The identification of significant differences between practitioners' needs and journal artricle coverage in educational computing



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to determine three things about journals of educational computing. One, were there significant differences between what colleges and public school teachers viewed as useful subject matter? Two, were there significant differences between what experienced and novice computer users saw as useful subject matter? Three, were there significant differences between what the college and secondary teachers defined as useful and what was being published.

A survey of four-year college and secondary school level teachers was conducted. Four open ended questions were used to determine the respondents' areas of interest in computer education. Demographic questions were used to determine the respondents' self placement as to experienced or novice, college or secondary level, and placement according to sex, geographic location, and teaching experience. Educational computing journals were identified, validated, and a sample of articles from the latest complete volume analyzed for subject content.

After the respondents' computer subject categories of interest were identified the frequencies in each subject area were statistically analyzed to see if the results could have occurred by chance. Those groupings of respondents that showed significance were compared with the distribution of journal articles' subject matter. In all cases where there was significance at the .05 level of confidence a standardized residual was computed to identify the major contributors.

The study found that there were differences between what college and secondary teachers, experienced and novice computer users, and male and female teachers, defined as useful journal articles and what the educational computing journals published within the period of study. The literature on journal selection was previously concentrated on selection by comparison of one journal title to another. This study serves as a beginning of selection by article content evaluation.



Computers -- Study and teaching (Secondary), Computers -- Study and teaching (Higher), Education -- Periodicals -- Use studies