An Examination of the Adoption of Web 2.0 Technologies in Program Delivery in Cooperative Extension
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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Cooperative Extension has a mission to take the university to the public. Therefore, one of the major goals is to disseminate timely research based information for local and state use. Extension has formed solid networks between government agencies, universities, state and county staff. Web 2.0 technologies can help Extension expand efforts for outreach and education. Scholars presented the benefits of social media platforms for Extension use (Fox, J., Leeds, R., & Barrett, E., 2014; Gharis et al., 2015; Nordby, 2014). This study examined the perceptions of the use of Web 2.0 technologies in educational programming of Extension educators employed with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The Expanded Technology Acceptance Model (TAM2) designed by Davis and Venkatesh was the instrument used in this study. TAM2 predicts or explains the acceptance or adoption of new technologies by end users. Sixty-two survey instruments were completed by educators in the six program areas of agriculture; forestry, wildlife, and natural resources; family and consumer science; economic and community development; information technology; and 4-H. The response rate for this study was 25 percent. Most of the mean scores for the TAM2 measured above the established mean score which suggests that educators had good perceptions of Web 2.0 technologies. Correlational analysis was conducted to examine relationship between age and gender and Web 2.0 perceptions. The analysis revealed that there was no correlation between the gender and age of educators and Web 2.0 perceptions. One-way analysis of variance was conducted to examine if there was any difference in Web 2.0 perceptions based on level of education, years of employment, and position type. The results indicated that level of education and position type had a significant effect on technology perceptions.