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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This article investigates the availability of computers and what they are used for by students enrolled in a cross-section of business classes at selected European universities. This research is important in that it will add to the literature used by educational administrators to improve curriculum that enhances instruction of important technology skills, as well as showing the importance of making computers more available to students. The subjects surveyed were undergraduate students taking business classes at six public universities in six European countries. Questions regarding secondary school computer experiences were also asked. Results indicate significant differences as to ease of computer accessibility. Only about half of the Belgian and Irish students felt their schools provided easy access to computers. This contrasts with the English students. Over 80 percent of them believed their school provided easy access. Significant differences were also found in regard to rates of usage between “assignments, research, email, entertainment and other.” The primary computer use for all students was email. General computer usage was measured as follows: (1) to obtain information, (2) to communicate, and (3) to organize and present data. The Belgians, Germans, and Spanish used computers heavily for information gathering, the Irish – to communicate, and the English and French for organizing and presenting data. Secondary school computer preparatory work was reported most frequently from the English students, with applications and class assignments varying widely by country at the secondary level.

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