Smith, Bethany Virginia
23 April 2009
The purpose of this mixed-methods research study was to investigate the use of a closed social network, utilizing Ning, in an online educational environment. The research question driving this study was, does a student-centered online tool, such as Ning, foster knowledge construction through discussion boards more than a class-focused online tool, such as a traditional CMS? The participants were students enrolled in one of two online graduate education courses, one in a traditional Course Management System (CMS), and another class that utilized Ning for their discussions. Discussion Board postings from the Ning group were categorized based on the Interaction Analysis Model (IAM) developed by Gunawardena, C. N., Lowe, C., & Anderson, T. (1997), to assess knowledge construction. Survey instruments and interviews were conducted to provide additional insight into the use of a social network in an educational context.
Tran, Tan M
11 August 2011
Web-based learning progresses as access to the Internet grows. As learners and educators in virtual learning communities, we strive for ways to measure how well teachers teach and learners learn. While the literature is replete with articles and books discussing online learning from the perspective of social and teaching presence, there are few studies that examine the relationship between cognitive presence and learning effectiveness in an online environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cognitive presence and learning outcome in an asynchronous discussion forum. Thus, this study examined performance in an online course in relation to student interaction and level of cognitive presence in the course. The data were collected from students enrolled in 10 sections of an online class taught at a large public university in the Southeastern United States. The study was mixed-method in nature. It consisted both of qualitative content analysis and descriptive statistics with Pearson correlations between the dependent variable (student course module grades) and the independent variables (maximum levels of cognitive presence, number of messages and message lengths). The study resulted in two key theoretical contributions. The first is that maximum level of cognitive presence is a better indicator of student learning than mean level of cognitive presence. The results of the study indicate that students achieved mastery of the subject matter over time. Typically cognitive presence has been measured as a mean score for a course. This strategy is akin to giving the student a pre-test on a body of content at the beginning of the lesson, and a post test at the end, and then averaging these two to determine the student’s grade. Doing so seems to ignore, or at least diminish the fact that learning occurs over time. Student mastery of a content is a better indicator of learning than student progress. Thus, this study suggests that a more appropriate measure of student learning, in terms of cognitive presence, is the maximum level reached by every student, rather than the mean level of all students. The second theoretical contribution is that in on-line learning, a student displaying the cognitive presence “Resolution” stage in a discussion may inhibit others from displaying that stage. When a student has posted a message at the resolution stage during a discussion other students are more likely to respond with messages like “I agree” than they are to restate the resolution stage message. The “I agree” type message would not be coded at the resolution stage, thus the student who posted that message would not be seen to have reached that stage, when in fact, he or she may well have done so. This leads to a faulty perception of the overall level of cognitive presence. It may be difficult to control for this inhibitory effect but some creative structuring of course content and assignments should make it possible. Future studies addressing cognitive presence in online learning environments should take both of these ideas into consideration.
Janssen, Brianna Rae
01 January 2009
This paper presents the results of a study using podcasting in a first semester Spanish course and its benefits on students' ability to differentiate between verbs `ser' and `estar'. Podcasts are digital media files that are distributed over the Internet, in this case iTunes U, using syndication feeds for playback on computers and portable media devices. Some pedagogical benefits to podcasting are its unique distribution process and the portability of the instructional material. In this study, students in one first semester Spanish class listen to one podcast per week focusing on a different area of `ser' and `estar' that is directly related to class material covered during that week while students in the other first semester Spanish class receive a written assignment instead. This study compares the effectiveness of podcasts in teaching students to differentiate between the verbs 'ser' and 'estar' and the benefit of increased enthusiasm for foreign language learning as a result of the podcasts. The results from the study show that podcasts have a positive effect on students' ability to differentiate between `ser' and `estar' and students enjoy using podcasts and feel they are improving their Spanish language skills as a result of using them. The results of this study imply that podcasting can have a positive effect as a foreign language learning tool.
