Information Technology Users´ Abilities: a Case Study on Computing Learning in an Undergraduate Course

André Luiz Pires de Miranda, Maria Celeste Reis Lobo de Vasconcelos, George Leal Jamil, Valéria Maria Martins Judice

Resumo


Literature review shows minimum ability levels of Information Technology (IT) resources in use are currently essential to administrators and to professionals overall. As effective as Internet may be, new milestones for economic competition and company survival are being created. It is thus required that individual IT abilities are continuously reformulated to be adequately and creatively used, and new information sources and tools actively generated, rather than passively adopted. In evaluating the evolution of the IT abilities’ acquisition in Brazil, students of Business & Administration from a university are investigated. By means of questionnaire and in-depth interview application, data were collected on students’ perceptions of acquired abilities and importance of IT competencies. Together, computing science teachers and a course coordinator views were assessed. Empirical results obtained revealed that students' IT abilities were concentrated on basic computing science functions. The integration of IT learning in classroom practices was deemed poor as compared to importance attributed. Students signalized self-sufficiency or knowledge attitudes which, as tested, have not been actually proved. Low learning results were observed on IT conceptual knowledge, indicating students’ impatience with learning without interaction, as in long-text readings or teacher-centered classes. Strong student resistance to electronic commerce was evidenced and associated to perceived risks on IT evolution.

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