CCE Theses and Dissertations


Computer Anxiety: Its Related Characteristics And Its Relationship to Achievement In Computer Literacy of Slippery Rock University Students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


Thomas MacFarland

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Richard Hunkler

Committee Member

Edward Simco


This study was designed to investigate what effects the completion of a computer literacy course had on computer-related anxiety, what factors were correlated with computer anxiety, and what relation computer anxiety had to achievement in computer literacy. The possible correlates of computer anxiety considered in this study were gender, the number of semesters of previous computer experience, the number of university credit hours completed, and cumulative quality point average. Analyses were conducted to identify any differences in computer anxiety levels among groups of subjects with different declared major areas of study.

Slippery Rock University undergraduates (N = 325) who were enrolled in the university's computer literacy course in the 1991 spring semester were surveyed before and after completing the course. Data about the subjects' computer anxiety levels and achievement in computer literacy were collected by means of standardized tests, and the demographic data for the subjects were gathered through a questionnaire and through the university's mainframe computer. Hypotheses were tested at the 0.05 confidence level using either a point biserial correlation coefficient, a Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, a t-test for paired variates, or an analysis of variance. Because the analysis of variance indicated differences among the groups with different major areas of study, the Scheffe test was applied to identify which pairs of groups differed. Of the possible correlates of computer anxiety tested, only gender and the number of university credit hours completed were found to be not significantly related to computer anxiety. The number of semester of previous computer experience was inversely related to computer anxiety, and both cumulative quality point average and achievement in computer literacy were determined to be positively correlated to computer anxiety. Differences in the mean computer anxiety levels of the groups of subjects were identified. Based upon the results of this study, several curricular recommendations were made. Recommendations for future study suggested expanding the study to encompass more semesters and a larger population of subjects.

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