Leatha Ware

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Roth, Gene L.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers--Case studies; Community colleges--Case studies; Students; Foreign--Case studies


Because of the increase of non-English-speaking immigrants who have come to the United States to live and study, enrollment in English as a second language (ESL) programs has increased greatly. The increase in enrollment has happened because non-native speakers often seek instruction close to home. Thus, the community college is often their first choice for achieving their educational needs. The purpose of this case study was to describe and analyze how an open computer laboratory evolved to serve the ESL population at a community college. Data for the study were gathered in three different ways. Twenty-seven participants were interviewed about their role in the open laboratory. The researcher observed the operations of the laboratory in 16 field observations. Also, 75 institutional documents concerning the operation of the laboratory were reviewed. Although technology was a unique element, the results of this study identified four elements that influenced the evolution of technological learning systems serving the ESL population at the selected site. Those findings were accessibility, service, knowledge management, and culture of cooperation. Each of these elements had a distinct meaning in the study. Accessibility was the ability of the community college to make the open computer laboratory available to the total college environment and the surrounding community. Service was the ability of the open computer laboratory to provide a number of services for students, the college, and the community. Knowledge management demonstrated the ability of the open laboratory to become a model for teaching and learning for other colleges, instructors, and technologists. Culture of cooperation became apparent when the selected community college began to develop the open computer laboratory, as evidenced by teamwork of the administrators, instructors, specialists, technicians, clerical personnel, and an external person. A model containing these elements was developed and compared with research findings from the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) project. Suggestions were made for further research that needs to be conducted in order to fully understand how open laboratories with technology are impacting the way students are taught.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [115]-134).


vii, 146 pages




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