Teaching styles and computer use in family and consumer sciences teacher education programs: a survey of university faculty in Texas
Koukel, Sonja D.
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This study was conducted to investigate the teaching style of university faculty who teach courses in Family and Consumer Sciences teacher education programs in Texas and to determine how those teaching styles might be related to computer use in the college classroom. Standard multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship to computer use in the classroom as measured by variables that included university faculty members’ preferences in instructional planning, teaching methods, student groupings, classroom design, instructional environment, evaluation techniques, teaching characteristics and classroom management, and educational philosophy. Related issues, such as university faculty’s perceived use of computers in instructional delivery, years of computer experience, numbers of attended computer related learning activities, types of access for computer use, attitudes toward computer-based instruction, and perceived level of computer and technology skills were also explored with regard to classroom computer use at the university/college level. Seventy-four faculty members in ten universities in Texas that were identified as providing Family and Consumer Sciences teacher certification programs participated in the study. University faculty members’ preferred teaching styles and use of the computers were determined to test the null hypothesis of this study. Results indicated that one teaching style variable, evaluation techniques, was found to have a relationship to computer use in the classroom. No differences were found between classroom computer use and university faculty’s years of experience using computers or number of attended computer related learning activities. The current study did show that type of access to computers influenced faculty use in the classroom. University faculty who taught in computer labs showed a higher level of computer use than did those with other types of computer access. Likewise, the study found increased classroom computer use among those faculty members who perceived their level of computer and technology skills to be above average. Overall, university faculty members rated their attitudes toward computer-based instruction as supportive, yet identified factors that they perceived as barriers to increasing computer use in the classroom. Specifically, these barriers included availability of up-to-date hardware and software, the need for computers and related technology to be permanently located in the classroom, and the lack of continuing professional development in how to integrate technology into the curriculum.