toward the workforce and career success. Findings show that administrators assumptions are more positive towards instructors than students to have basic computer skills by emphasizing the disparities across demographic groups. Various methods were employed for data collection, including Northstar digital computer skills assessment scores, online surveys, and digital storytelling. Analysis of student data revealed prevalent themes related to varied exposure to technology in early childhood, language barriers and the use of alternative devices to compensate for their lack of access or skills. The research promotes a call to action for community colleges to challenge assumptions, offer personalized support, and prioritize continuous professional development for instructors. Acknowledging the far-reaching influence of computer literacy on both academic, personal and professional success, the study underscores the critical need for ensuring equitable access to technology, skill-building training and resources to address current disparities.

Additional Information

Boone, K. (2023). A Mixed-Methods Exploration Of Community College Administrators’ Assumptions About The Basic Computer Skills Of Instructors And Students. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2023
computer literacy, constructivism, pragmatism, digital literacy, basic computer skills, community college, technology integration, teaching technology, technology in education

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