Public junior high school employees' reactions and stages of concern of an electronic discipline referral system



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Texas Tech University


This mixed method action research study examined how the process of a required technology innovation adoption can be conducted in order to facilitate change in ways that alleviate the concerns of faculty, administrators, and staff in a public junior high school. The innovation in the study was an electronic discipline referral system in which the traditional paper method of discipline referrals was replaced with a form that was generated, transmitted, and stored electronically. While attendance, scheduling, and grades are almost always managed electronically in public education, discipline records in electronic form are just beginning to emerge. Data collected from the Electronic Discipline Referral System Survey (EDRSS), Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ), and focus groups were used answer this question by investigating four research hypotheses.

The perception of the electronic discipline referral system was generally positive as expressed by the teachers, principals, and office staff at the junior high school in the study. Significant difference was found between the means in the teachers' perceptions of the electronic discipline referral system based on age. No significant differences were found based on gender or years of experience. Significant correlation was found between the teachers' concern levels on the Stages of Concern Questionnaire and their mean EDRSS scores. The qualitative focus group data were analyzed using the constant comparative method and uncovered areas of improvement and concern. The evaluation of the qualitative data provided insight for future technological change facilitators with similar innovations as well as feedback that may help to improve the current system.