Research & Consulting: Digital Learning and Work

Optimism, interest and gender equality: Comparing the attitudes of university students toward IT learning and work
April 17, 2021

Optimism, interest and gender equality: Comparing the attitudes of university students toward IT learning and work

This article, produced in the context of a two-year cross-cultural digital-education project, compares the attitudes of university students in Ukraine and Latvia toward information technology understood as a domain of study, a professional sector and a digital hardware and software systems. Using portions of an American survey instrument that was tested for reliability and validity in the target contexts, key comparative findings were produced for two national and gender segments, and for nation-gender sub-segments. Perhaps the most interesting findings was that despite many similarities in Latvia and Ukrainian societies, there are some pronounced differences in technology attitudes between nations and among gender segments in each nation.

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Mykhailenko, O., Blayone, T. J. B., Usca, S., Desyatnyuk, O., & Kvasovskyi, O. (2020). Optimism, interest and gender equality: Comparing the attitudes of university students in Latvia and Ukraine toward IT learning and work. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2020.1843999

Abstract

Global processes of digitalisation are transforming learning and work. University students in all nations are under pressure to develop positive and productive technology-related skills and dispositions. This study investigates the attitudes of 1,006 Latvian and Ukrainian university students towards information technology. Survey responses from the Attitudes towards Information Technology scale were collected, validated, analysed and interpreted. By generating group-response profiles and conducting multivariate analyses of variance, the attitudinal orientations of participants were compared, and significant differences between gender and nation subgroups identified. From a gender perspective, one noteworthy finding is that males in both countries expressed a significantly higher interest in learning about IT than females. From a national perspective, Ukrainians reported significantly higher optimism about IT in the workplace than Latvians. This study produces several novel findings addressing the attitudes of Eastern European university students towards information technology and their readiness for digitalised learning and work.

Keywords

information technology; technology attitudes; higher education

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