College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-13-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Gayle Mindes

Second Advisor

Rev. Anthony J. Dosen

Third Advisor

Darrick Tovar-Murray

Abstract

Student achievement in the public education system of the United States is ranked substantially lower compared to other countries. One of the initiated goals proposed by the United States government is to increase the number of college graduates by partnering with community colleges (Office of the Press Secretary, 2015). Community colleges are open enrollment institutions, which often assist students described as at-risk. To serve the community college population of students, special curricular strategies have been implemented.

One tool identified for meeting the goal of increasing college graduation for the population of students at-risk is utilization of instructional technology. Instructional technology, assists students, at-risk, by providing them with tutorials for basic skills and critical thinking. However, a significant achievement gap still exists between performing and underperforming students in community colleges. If the achievement gap is ignored, there is a possibility that the gap will continue to exist and possibly increase.

The purpose of this study was to further understand the use of instructional technology in education to achieve students' academic success, specifically focusing on students in pre-credit community college courses. In addition to the focus on instructional technology, this study concerned itself with students’ level of self-directed learning to achieve academic success. This study was conducted in the Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 semester at an urban community college. The study used Murphy’s Computer Self-Efficacy (CSE) scale to measure students comfort level in using technology, Guglielmino’s Self-Directed Learning Readiness (SDLR) scale to measure students’ level of learning style, students’ final course grade to assess the traditional metrics for students’ academic success, and O’Brien’s Career Aspiration Scale (CAS) as an alternate scale to assess students’ academic success.

This study did not find significant correlation between self-directed learning, instructional technology, and students’ final course grade. However, this study did find significant correlation between self-directed learning, instructional technology, and students’ career aspiration. Further research is needed to better understand how to use instructional technology and self-directed learning to assist community college students who are at risk to achieve academic success.