Title

Teacher Education Students' Perceptions and Actual Abilities as Demonstrated Through Examinations in Microsoft®, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint

Date of Degree

5-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Richard L. Henderson

Advisor

Absael Antelo

Advisor

Elda E. Martinez

Advisor

Noah Kasraie

Abstract

It is important for educators to be able to assess the level of computer skills students possess to ensure that the students have the minimum skills necessary to satisfy the requirements of any degree plan. This dissertation addresses the need for exploratory research to compare students' perceptions in Microsoft® Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to their actual abilities as demonstrated through examinations. The research was guided by three research questions: (a) What are the self-perceived computer proficiency skills of students entering into a teacher education program at a four-year university? (b) What are the measured computer proficiency skills of students entering into a teacher education program at a four-year university? (c) To what extent do the students' self-perceived computer proficiency skills differ from their measured computer proficiency skills? Students completed the business computer self-efficacy - modified (BCSE-M) scale and computer-based assessments in Microsoft® Word, Excel, and PowerPoint using SAM®2007. The student population for this study included entering teacher education students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at a four-year private university located in the southwest region of Texas. The usable data included 59 student participants. Frequencies, percentages, and paired t tests were utilized in answering the study's research questions. The study found that there is a statistically significant difference between students' perceptions of their word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics presentation software skills and their actual skills when those skills were assessed using Microsoft® Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students overestimated their word processing, spreadsheet, and graphic presentation software skills.

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