PPIG 2005 - 17th Annual Workshop
Attitudes Toward Computers, the Introductory Course and Recruiting New Majors: Preliminary Results
Daniel Farkas, Narayan Murthy
Abstract: In order to investigate reasons contributing to the decline in enrollment in computing programs in colleges and universities, this study examined student attitudes towards computing throughout an introductory computing course for non-majors at a northeastern metropolitan university. In addition to providing computer literacy, the course is used for recruiting students into the CS and IS majors. Six sections of the course, with participation ranging from 106 to 133 subjects at four measurement points, were administered the Loyd Gressard Computer Attitude Scale (Loyd and Gressard, 1984, 1985). This paper is a preliminary analysis of the computer attitude data of all students in all sections across two campuses.
The results indicated that after statistically significant decreases in positive attitudes toward computers through the first 3 measures (2/3 of the course), there was a statistically non-significant rise at the end of the course once the programming part of the course was completed. The conclusion is that initial enthusiasm for computers, which may come from familiarity with using computers for recreational activities, drops rapidly as the work of learning computing concepts and skills begins.