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Fall 1999 Faculty Survey on the Student 
Computer Ownership Program

Summary

            Faculty at Georgia Tech were surveyed during the Fall 1999 semester about the use of computers and software in their classes.  While generalizations to all classes cannot be made from the results of this survey (due to low response), the information can provide several clues about the impact of the Student Computer Ownership program.

·        Almost one-half of the classes rated used Microsoft Word, and approximately one-third used Excel, PowerPoint, and/or Matlab.

·        Microsoft Excel was used almost equally for homework and projects, with one-fifth of the classes using it weekly.  Microsoft Word was used more for projects than homework, but about one-third of the classes used it at least monthly for homework and/or projects. 

·        Maple and Matlab were used mostly for homework, with nearly one-half of the classes who used these packages using Maple monthly and/or Matlab weekly. 

·        Microsoft PowerPoint, PageMill, and Kaleidegraph were used less often and were mainly utilized for projects.

·        Forty percent of the classes required commercial software other than what exists in the recommended package, mostly due to the faculty member’s initiative, and two-fifths of these courses used such software for less than one-third of the required work but 19% used it for all required work.

·        Forty-nine percent of the courses rated made significant use of “on-line coursework” developed by the faculty member or others at Georgia Tech.

·        Over half of the courses rated made significant use in class of audiovisual projection equipment and/or the Internet.  

Methodology

In early September, 1999, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at the Georgia Institute of Technology sent an email to all faculty (N=1,681) requesting their feedback on the computer software used in their classes.  A total of 98 faculty (5.8%) responded by the end of the fall semester with information about 136 classes. 

The survey asked questions about the use of software from the required Student Computer Ownership package as well as additional software and other technologies.  Responses to two of the questions concerning additional software were only analyzed if the respondent listed which software was being used.  A copy of the survey is included as Appendix B. 

Because such a low number of faculty responded to the survey, the results cannot be taken as representative of all Georgia Tech courses.  However, some valuable information can be gleaned from the responses given about faculty’s use of computers and software in some classes at Georgia Tech.

Results

Of the 136 courses rated, 45% were in the College of Engineering and 27% were in the College of Sciences.  Table 1 lists all the colleges and the number of courses rated from each.  Survey results are reported in sections concerning required software, additional software, and technology.


Table 1.

College

n           %

Architecture

12

8.9

Computing

7

5.1

Management

6

4.4

Engineering

61

44.9

Ivan Allen

14

10.3

Sciences

36

26.5

Total Courses Rated

136

100.0

Required Software

The Student Computer Ownership program recommends eight types of software.  Respondents were asked to rate the frequency of and reason for usage.  Almost one-half of the classes rated used Microsoft Word, and approximately one-third used Excel, PowerPoint, and/or Matlab.  Table 2 presents these overall results.

 

Table 2.

 

Software

Total Usage

n           %

Microsoft Word

66

48.5

Microsoft Excel

44

32.4

Microsoft PowerPoint

41

30.1

Adobe PageMill

6

4.4

Dreamweaver

1

0.7

Maple

16

11.8

Matlab

45

33.1

Kaleidegraph

8

5.9

For each of the eight types of recommended software, respondents rated how often it was used in their class and for what purpose.  Tables 3-10 reveal these detailed results.  Microsoft Excel was used almost equally for homework and projects, with one-fifth of the classes using it weekly.  Microsoft Word was used more for projects than homework, but about one-third of the classes used it at least monthly for homework and/or projects.  Maple and Matlab were used mostly for homework, with nearly one-half of the classes who used these packages using Maple monthly and/or Matlab weekly.  Microsoft PowerPoint, PageMill, and Kaleidegraph were used less often and were mainly used for projects.

            The classes rated from the College of Engineering were one of the biggest users of Excel, both for homework and projects.  Architecture, Management, and Sciences used Word mainly for projects while Engineering and Ivan Allen’s use was more evenly split between homework and projects.

 


Table 3.

 

Microsoft Word

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

2

3.0

2

3.0

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

2

3.0

16

24.2

2

3.0

Monthly

8

12.1

8

12.1

0

0.0

Weekly

13

19.7

12

18.2

1

1.5

TOTAL

25

37.9

38

57.6

3

4.6

 

Table 4.

 

Microsoft Excel

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

1

2.3

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

7

15.9

4

9.1

0

0.0

Monthly

7

15.9

7

15.9

0

0.0

Weekly

8

18.2

9

20.5

1

2.3

TOTAL

22

50.0

21

47.7

1

2.3

 

Table 5.

 

Microsoft PowerPoint

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

12

29.3

2

4.9

2-3 times a semester

0

0.0

17

41.5

2

4.9

Monthly

0

0.0

3

7.3

0

0.0

Weekly

0

0.0

1

2.4

4

9.8

TOTAL

0

0.0

33

80.5

8

19.5

 

Table 6.

 

Adobe PageMill

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

1

16.7

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

0

0.0

1

16.7

1

16.7

Monthly

0

0.0

3

50.0

0

0.0

Weekly

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

TOTAL

0

0.0

5

83.3

1

16.7

 

Table 7.

