ERIC Number: ED341370
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
A Study of Faculty and Computer Center Personnel Perspectives on the Issues Surrounding Campuswide Microcomputer Networks.
Scott, Steven A.
This paper reports the results of a study that examined the issues created by implementation of campuswide microcomputer networks in a four-year public institution of higher education, and the perspectives and attitudes from which faculty users and computer center personnel view those issues. Six questions served as the focus of the study: (1) the uses that academic users have for a campuswide microcomputer network; (2) the advantages to academic users of such a network over other means of delivering computing services; (3) the disadvantages to academic users of such a network over other means of delivering computing services; (4) the issues that the campuswide microcomputer network has caused to surface or has caused to become more significant; (5) which of those issues are the most critical; and (6) how the faculty and the computer center are addressing the issues. A qualitative case study design was utilized, using personal interviews as the primary form of data collection. Data were then organized into matrices and analytic files constructed to organize the responses into categories that conceptualized the perceptions of the interviewees. Results indicated that a fundamental dichotomy exists between the two groups. Faculty users of the network were interested in computing only if it had immediate and important uses in their teaching, an emphasis espoused by the university in which they worked, whereas computer center personnel saw the network as a powerful tool with unlimited applications. Such different attitudes have implications for faculty training efforts: faculty prefer specific and individualized training, whereas the computer center provides training opportunities of a general nature. These differing perspectives, and the issues that arise because of them, must be addressed if campuswide networks are to be successful. (11 references) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 16-19, 1991).