Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009

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Unformatted text preview: Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 Edited by Cleborne D. Maddux ISBN: 1-880094-74-6 Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 Edited by Cleborne D. Maddux Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 Articles Foreward........................................................................................................................................................................i Preface ...........................................................................................................................................................................iii Technology Input Versus Input and Output: Does It Result in Learning Differences Among Elementary School Students? Stephen D. Arnold and Marina Moshchenko...........................................................................................................1 Teaching for Fidelity in the Use of Technology in the Math Classroom Beth Bos..................................................................................................................................................................11 Responding to Depleted Budgets through Forging New Partnerships: Educational Technology Connections to Medicine Rachel Boulay, Catherine Fulford, and Peter Leong..............................................................................................19 Integrating Tablet Technology into an Elementary Mathematics Methods Course Megan Burton.........................................................................................................................................................27 Class Map for Community in Online Education Course Terence W. Cavanaugh, Cathy Cavanaugh, and Swapna Kumar...........................................................................33 Reclaiming Lost Opportunities: The Role of the Teacher in Online Asynchronous Collaboration in Mathematics Teacher Education Ellen Clay and Jason Silverman.............................................................................................................................43 Deploying Read/Write Web Approaches for Pedagogic Change amongst Faculty in Higher Education Heather Conboy, Richard Hall, and Pam Thompson..............................................................................................51 Captivating Young Learners and Preparing 21st Century Social Studies Teachers: Increasing Engagement with Digital Video Ann C. Cunningham and Adam Friedman..............................................................................................................61 I Think, iPod(cast), I Learn: Using Digital Media and Podcasting in Teacher Education Lee Woodham Digiovanni, Stacy L. Schwartz,and Chris Greer.............................................................................69 A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics Using Inquiry, Technology and Collaboration: An Initial Report Laurie A. Dunlap and Antonio R. Quesada............................................................................................................79 Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy Laurie E. Hansen, Loretta Donovan, and Shanan Fitts .........................................................................................89 Instructional Planning Activity Types as Vehicles for Curriculum-Based TPACK Development Judi Harris and Mark Hofer...................................................................................................................................99 As the World Spins, Technology Spins Faster: A Global Long-Distance Education Program Daphne Hobson and Violet A. Kulo.......................................................................................................................109 The Digital Documentary as Historical Ground Wire: A Study of a University’s Education Department and Its Teacher Educators John J. Sweeder, Haley Froshour, AND Allison Hoffman...........................................................................................117 Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning as a Learning Management System Aliye Karabulut, Dave Braet, Denise Lindstrom, and Dale Niederhauser..................................................................125 Modeling Gone Virtual: What Teachers ‘See’ is What Students Get Kathryn Kennedy and Catherine Cavanaugh.............................................................................................................133 Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST): Successful Methodologies for STEM Implementation and Influencing Teacher Practice Ruth Kermish-Allen, Shey Conover, Hope Rowan, and Bill Nave..............................................................................143 Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents for Use with Mobile Phones in Education in Japan Midori Kimura............................................................................................................................................................151 Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment Gerald Knezek and Rhonda Christensen....................................................................................................................161 Using Digital Video for Professional Development and Leadership: Understanding and Initiating Teacher Learning Communities Tricia M. Kress and Kelly A. Silva..............................................................................................................................171 Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage: Do Different Uses Lead to Different Determinants? Jung Lee, Frank Cerreto, and Jihyun Lee..................................................................................................................179 Fads and Facts in Technology-Based Learning Environments Jennifer Lee.................................................................................................................................................................189 A Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions of Using a Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication System for Spoken English Teaching Rachel Boulay, Catherine Fulford, Peter Leong.........................................................................................................197 Developing a Second Life Academy: Bridging the Implementers' Learning Gap Charles J. Lesko Jr. and Yolanda A. Hollingsworth....................................................................................................205 Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-facilitated Peer Assessment Lan Li, Xiongyi Liu, and Al Steckelberg.......................................................................................................................213 Electronic Concept Mapping in a Laptop University: A Cross-Curricular Study Gregory R. MacKinnon...............................................................................................................................................223 Using Virtual Classroom Cases as Thinking Tools in Teacher Education Roxana Moreno, Sara Abercrombie, and Carolyn Hushman.............................................................................................231 Exploring Online Learning through Design and Design-Based Research Priscilla Norton and Dawn Hathaway........................................................................................................................239 Technology Integration for Pre-Service Teachers in a Team-Taught Cohort Experience Grace J. Ward and Theresa Overall............................................................................................................................247 An Examination of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Compliance: Are Universities and School Districts Making World Wide Web Learning Resources Available to the Disabled Becky Sue Parton, Robert Jason Hancock, and Jeffrey Oescherl...............................................................................257 Authentic Learning Across International Borders: A Cross Institutional Online Project for Pre-service Teachers Petrea Redmond and Jennifer V. Lock.........................................................................................................................265 From Conventional Spaces to Virtual Places: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communication in the Hybrid/Online Course Renee Robinson and Darylann Whitemarsh...............................................................................................................275 Quality Assurance: A Descriptive Study of Online Courses in Higher Education Clarissa Rosas and Mary West....................................................................................................................................283 Relationship of Preservice Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge with their Vocational Self-Efficacy Beliefs Ismail Sahin, Ahmet Oguz Akturk, and Denise Schmidt.............................................................................................293 Online Dialogue on Instructional Technology among Education Students in Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America Kay Kyeongju Seo, Patience Sowa, Cynthia Schmidt, Young Kyun Baek, Aimee Byk, and Donguk Cheong.............303 Creating a Community of Support for Beginning English Teachers Melanie Shoffner.........................................................................................................................................................311 Video Intervision Peer Coaching in Teacher Professionalization: First Online Explorations Marieke Thurlings, Karel Kreijns, Theo Bastiaens, and Sjef Stijnen..........................................................................319 Validating a Measure of Teacher Technology Integration Rachel R. Vannatta and Savilla I. Banister ................................................................................................................329 Measuring history: The Teacher as Website Developer David Whittier.............................................................................................................................................................339 Interaction, Learner Styles, and Content in Online Courses: Implications for Teacher Preparation Jay Wilson and Peter R. Albion...................................................................................................................................347 Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 (ISBN # 1-880094-74-6) is published by the Society for Information Tecnology & Teacher Education (SITE), an international, educational, nonprofit organization. Published by: SITE, PO Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327-1545, USA 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; E-mail: © Copyright 2009 by Site MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Mission: The Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education is an international association of individual teacher educators, and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development. The Society seeks to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange, and support among its membership, and to actively foster the development of new national organizations where a need emerges. SITE is the only organization that has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs. SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through the SITE conference, books, collaborative projects with other organizations, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. Join SITE Today! You are invited to join SITE and receive the following benefits of professional membership. And, as a member of SITE, you automatically become of member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Benefits of SITE membership: • Subscription to the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education • Subscription to the AACE member periodical [electronic] • Early announcements on Calls for Papers and CITE electronic journal issues • SITE Conference registration discounts • Discounts on all other AACE journals and conference proceedings • Opportunities to work and collaborate with members on activities in areas of common interest and concern Professional Membership: $115 (US); $130 (non-US) Student Membership: $35 (US); $50 (non-US) To join SITE, see Advancing Instructional Technology in Teacher Education Join Us at Next Year’s SITE Conference International Headquarters: SITE PO Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327-1545 USA Tel: 757-366-5606 • Fax: 703-997-8760 • E-mail: Journal Articles Conference Papers Special Topic Books Conference Invited Speaker Talks Videos Conference Presentation Slides EdITLib is your source for 15+ years (with your subscription) of peer-reviewed, published articles (20,000+) and papers on the latest research, developments, and applications related to all aspects of Educational Technology and E-Learning. Ten (10) Academic Journals including: Four (4) Conferences including: • Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia • International Journal on E-Learning (Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education) • Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching • Journal of Interactive Learning Research • Journal of Technology and Teacher Education • AACE Journal (electronic) • Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education (electronic) • ED-MEDIA – World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications • E-Learn – World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Healthcare, Government, and Higher Education • SITE – Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference Adding soon! • Global Learn Asia Pacific – Global Conference on Learning and Technology • Global TIME – Global Conference on Technology, Innovation, Media & Education Individual subscriptions $19/month Does Your Library Subscribe? Free access to abstracts so you can try the Digital Library at no cost! • Conduct research • Keep current on the latest research and publications in your field • Access and fully search publications • Create and store personal collections of articles by topic • Receive table of contents alerts prior to journal publication • Share article abstracts and search results with colleagues via email and include your comments • Export citations to BibTex, EndNote, and RefWorks Email: • Phone: 757-366-5606 • Fax: 703-997-8760 EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD Trudy Abramson, Nova Southeastern University Peter Albion, University of Southern Queensland, Australia Savilla Banister, Bowling Green State University Sally R. Beisser, Drake University Muhammad Betz, Southeastern Oklahoma State University Jody Britten, Butler University Christine Browning, Western Michigan University Glen Bull, University of Virginia Renée L. Cambiano, Northeastern State University Rhoda Cummings, University of Nevada, Reno Livia D'Andrea, University of Nevada, Reno Niki Davis, Iowa State University Joel Donna, University of Minnesota Yoram Eshet, The Open University of Israel Sue Espinoza, Texas A & M University at Commerce Ian Gibson, Macquarie University, Australia Marsha Gladhart, The University of Alaska Southeast O. D. Hadfield, New Mexico State University Walter Heinecke, University of Virginia Rich Ingram, James Madison University Natalie Johnson-Leslie, Arkansas State University, State University Mary Kayler, George Mason University, Prince William Campus Jeffrey Kenton, Towson University Beverly M. Klecker, Morehead State University Sheri Klein, University of Wisconsin-Stout Gerald Knezek, University of North Texas Michel Labour, Université de Valenciennes et du Haintaut-Cambrésis (UVHC), France. Cher Ping Lim, Edith Cowan University, Australia Margaret Lloyd, Queensland University of Technology, Australia Peter McKenna, Manchester Metropolitan University, England Sara McNeil, University of Houston Mahnaz Moallem, University of North Carolina, Wilmington Warren Moseley, Southwestern Oklahoma State University Chrystalla Mouza, University of Delaware Maggie Niess, Oregon State University Priscilla Norton, George Mason University H. N. Odogwu, University of Lagos, Nigeria John Park, North Carolina State University David Pugalee, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bernard Robin, University of Houston Mark A. Rodriguez, Sacramento State University Merryellen Towey Schulz, College of Saint Mary Michael Searson, Kean University Kathy Shafer, Ball State University Scott Slough, Texas A&M University David Slykhuis, James Madison University Debra Sprague, George Mason University James Telese, University of Texas, Brownsville David Thomas, University of Nevada, Reno Ann Thompson, Iowa State University Janet Walker, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Roberta Weber, Florida Atlantic University Dee Anna Willis, Northwestern State University of Louisiana Jana Willis, University of Houston - Clear Lake Joy F. Xin, Rowan University Harrison Yang, State University of New York at Oswego Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 FOREWARD It has been a pleasure, a privilege and an honor to serve as the editor for this first collection of outstanding articles entitled Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009. All members of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) owe a debt of gratitude to Ian Gibson, Gerald Knezek, Gary Marks, members of the volume’s special review board, and the entire leadership of SITE, who recognized the need for a highly selective and rigorously refereed collection of articles dealing with technology and teacher education. Without their vision and their support, the present volume would never have become a reality. Authors whose articles have been included in this volume should be proud of the accomplishment, since all articles have been subjected to the most stringent selection and development procedures that we could design and implement. Some details about these procedures may be instructive. Everyone who submitted a full paper to the SITE 2009 International Conference was invited to also submit the