 

Dreamweaver

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

1

100.0

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Monthly

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Weekly

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

TOTAL

0

0.0

1

100.0

0

0.0

 

Table 8.

 

Maple

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

1

6.3

3

18.8

0

0.0

Monthly

7

43.8

2

12.5

1

6.3

Weekly

2

12.5

0

0.0

0

0.0

TOTAL

10

62.5

5

31.3

1

6.3

 

Table 9.

 

Matlab

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

1

2.2

2

4.4

1

2.2

2-3 times a semester

8

17.8

0

0.0

1

2.2

Monthly

3

6.7

2

4.4

2

4.4

Weekly

20

44.4

5

11.1

0

0.0

TOTAL

32

71.1

9

20.0

4

8.9

 

Table 10.

 

Kaleidegraph

Homework

n          %

Projects

n          %

Other

n         %

Once a semester

0

0.0

2

25.0

0

0.0

2-3 times a semester

0

0.0

1

12.5

0

0.0

Monthly

2

25.0

2

25.0

0

0.0

Weekly

0

0.0

1

12.5

0

0.0

TOTAL

2

25.0

6

75.0

0

0.0

 

 

Additional Software

 

Faculty were asked if they required students to use any other commercial software in their courses.  Faculty listed other such software for fifty-four (39.7%) of the classes rated.  Appendix A contains the full listing of responses, by type of software.  Almost half of the additional packages listed were used in Engineering classes.  Those software packages used by 4-6 classes included:

·        Web browsers – for weekly homework

·        Photoshop / Illustrator – mostly for projects

·        MathCAD – weekly or monthly homework

·        Spice/Pspice – homework and projects

·        Statistical packages for homework and projects.

 

The extent to which the use of additional software was a result of the faculty member’s own initiative vs. a departmental initiative was also asked.  Table 11 reveals that nearly three-fourths of faculty initiated the use of this additional software on their own.  Only in the College of Architecture was the initiative more closely split between the faculty member and the school.

Table 11.

Initiative for Additional Software

n

%

Own initiative

38

70.4

Departmental policy

5

9.3

Partly departmental, partly own

11

20.4

 

Table 12 presents the results of the question concerning the fraction of required coursework directly involving the use of additional software.  Two-fifths of the courses rated used other software for less than one-third of the required work, but 19% used it for all required work.  One-fourth of the Architecture and Ivan Allen courses rated used such software for all required work.

 

Table 12.

Directly Involved Additional Software

n

%

None

4

7.7

Only optional projects

2

3.9

Less than one-third of required work

21

40.4

More than half of required work

15

28.9

All of the required work

10

19.2

Technology

Faculty were asked about their use of certain technology in their classes.  Forty-nine percent (n=66) of the courses rated made significant use of “on-line coursework” developed by the faculty member or others at Georgia Tech.  The College of Engineering indicated the least use, while the College of Computing had the most use. 

Over half of the courses rated made significant use in class of audiovisual projection equipment and/or the Internet (see Table 13).  Of those one-fourth to two-fifths of classes using simulations and student computers, Engineering classes accounted for approximately 50% of the users.  Engineering and Science classes were the most likely to use the Internet.

Table 13.

Significant Use in Class

n

%

Internet

70

51.5

Audiovisual projection equipment

80

58.8

VCR

23

16.9

Streaming video

19

14.0

Simulations

34

25.0

Student computers

54

39.7

Appendix A

Other Commercial Software Packages Used

              SOFTWARE                                   COLLEGE    USE          FREQ

             Adobe Distill                                             S       Homework    Weekly

              Adobe Distill                                             S       Homework    Weekly

              AIMMS or AMPL                                    E       Projects    Once a sem.

              Altera CAD Tools (VHDL)                       E       Projects    Weekly

              Any e-mail and web browser software        I       Projects    Weekly

              Any browser                                              E       Homework    Weekly

              Arc/Info                                                     E       Projects    Weekly

              ArcView                                                    E       Homework    Monthly

              Arena                                                         E       Homework    Weekly

              AutoCAD R14                                           A                   Weekly

              AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop                   E       Homework    Weekly

              AutoMod / AutoStat                                   E       Homework    Once a sem.

              Autodesk's Mechanical Desktop                  E       Homework    Weekly

              ChemOffice Ltd 4.5                                     S       Projects    Monthly

              Engineering Equation Solver                         E       Projects    Weekly

              Eviews                                                         I       Homework    Weekly

              Eviews                                                         I       Homework    Weekly

              Fortran                                                        E       Projects    Monthly

              Fortran                                                        E       Projects    Monthly

              Fortran compiler                                          E       Projects    Once a sem.

              Frame compliant browser                            E       Homework    Weekly

              FrontPage                                                   M       Projects    2-3 / sem.

              FrontPage                                                   M       Projects    2-3 / sem.

