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PEDAR: Executive Summary Teaching With Technology: Use of Telecommunications Technology by Postsecondary Instructional Faculty and Staff
Access to the Internet, Quality of Computing Resources, and Use of Telecommunications Technologies
Access to the Internet
Quality of Computing Resources
Use of Telecommunications Technologies
Relationship of Internet Access and Quality of Computing Resources to Instructional Use of Technology
Teaching and Technology Use
Workload and Technology Use
Hours Worked
Work Activities
Classroom Contact Hours and Office Hours
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

In fall 1998, access to the Internet was common for postsecondary instructional faculty and staff. In addition, 69 percent of full-time faculty and 46 percent of part-time faculty used e-mail to communicate with students in their classes, and about one-third of both full- and part-time faculty used course-specific websites.

While the overall findings in this report indicate increasing integration of telecommunications technologies in postsecondary settings, there are three caveats. First, this study showed wide differences between full- and part-time faculty in access to and use of telecommunications technologies. Without exception, full-time faculty reported more access to the Internet and more use of e-mail and course-specific websites than did part-time faculty.

Second, Internet access and the quality of computing resources were important factors in the use of telecommunications technologies. Postsecondary instructional faculty and staff who had access to the Internet both at home and at work were significantly more likely to use e-mail and course-specific websites than those who had access only at home or only at work. Clearly, the amount of Internet access was a main indicator of use for both e-mail and course-specific websites, and it remained important after controlling for other variables. After controlling for other variables, the quality of computing resources also remained a significant factor in the likelihood of using course-specific websites: overall, instructional faculty and staff who rated their institution’s computing resources as good or excellent were more likely to use course-specific websites than were those who rated the computing resources as poor.

Finally, the type of institution was shown repeatedly to be a key factor. In particular, postsecondary instructional faculty and staff at 4-year doctoral institutions were significantly more likely to use e-mail and course-specific websites than those at 4-year nondoctoral or 2-year institutions.

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