Conceptualization, measurement, and prediction of computer technology integration in Adult Basic Skills Education
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The purpose of this study was to understand how computer technology integration is manifested in Adult Basic Skills Education (ABSE) classrooms. In order to accomplish this broad purpose, three research questions were posed. (1) How is computer technology integration best conceptualized and measured? (2) To what extent do perceived relative advantage, compatibility, and quality of technology resources separately explain the observed variance in computer technology integration? (3) To what extent do perceived relative advantage, compatibility, and quality of technology resources jointly explain the observed variance in computer technology integration? The sample for this study included all full-time ABSE instructors working under the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education. The mean age was 50. Eighty-six percent were female; 80% were White; 14% were Black, 2% were Hispanic and 1% was Asian. All were using computer technology in their classrooms. The first research question required qualitative analysis and used a Delphi approach to map the construct of computer technology integration. Ultimately, four characteristics emerged. These included: seamlessness – easy movement between computers and other instruction; learner-appropriateness – ability of learners to use computer technology; learner-empowering – proactive use of computer technology by learners, and instructor-facilitated – instructor management of learners’ effective use of computers. The second and third research question required quantitative analysis and involved the examination of factors that predict computer technology integration. Predictor measures were based on the work of Everet Rogers’ (1995) Diffusion of Innovation. Specifically, the study attempted to predict computer technology integration in ABSE based on teachers’ perceptions of the relative advantage and compatibility of using computer technology for instruction in ABSE and the perceived quality of their technology resources. Ultimately, a one variable model captured most of the observed variance with compatibility predicting 61% of the observed variance in computer technology integration. The construct of compatibility encompassed instructors’ beliefs about pedagogy and how adults learn, and how well they believed computer technology aligned with those beliefs.