Microcomputers and 4-H volunteer leaders: A study to determine attitudes, experiences and self-perceived training needs of Pennsylvania 4-H volunteer leaders with regard to microcomputer use in traditional 4-H programs

TitleMicrocomputers and 4-H volunteer leaders: A study to determine attitudes, experiences and self-perceived training needs of Pennsylvania 4-H volunteer leaders with regard to microcomputer use in traditional 4-H programs
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsDoebler, MK
DegreeUnknown
UniversityPenn State University
Thesis TypeMaster's thesis
Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes, experience and self-perceived training needs of Pennsylvania's 4-H volunteer leaders with regard to microcomputer use in 4-H. The study also investigated volunteer leaders' receptivity to potential uses for the microcomputer in four traditional program areas: animal sciences, plant and crop science, food nutrition and clothing and textiles. A cluster sampling from 15 randomly selected PA counties and a random sample of 357 volunteer leaders was drawn from the 1,271 in the initial sample. Data were collected via a mailed questionnaire from 195 leaders, yielding a return rate of 55 percent. Respondents were found to be limited in their microcomputer experiences but not entirely unexposed to microcomputer use. The leaders were not adverse to using computers to help them manage their 4-H leadership responsibility and to instruct 4H'ers. They would attend training if it were offered in the form of extension workshops. Those leaders with prior microcomputer experiences held more positive attitudes than did those leaders without experience. Ag science leaders saw recordkeeping as the most important application for their clubs, closely followed by CAI applications. Food and nutrition leaders saw CAI as most important. Clothing and textile leaders found communications as having the most potential for use in their clubs.