Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Attitudes toward Computers among Teacher Education Students in Brunei Darussalam

Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Attitudes toward Computers among Teacher Education Students in Brunei Darussalam

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Over the last three decades, computers have been increasingly used in teaching and training at all levels. Rapid development in the areas of computer and communication technology in recent years fuel further development and changing the nature and practices in education. Educational planners, policy makers and government are not only encouraging their citizens to be conversant with the use of computer technology, but also to embrace associated information and communication technology and functional computer abilities. However, Anderson & Collis (1993) noted that rapid technology change and the lack of consensus on goals of computer education among the countries prevent from formulating a general or common computer education program for all countries.

The national education policy of Brunei Darussalam, a country with population of 330,000, stresses production of science and technology manpower at the basic and intermediate levels. The government realizes the importance of computer and communication technologies to achieve its national education objectives and constantly providing appropriate infrastructure and resources in schools.

Two major objectives are formulated in utilizing computers in the school curriculum. One of the objectives is to teach students about computers and information and communication technology in order to be able to function effectively in IT society. This will enable them to use IT and its capabilities to access, process, analyze and produce useful information and knowledge. The second objective is to use computers to teach subjects such as Malay language, English language, science and mathematics (Ho and Leong, 1999).

While the evaluation and assessment on the efficacy of computer use are yet to be known in this context, it is important to note that user acceptance and attitudes toward computers are critical in their successful implementation. It is believed that an attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience and influence upon the individual's response to a situation. Theoretical and empirical findings suggest that once the user attitude is identified, any necessary steps to change the state by persuasive means may be possible.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is to validate the Computer Attitude Scale in this context and to determine the attitudes toward using computers among teacher education students in Brunei Darussalam. This study also explores the association between the gender and attitudes toward computers.

Methodology

Subjects

The sample consisted of 104 first-year teacher education students enrolled in the Certificate of Education Program at the Institute of Education. The questionnaire was administered in the first week of the new semester during one of the lecture sessions. There are 27 (26%) male students and 77 (74%) female students. The age distribution of the students ranges from 18 to 22 years with the mean age of 20.80 years. Among them 70% of the sample is between 20 to 21 years old. Brunei Darussalam adopted bilingual system of education and Malay language is the mother tongue. English is a second language and used as the medium of instruction to teach science, mathematics and humanities subjects in secondary and tertiary education.

Instrumentation

Computer Attitude Scale (CAS) originally developed by Loyd and Gressard (1985) was selected without any modification in this study because it has been used internationally and previous studies indicated that the reliability of the scale is high. The CAS is a Likert type instrument which consisted of 40 items. It measures four intercorrelated dimensions: (a) anxiety or fear of computer, (b) confidence in using computer, (c) liking of the computer and (d) usefulness of the computer. Subjects give answer to what degree they agree to each statement described (Loyd and Loyd, 1985). …

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