Stages of Concern of Defense Systems Management College Faculty about Technology-Based Education and Training
Alfieri, Paul Allen III
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The Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) is beginning a major transition from its traditional classroom training methods to technology-based education and training. Conventional classroom courses will be rewritten and restructured to a computer-based format and be delivered on-line. According to the Concerns-Based Adoption Model, the faculty will experience concerns during the process of adopting this innovation. Identification of these concerns can assist in selecting appropriate interventions to minimize problems and to ease the adoption process. This study had two purposes. The first was to identify the Stages of Concern of the DSMC faculty toward the use of technology-based education and training by measuring faculty responses to the Stages of Concern (SoC) Questionnaire. The second was to determine appropriate interventions to assist the faculty through the change process. The study accomplished both purposes. All teaching faculty (N=135) received the questionnaire about their concerns and issues with this innovation, and 126 responses were returned (93% response rate). A total of eighty-one respondents (64%) reported no experience with technology-based courses, and the composite faculty SoC profile correspondingly reflected the "nonuser" category. No significant differences in Stages of Concern were found between groups of faculty when divided by common demographic criteria such as years of teaching experience, civilian or military status, and experience with educational technology. Quantitative methods of analysis included SoC profile comparison, High Stage Score and Second High Stage Score analysis, analysis-of variance (ANOVA), and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Qualitative methods were also used to analyze responses to an open-ended question on the survey instrument. Results reflected a general lack of knowledge and awareness about the innovation from the faculty and strong personal concerns about what impact it will have on them. The faculty clearly displayed a negative attitude toward this innovation and seemed unconvinced that it was the optimal solution. Written responses to the open-ended question provided key insight into faculty attitudes. The majority of concerns identified were educational issues, particularly dealing with the effectiveness of a computer-based format when teaching highly-interactive management courses. Based on these results, recommended intervention strategies for DSMC were generated. These strategies focus on the need for better information dissemination about educational technology and for a realistic implementation plan. More importantly, interventions were recommended to provide incentives for faculty to increase proficiency with educational technology and the use of technology in their courses.
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