paper for consideration of inclusion in Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009. One hundred twenty-three papers were submitted. All were sent for blind review to at least two experienced reviewers in the field, and all were read by me. (The list of this distinguished board of reviewers can be found elsewhere in this volume.) Reviewers were asked to subject all papers to the most rigorous and thorough critique possible and to make a recommendation for acceptance as is, acceptance with revision, or rejection. The importance of full and complete recommendations for revision was emphasized for those papers accepted with revision. All reviews were returned to me. No papers were given acceptance as is, and all papers included in this volume were accepted pending required revisions. For those accepted at this stage, I consolidated the critiques and added my own recommendations, which I forwarded by email to all authors. Revisions of those articles given provisional acceptance were returned to me. I read all revisions to determine if the recommendations of reviewers had been implemented. I sometimes asked members of the board of reviewers to also read them and give me another recommendation. The majority of papers required at least two revisions, although sometimes several more were required. Ultimately, 40 papers were given final acceptance, making an overall acceptance rate of approximately 33 percent. I offer my congratulations and my gratitude to the special review board and to the authors of all the manuscripts submitted for consideration of publication in this book. I am impressed with the breadth and depth of work that is being done in our field by members of our society, and I submit this work to you in the clear conviction that you will find it as informative and as inspiring as I have found it. April 8, 2009 Cleborne D. Maddux, Ph.D. Foundation Professor University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV 89557 Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009 Preface Defining the future of Teacher education: Highlighting research in Technology and Teacher education The year 2009 represents the twentieth anniversary of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). For each of those twenty years, SITE members have, together, constituted one of those small and thoughtful groups that Margaret Mead memorialised in her now famous quotation on change … Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead (1901-1978) US Anthropologist, Author Over the past twenty years, SITE has driven change in the learning, leading, and teaching professions though the development and dissemination of cutting edge research describing the impact of technology on these endeavours. SITE members have also ‘built’ new knowledge as they explored new learning phenomena, and, in the process, have collaboratively created a global momentum for change that now undergirds learning events around the world. These research and development activities, and the descriptions of their impact on the profession have been archived in conference memories and in hard copy and digital repositories that have been designed in a way that serves two purposes. The first, to improve learning, redefining it in ways appropriate for a technology-rich, global and diverse 21st century, and creating an inexorable impact on the associated process of teacher preparation for the new millennium. The second, to support the ‘professionalisation of the profession’ by providing a safe, supportive, and cutting edge environment wherein SITE members become productive members of the academy, having access to high quality and accessible peer reviewed processes of disseminating their work in the context of a well regarded learned society. iv Gibson Throughout these first two decades of its influence, SITE, through the work of its members, has described the evolution of thought related to the infusion and integration of learning, knowledge building, and communications technologies into the traditional workplace of education. Further, SITE researchers have recognized the subtle but inevitable transformation and redefinition of the way we do learning, prepare for it, and organize for it, as a result of the impact of these technologies on the traditional practices of learners, leaders, and teachers. The combined impact of these research activities has been recorded and archived at a variety of levels. They are available to interested publics via peer reviewed conference proceedings, hard copy and digital refereed journals, and, in combination with other AACE conference artifacts, through the digital Ed/IT library. Together, these resources have permeated the academic scene and clearly changed the way the larger community has thought about, and talked about education. As SITE has evolved with the times over the last two decades, so has the means by which SITE research has been communicated. Periodically, new channels of communicating have been adopted to meet changing needs and changing technologies. An electronic journal has been developed from this evolving need. New communication technologies have been introduced to the conference process and dramatically impacted the way conference activities have been made available to larger publics in asynchronous and synchronous ways. The new SITE website practices what we have all preached for the last two decades and made possible a greater sense of the learning community potential of the ‘friendly society’. This new publication follows in that tradition. To continue the highly regarded practice of reporting on and disseminating SITE research activities, SITE leaders have recognized the changing accountability needs of the academy and single-mindedly resolved to continue providing SITE members with vehicles that support the academic standing and career development of its members by making available yet another outlet for SITE member research. Consequently, the high academic standards of SITE publications (multiple, blind, external, stringent refereeing) were extended to a new medium: an annual edited book focused upon the research highlights