Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1998


The purpose of this study was to obtain information about the knowledge and attitudes of students, staff, faculty, and administrators in the community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system about the ethical issues relating to the current policies and laws regarding the use of computers and software; to compare the knowledge and attitude of these users and to investigate any relationships that may exist between users, knowledge and attitude toward computer ethics. A total of 700 students (280), staff (140), faculty (140), and administrators (140) from the 14 TBR community colleges were surveyed. The total responses was 389 (55.57%) which included 161 students (57.5%), 76 staff (54.29%), 81 faculty (57.86%), and 71 administrators (50.71%). Fifteen hypotheses generated from 6 research questions were tested using Kruskal-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney U test, t -test and Spearman's rho. This study showed that administrators possessed the most knowledge about computer ethics, followed by faculty and staff. Students were shown to know the least about policies and issues concerning computer ethics. Age did not have any impact on the knowledge of computer users but affected the attitudes of students. No differences were found in the knowledge or attitudes toward computer ethics between gender groups. The frequency of computer usage did not affect the knowledge of computer users while it had influence on the students, attitudes toward computer ethics. Training on computer ethics positively affected the computer users, knowledge about computer ethics. For staff, faculty, and administrators, training on computer usage generally did not affect their knowledge and awareness of computer ethics nor did the frequency of computer usage, age, or gender. However, these factors affected the knowledge of student group. Research results showed a correlation between the knowledge and attitudes toward computer ethics for faculty and administrators in general. There tended to be a positive correlation between the knowledge and attitudes toward computer ethics for faculty and administrators who used computer daily and of age 40 or older. It indicated that the more awareness of computer ethics, the more they favor of tighter control of computer use.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted