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An examination of pedagogical issues and computer-facilitated instruction in social work education

, University of South Carolina, United States

University of South Carolina . Awarded


This research identified teaching styles, teaching goals, and patterns of computer-facilitated instruction (CFI) used by social work educators who use and educators who do not use CFI in their teaching activities. A survey packet consisting of Grasha's (1996) Teaching Styles Inventory, Cross and Angelo's (1993) Teaching Goals Inventory and an Instructional Strategies Survey, developed by the author and based on Taylor's (1980) tool, tutor, and tutee taxonomy, was administered to a nation-wide proportionate, stratified random sample of graduate and undergraduate social work educators (N = 461). A second sample of educators (N = 79) known to be interested in CFI use were given the opportunity to complete an online version of the survey packet. Response rates of 45.55% (n = 210) for sample 1 and 64.56% (n = 51) for sample 2 were achieved with a total response rate of 48.33% (n = 261). Results provided information about social work educators' teaching styles, their perceptions of essential teaching goals, their levels of CFI use, the types of software applications currently used by these educators, and the types of social work classes in which these educators use CFI.

In general, CFI use was present in all institutions, in all social work programs, and at all faculty ranks. Levels of CFI use were not effected by sociodemographic variables of gender, rank, level of social work program in which respondent taught, and by curriculum teaching emphasis.

Mean scores for teaching styles suggested that social work educators were more likely to employ ‘Expert’, ‘Facilitator’, and ‘Delegator’ teaching styles. Teaching styles do not substantially predict CFI use or non-use, with one exception, social work educators who scored high on ‘Expert’ were less likely to use CFI in their teaching.

Mean scores for teaching goals were higher for non-users suggesting that non-users perceived all teaching goals as more important than did CFI users. While all educators reported perceiving higher-order thinking skills as the most important teaching goal, non-users perceived this teaching goal as more important that did CFI users. Teaching goals do not substantially predict CFI use or non-use with one exception.


Gohagan, D. An examination of pedagogical issues and computer-facilitated instruction in social work education. Ph.D. thesis, University of South Carolina. Retrieved September 24, 2021 from .

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