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Teacher as learner: A learner control analysis of multimedia use in low-wealth primary schools

, Bowling Green State University, United States

Bowling Green State University . Awarded


The study of educational technology has fascinated mass communication scholars for decades. In recent years, the division, known as the digital divide, between low-wealth schools and their wealthier counterparts has drawn scrutiny from researchers as well as those in the government sector. This study sought to explore the working environment of low-wealth primary school teachers in northwest and west central Ohio. Specifically, this study examined teachers' current behavior, future use, and attitudes toward multimedia through the theoretical framework of learner control.

Learner control theory states that if students are given choices in their learning process, they will reach levels of higher achievement. In this study, learner control was broken down into five components: motivation, individual learning styles, learning choices, active learning and comprehension. Survey design was the method utilized in this study. Teachers were queried about their access and use of multimedia, their attitudes toward multimedia use, and their attitudes toward the components of learner control. Using discriminant function analysis, significant relationships were supported between learner control and future media use as well as between learner control and attitude toward multimedia. No significant relationship emerged, however, between learner control and current media use. Additionally, teachers were queried regarding their access to technology. Contradictory to standard definitions of the digital divide, low-wealth schools in this study had high levels of access to technology, in particular computers, and reported high levels of use.

This study concluded with recommending future research by mass communication researchers in the low-wealth schools' use of multimedia. Such research would allow for further understanding of how multimedia tools can best be used in low-wealth school environments. Specifically, research using mass communication paradigms was encouraged.


Fitzpatrick, C.A. Teacher as learner: A learner control analysis of multimedia use in low-wealth primary schools. Ph.D. thesis, Bowling Green State University. Retrieved December 6, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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