Williams, Mia Kim
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The primary purpose of this quantitative survey research with supplemental qualitative data was to evaluate issues related to the integration of technology into Libyan higher education from Libyan educators’ perspectives. All participants were Libyan educators who worked at the main universities in Eastern Libya (Benghazi and Omer Al-Moktar). The study focused on four critical computer technology skill areas: basic computer operation, use of application software, use of the Internet, and use of peripheral technologies (equipment that could be connected to computers such as printers and cameras). A total of 161 Libyan educators participated in this study by completing an Arabic version of the Competency in Using Computer Technology Scale; additional qualitative questions generated data about broader aspects of technology integration in Libya and demographic information. The first objective of this study was to evaluate educators’ competencies in using computer technology in the four areas. The results of a quantitative analysis showed statistically significant differences in educators’ technological competency depending on the competency type. Libyan educators’ perceived levels of competency in the different skill areas ranked in the following order: basic computer operations, use of peripheral technologies, use of Internet resources, and use of software applications. A follow-up analysis determined levels of perceived competency in each skill area differed significantly from perceived competence in each of the other areas. Taken together, the results indicated many Libyan educators had some basic computer skills but they needed to add skills in using Internet resources, software applications, and peripheral technologies for educational purposes. Second, the researcher investigated a Libyan stereotype that implied Libyan educator disciplines would influence the details of efforts to integrate technology into Libyan higher education. Therefore, differences in technological competence in the four areas between technically oriented and nontechnically oriented educators were evaluated. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) showed a statistically significant difference between the discipline groups (technical and nontechnical) in overall competence (across skill areas) in using computer technologies after controlling for gender and educator source of degree (either Arabic university or Western university). In addition, MANCOVA showed there were significant differences between educator groups in basic computer operating skills and in competency in the use of software skills but there were no significant differences between educator groups in the areas of use of Internet resources and use of peripheral technologies. Educators in technical disciplines expressed more competence in the general use of computers and software applications. All in all, this comparison indicated a need to tailor training and implementation efforts to the needs of educators in various disciplines rather than using a standardized approach. Barriers to technology integration in Libya and advantages of using technology in Libyan classrooms from the educators’ perspectives were also key elements the researcher explored. Therefore, the survey included forced-choice and open-ended
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