CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Integrating Microcomputer Applications into Library Media Courses at Armstrong State College, Savannah, Georgia: A Systematic Approach

Date of Award

1991

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science

Department

Center for Computer-Based Learning

Abstract

Given the increased use of microcomputers in school library media centers to perform a wide variety of tasks, library educators should address the integration of microcomputers into the library media curriculum. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to describe how library educators were integrating microcomputer applications such as word processing, database management, spreadsheets, and other applications into the library education curriculum. A secondary purpose was using the results of the study as a framework for the integration of microcomputer applications in appropriate areas of library media core courses at Armstrong State College, Georgia. Savannah.

The specific research questions addressed in the study were as follows:

  1. How were library media educators currently providing instruction in microcomputers?
  2. How many undergraduate level library programs used microcomputer applications?
  3. What types of microcomputers were being used?
  4. How were microcomputer applications being used?
  5. Which courses used microcomputer applications?
  6. What kinds of microcomputer applications were being used by library media educators?
  7. How many library educators used locally produced applications?
  8. What were the content areas of locally produced applications?
  9. What provisions had been made for the availability of microcomputers?
  10. What factors had limited the extent to which library media educators were able to introduce microcomputer applications?
  11. What relationships existed between geographic region and program type and providing instruction in microcomputers as a part of the undergraduate library education program?

In an effort to ascertain the extent to which library educators were using microcomputers, a survey questionnaire was mailed to 357 library educators representing 213 undergraduate library education programs in the United States. Of the 357 library educators mailed questionnaires, there were 202 returns or a 57 percent rate of return. Of this number, 92 responses were excluded from consideration because some institutions were no longer offering undergraduate library education programs, others offered only graduate programs, some library educators had retired or moved, other library educators had checked the First box on the questionnaire indicating that the teaching of library education courses was not one of their current responsibilities, and one respondent did not participate because the school had closed. These questionnaires were eliminated from the study; only 110 questionnaires were used.

The nature of the data suggested the use of descriptive percentages. Statistics, primarily frequencies and However, chi-square analysis was used to determine whether a significant relationship existed between geographic region of library educators or program type and current use of microcomputers in library education.

Results of the survey showed that 87, or 79.1 percent of the library educators representing 75 undergraduate programs were introducing microcomputer applications into the library education curriculum. Perhaps the most significant fact was that the majority of library educators were currently providing instruction in microcomputers by using a separate course or integrating microcomputer applications in library education courses. Cataloging was the course that most frequently incorporated microcomputer applications. Complementing lectures was the instructional method most frequently identified. In-class instruction was used to prepare and train students to use microcomputers. Word processing was the application most frequently used and Word Perfect was the word processing program of choice. Apple and IBM were the predominant brands used by library educators. Most microcomputers were located in a room designated as a computer lab or in the library. Finally, a lack of funds was the reason most cited as the greatest barrier in integrating microcomputer applications in library education courses. It was concluded that most library educators were introducing microcomputers in the library education curriculum.

Recommendations were suggested for ways to integrate microcomputer applications into the library education curriculum. It was recommended that library educators introduce microcomputers into their curricula or existing core courses so that microcomputer applications could be an integral part of the library education program. It was recommended that a separate required introductory computer course be required for all students. That, in addition to the separate required course, microcomputer applications should be integrated into all core courses where appropriate.

A systematic plan was developed that would serve as a guide for implementing the integration of microcomputer applications into library media core courses at Armstrong State College, Savannah, Georgia.

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