in technology and teacher education for a given year. In an era of increasing accountability and external regulation of academic activity, proactive thinking by SITE leaders recognised the need to supplement the avenues available to its members in supporting their careers and it is this new publication that does that. Through a rigorous process of selection and review, the contents of this first edition of Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education represent SITE’s response to the need for evolving external accountability in the profession. Responding to changing needs has been the purpose and intent of SITE from the beginning. This new publication is an example of that traditional SITE responsiveness. When you have a chance to review the contents herein, you will be moved to join with me in thanking the editor of this new publication for his continual focus on quality, completeness, and thoroughness. In proactively volunteering his time and his considerable expertise in editing and leading publications to print, Cleb Maddox represents all that is key to the culture of SITE. While it is clearly a friendly society, SITE is also a society that learns together and that shares that learning unselfishly. Cleb is a champion of those values and should be congratulated at every turn for representing the ideals that SITE has been founded upon, and for bringing yet another high quality academic resource to the profession. For those who pride themselves on being part of forward and progressive organisations, being a member of SITE represents connection to a global cutting edge society that continually reviews its processes and its directions in order to lead positively into a future it has helped design. Developments this year alone usher in the beginning of a new era in SITE activity. Not only is this society spreading its wings in response to calls for a more global presence through increasing its footprint around the world, it guarantees its ability to respond proactively and energetically by including new generations of SITE leaders into current initiatives, innovative practices, and futures planning. Further, as this new publication confirms, SITE backs up these ventures by ensuring that the foundation of academic respectability that it began with, remains responsive and intact. Preface: Defining the Future of Teacher Education Professor Ian W. Gibson, Ph.D. Immediate Past President, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) Conference Program Chair, SITE 2009 Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Chair in Education Learning, Leading, and Teaching Futures Department of Education Faculty of Human Sciences Macquarie University, Sydney New South Wales, 2109 Australia + (0)2 9850 9816 (phone) v Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 1-9 Technology Input Versus Input and Output: Does It Result in Learning Differences Among Elementary School Students? Stephen D. ArnolD The University of Arizona – South, USA MArinA MoShchenko Big Apple Institute, USA this quasi-experimental research explores the impact of varying levels of technology use by students and compares the direction of computer mediated information transfer (cMit), input only versus input and output combined, to learning outcomes in a newly implemented computer-technology integrated science curriculum. the findings from three second-grade classes participating in a technology integrated animals and plants science unit indicate a significant difference among classes which engaged in varying levels of computer technology use: no technology, technology utilized for input only, and technology used for both input and output. Although there has been a slight upward trend in the lower elementary grade-level national science scores throughout the United States in the last few years, the scores have decreased for graduating students (Grigg, lauko, & Brockway, 2006). technology offers a unique opportunity to increase students’ conceptual knowledge of science and connect their learning to real world problems (roblyer, 2006). interactive virtual science expeditions (iVes) could spawn interest in science as a topic and possibly a future career (niemitz et al., 2008). it is important to infuse the curriculum with technology early in a child’s formal learning experiences in order to provide robust learning events that become second-nature. “When the learning window closes, it becomes more difficult for the young child to learn a particular concept or master a higher order thinking skill” (Markezich, 1997, as cited in craig, 2000, p. 184). “early intervention builds children’s selfefficacy for school learning along with their skills for succeeding in school” (Schunk, pintrich, & Meece, 2008, p. 291). linked with technology use, early intervention may bolster students’ engagement with science beyond the elementary years. A strong correlation has been established between technology use and motivation. Although the degree and focus may vary among students, motivation is one of the most critical elements of effective instruction (Slavin, 2009). An engaged student is more likely to be motivated and continue learning the prescribed material after the formal instruction is over (Bates & poole, 2003). resource-based learning programs that implement internet access at home and school for students promote student engagement with assignments (hinson, 2005). Students’ learning success via the Web is dependent upon teachers’ effective design of class assignments (Bowler, large, & rejskind, 2001). Web-based natural science labs have shown increased learning achievement for elementary students (Sun, lin, & Yu, 2008). information 2 Arnold and Moshchenko and communication technologies used in conjunction with elementary science instruction can further enhance knowledge construction in a situated learning manner (lin, Swan, & kratcoski, 2008). it is important to consider one of the most elementary definitions of technology, which is “a tool.” tools shape users’ engagement, influence their perceptions, and represent their thinking via artifacts (reiser, 2004). A closer examination