Will They Like It or Use It?
The Development and Use of an Instrument to Measure Adult Learners’ Perceived Levels of Computer Competence, Attitudes Toward Computers, and Attitudes Toward e-Learning Within a Corporate Environment
While "e-learning" has proliferated in our society, the problem exists that many corporations are delving into e-learning without fully understanding end users’ self-reported computer competence or attitudes toward e-learning or computers in general, which could ultimately impact the success of e-learning at an organization. Studies have been done to examine these phenomena, but the vast majority center around the academic environment, and many are deemed archaic due to advances in technology. To examine this problem, this research study’s goal was to develop a valid and reliable instrument that measures self-reported computer competence, overall attitudes toward computers, and attitudes toward e-learning appropriate for the corporate, adult learner.
The author reviewed various investigations that examined the definition of attitudes toward computers and the phenomenon of computer literacy. Little research exists that examines attitudes toward e-learning, and there is a lack of research for exploring all three phenomena on a nonacademic population.
The result of the study yielded the Regan Computer Competence, Attitude, and Behavior Survey. This instrument consists of five sections, totaling 130 items. Each section was comprised of entirely new questions or a combination of existing instruments whose validity and reliability have been explored in previous studies. The author employed a sample of 144 American adults working in a corporate or government organization. The author’s analysis revealed that the Regan Computer Competence, Attitude, and Behavior Survey was a valid and reliable instrument. In addition, hypotheses were examined in this research study that looked at the correlation between certain variables and the three phenomena in question.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Yacovelli is co-owner of TopDog Learning Group, a learning and development consulting firm based in Orlando, FL. Steve earned his Ed.D. Instructional Technology & Distance Education at Nova Southeastern University, with a research focus on employee and organizational perceptions and readiness for technology-enabled learning solutions. He has experience working in a variety of industries including financial services, computer software, higher education, telecommunications, and hospitality and travel.