The impact of student computer usage in Executive MBA programs
Gary David Lindblad, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
University of California, Los Angeles . Awarded
This study examined the perceptions of Executive MBA students concerning their use of computer technology in four selected EMBA programs. Data was collected by means of a self-report, ninety-eight item questionnaire administered at each of the schools. A total of 540 students were surveyed, resulting in 230 usable questionnaires, achieving an overall response rate of 41%. Descriptive analysis, factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, and open-ended questions were utilized in order to gain insights concerning the effective use of computing technology in these programs. Student perceptions in five areas of technology use were explored: the impact on educational experience, the impact on technology skill development, the impact on work and career, student patterns of technology use, and ways of improving technology use.
This study indicates that computer technology in EMBA programs at times greatly supports and enhances the educational experience, and at other times interrupts and detracts from the experience. Whether the experience with technology is positive or negative is affected by a number of factors. These include: the technology skill level of the student and other participants in the educational environment, the technology training and support provided by the school, the reliability of the technology infrastructure, the level of dependency on technology, and the level to which the school utilizes the potential of technology for learning.
Recommendations to enhance the effective use of technology in management education were generated and organized into five areas, including (1) Recruitment, Admissions, and Training, (2) Groups, Communication, and Productivity, (3) Faculty Use of Technology, (4) Laptop Computers, and (5) Knowledge Management.
The study's findings suggest that technology use in educational settings deserves further study. Populations of students beyond Executive MBA students need to be studied, including full-time MBA students, graduate students in other professional schools, and undergraduate and graduate students in many disciplines. In addition, this study did not survey faculty members and thus says little concerning their experience. At the beginning of a new millennium when the worlds of education and work are being challenged and transformed by new technologies, more insight is needed concerning the intersection where people and technology meet.
Lindblad, G.D. The impact of student computer usage in Executive MBA programs. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
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