Examining the Relationship Between HBCU Faculty Online Education, Innovativeness and Attitudes Towards Computers


Author/Creator ORCID




Education and Urban Studies


Doctor of Education

Citation of Original Publication



Recent research highlights the relationship between levels of innovativeness, the use of online learning technologies and attitudes toward computers. Most of the research in this domain has been conducted in PWIs (Johnson, 2015; Pereira and Wahi, 2017; Glass 2017; Broussard and Wilson, 2018). Only a few studies were conducted at HBCUs (Lawrence, 2008; Keesee & Shepard, 2011; Johnson, 2008). There is some evidence on how HBCUs are participating in online learning, but there is certainly not enough to contribute to this overall body of work. This research attempts to augment the body of literature on academic studies completed at HBCUs. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to determine whether significant relationships exist among the variables: levels of innovativeness, attitudes toward online education, attitudes toward computers and various demographic characteristics of full or part time faculty members employed at an HBCU in a Mid-Atlantic state in the United States. The study and data analysis were informed by Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of Innovation Theory and Azjens' (1985; 1991) Theory of Planned Behavior. A survey correlation research design accomplished the objectives of the study. This study classified the faculty members based on Rogers' five categories of innovation adoption and correlated them with the demographic variables of age, gender, race/ethnicity, teaching experience and academic rank. A significant relationship emerged between Rogers' identified adopter category of Early Majority and attitudes toward online learning (r= .299, p< .05) and computers (r= .284, p< .05) and the variables ever taught online and faculty member innovativeness (r= .266, p< .05). The results did not show significant difference between faculty member adopter categories and demographic characteristics of age, gender, years of teaching experience, academic ranks and race/ethnicity. However, attitudes toward online education and computers were found to be significantly different by race and gender (p < .05). Positive attitudes of the faculty toward online education found in this study suggest faculty members would accept the continued implementation of online education in HBCUs. The study may inform further research on attitudinal aspects that can promote the growth and continued acceptance of online learning at HBCUs.