Factors associated with college student use of new media for educational and social reasons
Tressa Catherine Aulenbach, Temple University, United States
Temple University . Awarded
The utilization of new media/technology is essential to many college students. Utilizing technology has many benefits and drawbacks. This study examines the use of new media, for educational and social purposes, among two-year and four-year college students. There are many speculations regarding whether or not technology can enhance, or impair, students' educational experiences. Various forms of new media are summarized within the literature review. Personality and motivation are considered and research regarding the educational and social use of new media is explored. Three conceptualizations (The Big Five Personality, The Type T Personality and Academic Motivation) are examined in relation to college students' use of new media for educational and social reasons.
A secondary purpose of this study was to examine the similarities and differences between two-year and four-year students. There is limited research in examining both two-year and four-year college students simultaneously. The present study examined the educational and social use of technology among 278 college students (128 community college students and 150 four-year students) in the Northeastern United States. The participants completed a questionnaire that was comprised of items relating to their use of new media, general demographic questions and questions from standardized instruments. Through correlations and multiple regression analyses, the results from this study indicate that personality factors and academic motivation are predictors for both the educational and social use of new media. Students who take part in extracurricular activities, prefer mental challenges and are motivated through identifying the value of a task, are more likely to use technology for an educational purpose. In contrast, younger students and those motivated by external forces are more likely to frequently use technology for a social purpose. Although the type of institution attended was not a predictor for any of the criterion variables, considerable differences were found between the two-year and four-year students. Studies examining only four-year college students should be interpreted with caution before they are generalized to all college students. It is imperative that researchers and educators understand the differences between two-year and four-year students. Educators should also take into account the various types of personality and motivation styles before utilizing, or failing to utilize, various forms of new media in the classroom.
Aulenbach, T.C. Factors associated with college student use of new media for educational and social reasons. Ph.D. thesis, Temple University.
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