SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Keynote Session

Over 100 people gathered on Zoom for the kickoff keynote session of SIGUCCS 2021. We were honored to have two distinguished guest speakers join us to share their work.

The evening started with Dr. Margaret Burnett from Oregon State University and a focus on equity and inclusion – at the technology level. You might ask, “How can software or technology be non-inclusive?”  Well, thanks to Dr. Burnett, we learned that it is all focused on usability and design. Her research into different personas and looking at five facets;their Motivations to use software, Information Processing StylesComputer Self-EfficacyAttitudes toward Risk, and style of Learning new technologies, was key in determining how these contribute to gender-bias. 

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Later, Dr. Susan Zvacek dispelled our assumptions that college students (and younger) are digital natives. Growing up with access to the internet and computers does not make one skilled in technology or information literacy. And our assumptions that students are digital natives may be making things worse. Students may be overconfident in their abilities, thus leading them to not ask for help. Additionally, they may be less likely to question things on the internet. Think twice before we assume that students have the skills to use the technologies that we offer them!

Attendee Takeaways

Dr. Burnett has attended other SIGUCCS sessions, and she reports that some people have already downloaded the GenderMag project!

About SIGUCCS Editor

The Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS) is an association of professionals who support and manage the diverse aspects of information technology services at higher education institutions. SIGUCCS is one of 36 special interest groups of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. SIGUCCS focuses on issues surrounding the support, delivery, and management of those services, and provides professional development opportunities for its members and the other individuals in the field.