Volume 1 Number 3

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53-60 Fourier Analysis: Creating A “Virtual Laboratory” Using Computer Simulation

Jeff Butterfield,
Western Kentucky University USA

Norman Pendegraft,
University of Idaho USA

At times the desire for specialized laboratory apparatus to support class activities outstrips the available resources.  When this is the case the instructor must look for creative alternatives to help meet the desired objectives.  This report examines how a virtual laboratory was created to model and analyze high-speed networking signals in a LAN class using a spreadsheet simulation.  The students were able to printout various waveforms (e.g., signals of different frequencies/network media) that are similar to output from test equipment that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive.  The activity proved to be valuable in helping students to understand an otherwise difficult concept that is central to modern networking applications.  Such simulation is not limited to network signals, but may be applicable in many situations where the artifact under study may be described mathematically.

61-68 Computer Self-Efficacy:
A Practical Indicator of Student Computer Competency in Introductory IS Courses
Rex Karsten & Roberta M. Roth
University of Northern Iowa (USA)

Students often receive their first college-level computer training in introductory information systems courses. Students and faculty frequently expect this training to develop a level of student computer competence that will support computer use in future courses. In this study, we applied measures of computer self-efficacy to students in a typical introductory IS course. The measures provided useful evidence that student perceptions of their ability to use computers effectively in the future significantly improved as a result of their training experience. The computer self-efficacy measures also provided enhanced insight into course-related factors of practical concern to IS educators. Study results also suggest computer self-efficacy measures may be a practical and informative means of assessing computer-training outcomes in the introductory IS course context.