Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Computer-assisted instruction--Iowa; Computer-assisted instruction; Computer managed instruction; School management and organization--Data processing; Iowa;


The major purposes of this study were: (1) to determine electronic data processing usage in the Iowa public school districts during the 1979-1980 fiscal year, including administrative and instructional uses of electronic data processing services and their sources; and (2) to determine the planned use of statewide computer software for administrative and instructional applications.

Questionnaires were mailed to all 443 Iowa school districts in existence as of July 1, 1980. A total of 384 districts (86.7 percent) participated in the study. For analysis purposes, the school districts were divided into seven size codes as defined by the State of Iowa Department of Public Instruction. The prominent findings were:

1. Eighty percent of all Iowa public school districts which responded utilized electronic data processing services for at least one instructional or administrative application; four percent planned to utilize EDP in the future; sixteen percent, however, did not use EDP services and plan not to use EDP services in the future.

2. Concerning the overall sources of EDP services, 43 percent utilized inhouse computers and 93 percent used area service/ delivery centers. Area service/delivery centers were the most frequently mentioned source of both instructional and administrative applications.

3. The most frequently utilized minicomputers were manufactured by Apple Computer, Incorporated.

4. Twenty percent of the districts indicated public service bureau usage and thirty percent indicated private service bureau usage not arranged through an area service/delivery center.

5. Ranked from most utilized to least utilized, the instructional applications were: computer used as a computational tool, computer assisted instruction, teaching of computer science or data processing skills, gaming and simulation, guidance and counseling, and computer managed instruction.

6. The most frequently used administrative applications were: payroll, financial accounting, class scheduling, accounts payable, financial statements, standardized tests, attendance reporting, census, and equipment inventory.

7. The highest demand for statewide computer software was for instructional applications.

The major conclusions were:

1. Electronic data processing services were utilized by the majority of Iowa public school districts which participated in the study. As the size code of a district increased, so did the use of EDP services for both administrative and instructional purposes. The number of different applications utilized also increased as the size code of the district increased.

2. Only a few additional Iowa public school districts planned to implement electronic data processing services, which indicated that EDP usage was near its peak. The smaller size code districts contained a significant percentage which planned not to implement EDP services.

3. Instructional applications were not available in 40 percent of the districts which participated in the study.

4. Administrative applications were implemented more frequently than instructional applications, which indicated that electronic data processing was not utilized fully.

5. Area service/delivery centers were utilized by a large percentage of the districts that reported electronic data processing usage.

6. Thirty percent of the respondents which utilized electronic data processing indicated private service bureau use and twenty percent reported public service bureau use not arranged through an area service/delivery center. This may indicate that some school superintendents did not understand they were encouraged to coordinate all electronic data processing usage through area service/delivery centers.

7. The most frequently mentioned planned use of statewide computer software was for instructional applications. This might indicate the Council for Instructional Computing in Iowa faces a monumental task and that the State of Iowa Department of Public Instruction may wish to procure statewide instructional software prior to statewide administrative software.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education


Department of School Administration and Personnel Services

First Advisor

Donald L. Hanson


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Date Original


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