Jepson, Philip Reid
15 February 1999
This is a case of technological change as it took place in Jefferson Middle School over eight years. It is a study of how a school moved from the abstract level of visioning and planning to the concrete level of action and implementation. Through interviews, historical documents, and reflection a story is told using a building trade metaphor of how the work environment, governance, and learning evolved under the leadership of a new principal as an instructional technology plan was implemented. A lens metaphor was used to view culture, change process, leadership, and reform and frame the guiding questions and conclusions. The culture was transformed by empowering staff members to act and involving them in decision making. A change in the use of instructional technology occurred because staff members shared ideas; participated in visioning, planning, and training; and used the services of an "outside expert". Leadership roles such as "supporter," "innovator," and "expert" were dispersed among staff members. The staff was involved in building level reform as they identified and solved problems. This case may be helpful to practitioners implementing change. / Ed. D.
Gordon, John B. III
02 May 2012
The purpose of this study is to identify the perceptions of selected high school principals regarding their use of technology and technology related professional development. The design of the study is based on the phenomenological study approach in which the lived experiences of a small number of people is investigated (Rossman & Rallis, 2003). This study used a qualitative methodology in which the researcher conducted interviews of nine current high school principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Using the qualitative method of interviewing allowed the individuals to completely describe their personal feelings and beliefs towards technology professional development. Personal responses tend to provide increased detail and reasoning for practices and experiences, and provides a way for researchers to understand the meaning of the participant's behavior (Seidman, 2006). Investigating the technology use and the technology related professional development of selected high school principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia provides further insight into the technology needs of current high school principals as well as the technology related professional development that makes their jobs more efficient. Six findings were identified from this research study, including: (a) participating high school principals use technology on average twenty three to twenty-six hours per week, including the weekends; (b) participating high school principals use technology for administrative uses such as staying in communication with the school community, and analyzing data in order to review student attendance and performance on standardized assessments; (c) participating high school principals use technology for instructional uses such as modeling instructional technology to the faculty and staff and being familiar with the same instructional technology that is being used in the classroom (d) participating high school principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia receive technology related training if it is the same technology that is being used in the classrooms of their respective buildings; (e) participating high school principals feel it was important to participate in some type of technology related professional development; and (f) participating high school principals feel that technology related professional development was necessary in order to have a better understanding of financing technology, learning about hardware and software, and relaying the importance of staying "current" in technology. This study contains several implications for future educational leaders. The implications are that school and division leaders should recognize the importance of (a) including in the job description the expectation that high school principals use technology; (b) providing professional development for using technology to review instructional data, and maintain contact with the school community; (c) providing professional development for instructional technology so that principals will be considered the instructional technology leaders for their respective buildings; (d) high school principals having knowledge of the instructional technology that is being used within classrooms, and be able to model it for the faculty and school community; (e) high school principals participating in technology related professional development in order to complete their administrative and instructional responsibilities; and (f) developing technology professional development plans that describe the financial responsibility of technology within a school, and provide specific details on the importance of the selection of hardware and software. / Ed. D.
Coughlin, Richard Francis
13 December 2008
Despite the advancements and availability of computers and digital technologies in today's schools and colleges, too many graduating K-8 teachers enter the teaching profession without the skills, knowledge, and experience to use technology as a teaching and learning tool. These issues directly affect whether teachers use technology in their schools. Too often preservice teachers lack the basic computer skills they need before they can use technology as a teaching and learning tool. Preservice teachers also need learning opportunities such as educational technology classes, faculty who model and demonstrate technology, and field placement schools with supervising teachers who use and encourage teaching with technology. Furthermore, preservice teachers need opportunities to acquire hands-on experience using hardware or software. A survey developed for this study collected demographic information about the participants and included sections about their technology skill levels, learning opportunities, and specific technologies preservice teachers used or did not use when student teaching. The survey was administered after the preservice teachers completed their student teaching requirements for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. This study suggests that preservice teachers lack the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to use technology as a teaching, learning, and administrative tool. The findings suggest that preservice teachers are low-level users of technology for educational purposes. Even though this generation of students uses digital technologies more than other generations, their technology use centers around communication, convenience, and entertainment. Many preservice teachers only use technology for educational purposes when it is required of them, and then only at the most basic levels. Several recommendations were developed from this study. Require teacher education candidates to take and pass a computer competency skills exam. Provide a compulsory digital technology course devoted to educational issues concerning teaching and learning. Require faculty to teach and model technology in technology rich classrooms and during preservice teachers’ methods classes. Require supervising teachers to use and model technology for student teachers during their student teaching experience. Require education students to have and use personal laptop computers during their professional, methods, and student teaching placements.
