“Faculty Integration of Technology into Instruction and Students’ Perceptions of Computer Technology to Improve Student Learning,” a recent study by Jared Keengwe featured on Educause Connect, surveys 800 undergrads for their perceptions of technology adoption and teaching effectiveness by faculty at “at a participating medium-sized midwest public university.”
A similar survey, the 2007 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, focuses on somewhat broader aspects of technology in higher education – the ECAR report delves into student technology ownership and perceived effectiveness of technology in teaching and learning. It stops short of asking students to self-assess their course-related computing abilities, which is an interesting insight of the Keengwe study – findings show that “students lack computer skills in various computer applications that are necessary to support and enhance their learning experiences.” This indicates that as technology integration in higher education progresses students should not be assumed to possess the requisite skill set to naturally conform to this process, but may need more tech-specific instruction at the college level.
Curiously, the author’s findings related to gender and technology adoption differed slightly from the ECAR study, which demonstrated clear differing gender-based tech ownership and course integration preferences (page9), while Keengwe finds no significant gender difference in technology self-assessment. Sample size and population context may have informed these findings – the Keengwe study surveyed only 800 participants at one institution as compared to the roughly 28,000 surveyed by ECAR.