of the artifact producing process via technology may give added insight into students’ cognitive process, and ultimately their learning success. With students spending vast amounts of time using computer applications or online, perhaps additional consideration needs to be devoted to the cognitive level of human-computer interactions (hcis) that students are experiencing. Since a great deal of research on computer technology has been focused on specific software and hardware types, and much of the literature points a preferential finger towards “student-centered” as an optimum elementary classroom learning environment, we decided to focus on the student-computer interaction (Sci) directional processes. Within this conceptualization the computer acts as a conduit of information, whereas the student user is not only the receptor, but the initiator of information. in many definitions the term “information” is equated with knowledge which is communicated through numerous computer-based media formats. Many Scis transpire in the form of transmission of information from the computer to the student (from here on we will label this as “input”). hunter (2004) refers to input modalities as “channels through which we get information” (p. 6). less frequently the Scis result in students actually creating a product (we will refer to this as “output”). Most commonly student output is viewed in the assessment capacity, and “validates the acquisition of skills and knowledge” (p. 7). in order to mimic the student-centered concept of active learning with Scis, we believe that students must go beyond the input level and engage in output, thereby creating an active, bidirectional engagement. When considering level, it is common to think about varying degrees of difficulty. in the scope of this research we are equating level [of technology use] with cMit direction and the Bloom’s taxonomy reminiscent cognitive processing complexity needed to input and output versus input alone, not necessarily the task difficulty. Theoretical Framework the focus of this research was guided by the premise that increased active engagement results in more learning, and that student output (versus input or reception of information only) propagates students’ engagement, and thereby boosts learning with regards to the learning objectives at hand. According to Wittrock (1992) “learning consists of the active generation of meaning” (p. 536). For skill learning, all age groups benefit more from active–elaborative training than from passive training, and are more adept at transferring the learned skill to a more difficult task (Vakil, hoffman, & Myzliek, 1998). When individuals subject stimuli to different levels of mental processing, they retain information that has been subjected to the most thorough processing (Slavin, 2009; craik & lockhart, 1972). With a great deal of the Scis being social networking and various other online information seeking activities, users spend an enormous amount of time sorting through volumes of non-relevant information via low-level processing skills. the constant bombardment by vast amounts of unintended data thwarts the likelihood that the seeker will reach the higher levels of cognitive processing within the intended content area. information literacy skills take time to develop, but enable seekers to analyze and evaluate the information efficiently, thus heightening their confidence in using the information to make decisions or create products (American library Association, 2006). once the “Data Smog” is circumvented, active engagement with the intended content is more attainable. internet users seeking science information online reported a higher level of understanding with regards to science (horrigan, 2006). this success in learning is more likely to occur when students engage in appropriate cognitive processing during learning, such as attending to relevant material, organizing the material into a coherent structure, and integrating it with what they already know (clark & Mayer, 2008). individual and group presentations are one authentic way to foster productive performances and interactions (Arnold, 2008), which will ultimately lead to increased engagement. A multimedia presentation created by students is one such presentation example that holds potential for the computer technology integrated science classroom. When students are given the opportunity to produce a tangible product or demonstrate something to an audience, their willingness to put forth quality increases (Mctighe, 1996). Technology Input Versus Input and Output Input and Output 3 Just as the information input mode has been associated with differences in the level of retention (hintzman, Block, & inskeep, 1972), we propose that students’ information output via technology will further enhance their active processing and retention of the science concepts. Much student engagement with computers in the educational environment includes information gathering, educational game playing, word processing, free-time, and various unplanned play activities that fall short of the academic content standards. A number of the online and software-based activities necessitate that students engage in information download (i.e., read, listen, or interpret), with less need for information upload. oftentimes the student is posed with a series of choices as part of the interactive experience. Arguably this is an engaging information exchange between the user and the application. As a precursor to this project, we pondered the concept of [information] input and [information] output, considering whether a difference in learning would occur if a student interacted with an application in the virtual sense only versus actually creating a tangible product with the computer. A great deal of research surrounds the concept of computer mediated communication (cMc) which ties into learning in a multitude of ways. We arrived at another variation, computer mediated information transfer (cMit) which we’ve tied to the direction of information flow. our search of the literature pertaining to the directional concept of input and output