Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The problem statement for this study asks which characteristics of the community college environment are the best discriminators between faculty who currently use computers in instruction and those who do not. Specific research questions ask whether the environmental context of the faculty or individual faculty attributes are better discriminators between computer uses and nonusers.;The target population was the full-time faculty employed in the Virginia Community College System. A sample of faculty in 15 colleges was selected in which approximately half had used computers in their instruction. The sample was mailed a questionnaire designed and pilot tested to measure variables which could be used by discriminant analysis to discriminate between computer users and nonusers.;In the useable sample of 446 faculty, 212 were computer users and 234 were not. Conservatively, only 15% of the VCCS faculty had used computers instructionally but the percentage was higher in the smaller schools. The discriminant analysis revealed 9 variables which when taken as a group would correctly classify 70% of cases (75% of the computer users). These 9 variables in the order of entry into the discriminant function were: (1) opportunity to preview software; (2) noninstructional academic computer use; (3) ownership of a microcomputer; (4) adequacy of available software; (5) level of training; (6) community college teaching experience; (7) verbal versus quantitative orientation; (8) compatability of software with hardware; and (9) presence of opinion leaders. Variables 6 and 9 made a negative contribution to the function. When the analysis was run on the largest individual college sample, a slightly different set of variables were included leading to the possibility that the diffusion of computer innovations might be somewhat different at each college than the overall results indicate.;In answer to the research questions posed, 4 environmental context and 5 faculty attributes were found to be discriminating variables. The 2 kinds of variables are almost equally important but more faculty attribute variables entered at lower steps in the function. Based on these results, 5 recommendations are made that could increase the rate of computer adoption by faculty: (1) insure that hardware is compatable with available software; (2) provide opportunities to preview software; (3) encourage noninstructional computer use; (4) increase and encourage opportunities for training; (5) understand that faculty are innovative and have positive computer attitudes.



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