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This pilot study examines a cohort of fourteen, doctoral, graduate students over the last year and one-half of their hybrid (both face-to-face and on-line) program. This study’s purpose was to determine their level of comfort with the new technologies (Web 2.0 software) both before and after intended learning interventions. Several theoretical models concerning technology users’ preferences, attitudes, tasks, Task-Technology Fit (TTF), and student engagement provided frameworks for a conceptual model for the eventual course design, assignments, and learning interventions (Hersey & Blanchard, 1977; Davis, 1986; Davis et al., 1989; Goodhue & Thompson, 1995; Zigurs & Buckland, 1998; Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). Students were assessed by an instrument both before and after this portion of their program using a summated “comfort” scale over the technology interventions used in the program. Instrument reliability of .82 was estimated using the Guttman Split-Half Method. Overall results over nine technology areas: before (M = 32.29, SD = 7.18) and after (M = 39.93, SD = 5.42) revealed more comfort over time and technology use (p <.01). At the single item technology level, greatest increases in comfort were with instant messaging (1.07, d = .88), online chat (1.07, d = .86), online discussions (1.14, d = 1.04), talking with people over the Internet (1.78, d = 1.39), and videoconferencing via the Internet (1.57, d = 1.10). Mature adult learners can embrace technology to accomplish tasks in the educational environment. Planning, course design, syllabus construction, and appropriate learning interventions are critical for program success. Once “comfort” with the technologies has been established at both the individual and group levels, task performance increases.


© Common Ground, Martin Sivula, All Rights Reserved, Permissions:

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Sivula, M. (2010). Hybrid graduate education: Assessing student comfort with technology interventions. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, 3(1), 35-42. Retrieved from



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