revealed use of these terms limited to computer hardware devices, mathematical processes, business economic models, organization development, and various flow charts. hunter (2004) equated the terms with input of information into the students’ cognitive learning processes, and output of information in a mastery of the learning objective sense so that proper assessment could occur. in other uses of the terms, information flow and system or planning processes were the main theme (Washington State University, 1996; Waclawski & church, 2002). Wittrock (1974), on the other hand, captured the importance of stimuli (input) in transfer design learning models which emphasize the cognitive process of generating and transferring meaning. in our model, we are proposing that the student is at the center of the input-output model. We describe input as the process whereby information is being presented or relayed to the student in various forms, i.e. in a direct-instruction sense by the computer application, and we describe output as the tangible product created by the student in a projectbased sense. in this case the output is associated with the process of learning in lieu of a product for assessment. Furthermore, the output should draw heavily upon the content knowledge students experienced through the input process. examples of inputs and outputs are presented in table 1, and the cMit concept is illustrated in Figure 1. Students participating in the output events would be reminiscent of the generative process which clark and Mayer (2008) refer to as a cognitive process pertaining to a learner’s gravitation toward deeper understanding and making sense of material. in lieu of our conjecture that student-computer generated output may foster increased levels of active engagement with academic content, we utilized the following question to guide our research: Does the use of technology input and output result in increased levels of learner outcomes in accordance with the learning objectives over the use of technology input alone? 4 Arnold and Moshchenko Table 1 information transfer input and output examples Learning Interface Information Transfer Input Traditional F2F Lecture Conversation Teacher demo Peer explanation Discussion Reading Worksheet Conversation Choral response Oral presentation Response paper Discussion Labeling Model Computer/Technology Video Internet as library Multimedia presentation User software Podcast VELA Wiki Webpage Diagram/illustration PowerPoint presentation Spreadsheet Animation Podcast Movie Output Figure 1. computer Mediated information transfer (cMit) Model. Methods this study took place during the fall of 2008. the school which participated in the research is a private elementary school in a large metropolitan area of the northeastern United States with comparatively higher results on the state math and english language arts (elA) assessments than its local school district and the greater metropolitan area (new York city Department of education, 2008). For a summary of the comparisons see Figure 2. in this study we were trying to ascertain whether a significant difference would be noted in the level of comprehension between students utilizing technology for input only versus input and output combined. three second-grade science classes were selected to participate in the research, each with equitable levels of achievement based upon three teachers’ perspectives during the first few weeks of the academic year. the second-grade participants (n = 69) included 39 females and 30 males. Technology Input Versus Input and Output Traditional Science Processes 5 During the progress of this study, the participants were working on a science unit that addressed living and nonliving objects. As part of the unit students explored the following subtopics: parts of plants, concepts affecting continual growth of plants, and various classifications of animals (fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and mammals). prior to the move towards implementing technology supported instruction into the science curriculum at the participating elementary school, the science teacher attended each classroom and taught the science lessons during their designated science lesson time. the science teacher utilized a grade-level appropriate science textbook, and facilitated various individual, small group, and class-wide activities. the science teacher’s instructional style leaned primarily towards Socratic and inquiry-based questioning and answering dialogue with the students. As the lessons unfolded, various demonstrations were presented by the science teacher on a flip-chart or dry-erase board at the front of the classroom. While the lessons were in progress, the regular classroom teacher was present to provide individual student support as needed. the student engagement activities included diagramming, worksheets, reflective journaling, and mini-presentations by students to their class of peers. Figure 2. State Math and english language Arts (elA) Assessment comparison. Technology Infused Science Beginning in the fall of 2008, the school began designing, developing, and implementing a new computer technologically enhanced science curriculum. two of the three classes in this study had adopted the use of computer technology in support of their standard science curriculum teaching practices. All three classes were taught by the same science teacher and exposed to the same science lessons except for the technology enhancement variances. one second-grade class, the no technology (nt) group, participated in the standard, non technology enhanced science lessons. Another second-grade class, the technology input (ti) group, utilized technology exclusively for input, introducing students to the new science material via teacher and student operated multimedia/hypermedia presentations, online video clips, online demonstrations, and various other virtual experiential learning activities (VelAs) as a whole class in the computer lab. Additionally, a mobile lab (projector, laptop, speakers, and wireless internet connection) was brought into the ti classroom for demonstrations. in