              Gaussian                                                      E       Projects    Monthly

              Hyperchem                                                  E       Homework    Weekly

              IMSL                                                          E       Projects    Weekly

              Illustrator                                                    A       Homework

              Illustrator, Photoshop, Pagemaker,              A         Monthly
Form-Z, Vellum

              Illustrator, Photoshop, Pagemaker,              A       Projects    Monthly
Vellum, Form-Z

              IronCAD                                                    E       Homework    Weekly

              Japanese Language Global IME                   I       Homework    Weekly
for Internet Explorer

              Japanese Language Global IME                   I       Homework    Weekly
for Internet Explorer

              Japanese Language Global IME                    I       Homework    Weekly
for Internet Explorer

              Japanese Language Global IME                    I       Homework    Weekly
for Internet Explorer

              Java 1.2 from Sunsoft                                    E       Homework    Weekly

              LogWare (comes with text)                            E       Projects    Monthly

              Macromedia Director                                      A       Projects    Weekly

              MathCad                                                        E       Homework    Monthly

              MathCad - optional but recommended            E       Homework    Weekly

              MathCad - optional but recommended           E       Homework    Weekly

              MathCad                                                       E       Homework    Monthly

              Mathematica                                                  E       Homework    Monthly

              Mechanical Desktop 3                                    E       Homework    Weekly

              Mechanical Desktop 3.01                               A       Homework

              Microchip's PIC assembler and                      E       Projects    Weekly
Hi-Tech's PIC-C comp

              Microsoft Access                                         M       Homework    Monthly

              Microsoft Project                                        A       Projects    Once a sem.

              Microsoft Project                                        A       Homework

              Microsoft Project                                        A                   2-3 / sem.

 

              SOFTWARE                                              COLLEGE      USE        FREQ

              Minitab                                                  E       Homework    Monthly

              Netscape or Explorer                             E       Homework    Weekly

              Netscape Navigator                               S       Homework    Weekly

              Netscape                                                I       Homework    Weekly

              Open source software! (Squeak)            C       Projects    Weekly

              PSpice                                                   E       Projects    Monthly

              PSpice                                                   E       Projects    Monthly

              PSpice                                                   E       Homework    Weekly

              Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker,        A       Homework 
Form-Z, Vellum 

              Photoshop                                             A       Projects    2-3 / sem.

              Photoshop                                             A       Homework    Weekly

              QuickTime Plugin                                   I       Homework    Weekly

              QuickTime Plugin                                   I       Homework    Weekly

              QuickTime Plugin                                   I       Homework    Weekly

              QuickTime Plugin                                   I       Homework    Weekly

              RAM Xlinea                                          E       Projects    Monthly

              RealPlayerG2                                        E       Other       Weekly

              SAS                                                      I       Projects    Weekly

              SAS                                                      I       Projects    Weekly

              SPICE                                                  E       Homework    Monthly

              SPSS                                                    I       Homework    Weekly

              Simulink (with matlab)                           A       Projects    Once a sem.

              Visual Analysis                                      A       Homework    Monthly

              Visual C++                                           E       Projects    Weekly

              Visual J++                                            E       Homework    Weekly

              Tex                                                      S       Homework    2-3 / sem.

              Tex                                                      S       Homework    2-3 / sem.

              WebCT                                               E       Homework    Weekly

 

Appendix B:  Survey Instrument

 

Student Computer Ownership

 

Please fill out this form for each class that you teach.

 

 

I.  Course Information

 

     Name:

 

     Email: 

 

     Phone:

 

     Course Number, including section:

 

     Course Title:

 

 

II. Which software from the student software package will you have students use in this course, and how frequently?

 

1. Microsoft Word

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

2. Microsoft Excel

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 


3. Microsoft PowerPoint

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

4. Adobe PageMill

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

5. Dreamweaver

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

6.  Maple

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

7. Matlab

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

 

8. Kaleidegraph

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

 

III. Are there any other commercial software packages not in the student software package that you will require students to use in this course, and how frequently?

 

1. Specify:  ______________________________________

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

2. Specify:  ______________________________________

 

REASON USED:

FREQUENCY USED:

Home Work 

Weekly

Projects

Monthly

Other

Two or Three times a semester

Not at all

Once a semester

 

Not at all

 

 

IV. What fraction of the required coursework directly involved the use of this software?

 

                    None

                    Only Optional Projects

                    A significant part of the required work, bit less than a  third

                    More than half the required work

                    All of the required work

 

 

V. Does your course make significant use of "on-line coursework" developed by you or others at Georgia Tech for this course?

 

                    Yes

                    No

VI. To what extent is your use of the software referred to in parts III - VI of this survey you own initiative or a department initiative?

 

                    Own initiative

                    Departmental Policy

                    Partly departmental, partly own

 

 

VII.  Does your course make significant use of any of the following in-class technologies?

 

                    Internet

                    Audiovisual projection equipment

                    VCR

                    Streaming Video

                    Simulations

                    Student Computers

 

 

 

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Last Modified: September 11, 1998 5:00pm
Approved by External Affairs 10/23/97