17 July 2012
Classroom Response Systems (CRS) are devices that are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, yet allow full and anonymous participation by students while providing immediate feedback to instructors. These devices have shown promise as a tool to increase engagement in learners, an outcome that would be particularly useful among middle level learners. This study assessed the ability of CRSs to promote content among suburban, middle level students in science class, and it is the first known study of CRSs that used an alternating treatments design to improve the reliability of the findings. The study also assessed the acceptability of the technology. Quiz results did not support claims that that students learn more when using CRSs, but acceptability responses indicated that students preferred CRSs to traditional questioning practices, that students perceived their learning as greater when using CRSs, and that students felt somewhat lower levels of anxiety when using CRSs for review. / School of Education / Instructional Technology (EdDIT) / EdD / Dissertation
Beliefs about Technology Integration Support Factors Held by School Leadership and School Faculty: A Mixed Methods StudyWilliams, Katherine 07 February 2007 (has links)
Teachers’ beliefs have been identified as a barrier to classroom technology integration. School leadership support that reduces or removes integration barriers can assist teachers in the move from traditional teaching beliefs and practices towards successful classroom technology integration. This mixed methods study investigated beliefs of school leaders and teacher participants concerning support factors that affect technology integration from a mid-sized suburban public school system in the southeastern United States. The quantitative phase of this study included 556 school leaders and teachers. The quantitative survey Beliefs about Teaching with Technology (BATT) measured the school leaders and teachers’ beliefs concerning support factors that affect technology integration. A MANOVA was used to identify significant differences between the two groups and to select the extreme cases for the second phase of the study. An extreme case was defined as one in which the school leaders and teachers had a statistically different view of the beliefs about teaching with technology. Significance was found at the p = .001 level in all categories of beliefs investigated. This qualitative phase of the study included participants from three extreme case schools. Interviews with key informants further explored the differences in beliefs between three leaders and nine teachers and identified differing perspectives between their beliefs about factors that support technology integration in their schools. These interviews also provided descriptions of behaviors related to individuals’ beliefs about these factors. The constant comparative model was used for interview analysis. If classroom technology integration is to be successful, leaders and teachers in a school should possess similar beliefs about the availability and nature of the school-based support, resources, professional development, vision, and incentives necessary to encourage change within a school environment. This study identified the existence of differences in such beliefs between these two groups in one school system, a necessary step before conducting further research on the impact these differences in beliefs could have on individuals’ behaviors related to the successful integration of technology into classroom instruction.
Lumpkin, Peggy A
06 January 2012
This exploratory case study examined faculty members’ experiences with the introduction of technological innovations. The introduction of LiveText, a web-based learning, assessment, and accreditation system, to a department in All Star Research University’s (ASRU) College of Education was examined to explore how faculty members navigated this event. Teacher educators are role models for both current and future educators. Therefore their experiences matter as more technological innovations are incorporated in education at all levels. Rogers’s (1995) generalizations about the diffusion of innovations provided the conceptual framework for understanding the factors that influenced the adoption of LiveText as an innovation. A qualitative research approach was used to examine faculty members’ experiences with the introduction of this technological innovation. Data collection methods combined questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and document reviews. Six participants were selected and interviewed about their experiences with the introduction of LiveText. Themes reflected the adoption process of LiveText in one department of ASRU’s teacher education program. The primary themes revealed were a climate of accountability in teacher education, an initiating event, the acknowledgement of a need for change, the process of selecting a solution, communications, utilization, and an evaluation of whether the chosen solutions fixed the problems that initiated their introduction. In addition, a new model, trigger, transition, utilization, and perceptions (TTU-P), was introduced to describe the adoption process. Experiences detailed in this case study will provide valuable insight for other groups in similar situations or circumstances.
Li, Yin, master of arts in curriculum and instruction
24 February 2012
This report accounts the experience of a faculty member’s intention of creating an innovative interactive learning simulation in the field of pharmacokinetics to support the faculty member’s teaching and addresses his students’ learning needs. The report also describes the collaboration process between the faculty member and the instructional technology support units through the different phases of design, development, implementation and assessment on the simulation. It also discusses a faculty member’s role in using technology to enhance teaching and learning under university context. / text
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