On Computer Literacy

Report to Senate, CCCP 1993/94


In its acceptance of the 1988/89 CCCP Final Report, Brock University Senate declared:

"... as one of the University's goals, that by the year 2000, all students graduating from Brock University will know how and when to use computers in their selected disciplines"

thus committing the University to undertake steps to address student computer competency.2 The authors hope that this report will serve as a guide to the implementation of this commitment.

Computer competency (as any competency) is attained through practice. Practice alone, however, is not enough. A skill learned is soon lost unless it is evident to the learner that the skill is of value and the learner has continued opportunity to make use of the skill. Any policy implemented to address the acquisition of computer competence must take this into consideration. This means that the student must perceive that the computer is a valuable tool to him/her and must have continued need to make use o f the tool in her/his studies. To achieve this, computer use must be integrated throughout the curriculum and we must foster a climate in which computer use will flourish.

Our primary recommendation, then, is that computer use be integrated throughout the curriculum. This will require changes in the way both academic and administrative departments operate and will require support from all levels within the university.