In Brief

Psychology faculty generally hold favorable attitudes about incorporating Internet technology into their classes, but many shy away from advanced applications, such as administering tests, because of the substantial time and technical know-how required, finds a survey in the Journal of Instructional Psychology (Vol. 28, No. 4).

In "Internet-based instruction: a national survey of psychology faculty," University of West Florida associate psychology professor Stephen J. Vodanovich, PhD, and research consultant Chris Piotrowski report that psychology faculty generally view the Internet as an effective educational tool, but do not have much access to formal training in using the Web for teaching purposes. Faculty primarily used the Internet for e-mail, providing course syllabi and accessing professional literature, they found. Most faculty agreed that time requirements and technical problems were barriers to using the Internet in courses, while few felt that the Internet's "impersonal nature" was a problem.

Vodanovich and Piotrowski sent the survey to chairs of 500 graduate psychology departments across the nation, asking them to forward the questionnaire to their most Internet-savvy faculty members. The 30 percent who responded had an average of 20 years of university-level teaching experience.

--D. SMITH