Type of Document Dissertation Author Mills, Jr., Gordon E. URN etd-03202008-150354 Title An Exploration of Factors that Influence the Use of Information Technology for Institutional Effectiveness in Terms of the Research and Learning Productivity of a College or University Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Beverly L. Bower Committee Chair James E. Hinterlong Committee Member Robert A. Schwartz Committee Member Shouping Hu Committee Member Keywords
- Information Technology
- Research Productivity
- Learning Productivity
- Higher Education
- Institutional Effectiveness
Date of Defense 2008-02-29 Availability unrestricted AbstractInformation technology (IT) has been linked to increases in research productivity (Clotfelter, 1996) and learning productivity (Bates, 2000). However, information technology is extremely expensive. In 2006, colleges and universities were expected to spend $6.94 billion on IT, which represented a 35% increase (Kiernan, 2006) from 2005. IT costs are expected to continue to escalate significantly in the future making the funding of IT a key issue for colleges and universities to address for the foreseeable future (Camp & Dubloy, 2007). With increasing calls for accountability in higher education, this research study tested a structural model that will help policy makers and administrators better understand the impact of information technology (IT) on the research productivity (research expenditures) and the learning productivity (undergraduate graduation rate) of a college or university.
Data was gathered primarily from the 2005 National Science Foundation Science and Engineering Research Facilities Survey (SSERF) and the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Database System (IPEDS). The final sample population consisted of 385 institutions. Because institutional mission effects the deployment of resources in higher education (Volkwein & Sweitzer, 2006), the final sample of institutions was split into a research oriented group (research and doctoral) comprised of 219 institutions and a teaching oriented group (masters and baccalaureate) that included 166 institutions.
The first research question addressed in the study was, “How do the factors (technological, organizational, and environmental context) that influence the use of information technology affect institutional effectiveness in terms of the research productivity (research expenditures) and the learning productivity (undergraduate graduation rates) of a college or university? This research question was answered by examining two structural models based on five primary hypotheses and five foundational secondary hypotheses, one structural model for research oriented institutions and one for teaching oriented institutions. The results for the research oriented institution final institutional effectiveness model showed that all five primary hypotheses were supported while four of the five foundational secondary hypotheses were supported. For teaching oriented institutions, four of the five primary research hypotheses were supported and four of the five foundational secondary hypotheses were supported.
The second research question of this study was “Are there differences in the impact of the factors (technological, organizational, and environmental context) that influence the use of information technology on institutional effectiveness based on the mission (research oriented or teaching oriented) of a college or a university? The second research question was answered by comparing a research oriented institution structural model to a teaching oriented institution structural model to determine if there were any significant differences between the two models. The results of this second research showed that the technological context had a much greater affect on institutional effectiveness in terms of the research and learning productivity of research oriented institutions than in teaching oriented institutions. Additionally, the technological context factor and organizational and environmental context factor were much more highly correlated in research oriented institutions than in teaching oriented institutions.
The results showed that the technological context of research oriented institutions is very important to consider when making decisions related to the purchase of new IT resources as well as supporting and maintaining the IT infrastructure of the institution as well. On the other hand, the organizational and environmental context had a much greater affect on teaching oriented institutions, while the technological context factor affect was minimal. Future studies should build upon the findings of this study to advance the understanding and knowledge of the factors that affect IT use in higher education and how IT use impacts institutional effectiveness in relation to the research productivity (per capita research expenditures) and learning productivity (undergraduate graduation rates) of research and teaching oriented colleges and universities.
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