the third second-grade class, the technology input and output (tio) group, students were introduced to the new science materials using VelAs as well, but had more emphasis placed upon their use of technology to create products (output reinforcement of the learning process), such as slide shows, labeled paintings, multimedia presentations, drawings, and podcasts. Data Analysis At the end of the plants and animals science unit, each of the three classes (nt, ti, and tio) were asked to complete both an end of chapter activity and written summative assessment that required students to answer a series of questions, 6 Arnold and Moshchenko label various plant components, and associate pictures of random animal and plant items with their appropriate descriptive terms (matching). the results of these assessments were combined into one end of unit percentage for each student (dependent variable). A one-way analysis of variance (AnoVA) was conducted to evaluate the assessment results among the nt, ti, and tio classes to determine if the cMit direction, input only versus input and output combined, resulted in significant differences. Because the F test was significant, and equal variances were not assumed, a follow-up Dunnett’s c post hoc test was performed. Results the AnoVA was significant at the .05 level, F(2,66) = 13.43, p < .01. the η2 of .29 indicated a strong relationship between the cMit direction (input only versus input and output combined) and the assessment results variance dependent variable (see table 2). A follow-up pairwise comparison was performed using the Dunnett’s c test, equal variances not assumed, resulting in significant differences between the tio group and each of the other two groups, nt and ti. the 95% confidence intervals for the pairwise differences, as well as the means and standard deviations for the three groups, are noted in table 3. Figure 3 provides an overview of the end of unit science assessment results by group. Significant differences were not evident between the nt and ti groups, or between gender groups. Table 2 results of one-way Analysis of Variance According to cMit Direction Source Between Groups Within Groups Total SS .450 1.105 1.554 df 2 66 68 MS .225 .017 F 13.433 Sig. .000 η2 .289 Table 3 3.95% confidence intervals of pairwise Differences in Mean changes According to cMit Direction Technology Group Nt Ti Tio M .77 .75 .94 SD .14 .15 .08 -.09 to .12 -.25 to -.09* -.27 to -.10* Nt Ti Technology Input Versus Input and Output 7 Figure 3. end of Unit Science Assessment results by cMit Direction. Educational Significance A significant difference in the end of unit science assessment scores was noted between the tio and nt groups, and between the tio and ti groups. no difference was noted between the nt and ti groups. this lends support to the idea that having students engage in developing tangible output with computer technology may boost performance in the discipline it is being used to supplement, and that cMit direction is worthy of consideration when planning computer aided learning events. From the cognitive apprenticeship standpoint, learners gradually increase their level of expertise through interactions with more capable peers (Slavin, 2009). We believe that the cMit process paired with conscious organization of learning events to focus on eliciting student output for the sake of the process versus assessment of the product can be instrumental in providing an environment which emulates this interaction. recitation is a common instructional practice that has been used for decades in many educational systems (Gall, 1984; tharp & Gallimore, 2001). it resembles input via direct instruction or teacher assigned readings, and output via oral or written responses. When structured properly, recitation is effective for promoting student learning (Gall, et al., 1978; Gall, 1984). Although the teacher is generally key to the recitation process, the cMit directional approach provides a flexible alternative or supplemental opportunity for computer-based scaffolding. in the primary classroom this may emerge via centers within the classroom itself, or during whole class computer lab time. in any case the outputs should be planned in a manner that draws upon recent input of content knowledge experienced by students. the output may be a simple illustration created by students in MS paint, or a more adventurous and complex Web 2.0 digital storytelling program. regardless of the specific technology tool choice, it is important that the planned output process becomes the focus of the technology enhanced endeavor, not the inverse. We expected to see a bit higher average in the ti group than the nt group, but this could be attributed to the infinite number of variables that accompany the classroom and research practices. More follow-up research will be needed to analyze the relationship between nt and ti groups. other grade-levels, disciplines, school populations, specific technology outputs, and teaching methods would be worth investigating as follow-up research. Unquestionably there are many considerations when implementing technology in support of the learning and teaching process. classroom circumstances, software types, learner levels, and resource availability are just a few. As teachers in the elementary school classroom, we have divergent student populations with divergent instructional needs. the ubiquitous computing arena lends added flexibility to the learning environment in all content areas, and holds robust alternatives for supporting the teaching process. “When instruction is teacher-centered, technology and media are used to support the presentation of instruction (…) when instruction is student centered, students are the primary users of technology and media (Smaldino, lowther, 8 Arnold and Moshchenko & russell, 2008, p. 11). central to the cMit output process and the hands-on nature of the science classroom, carefully planned output events provide students with additional means to make sense of new input. “the effects of instruction are understandable only in terms of what the instruction causes the learner to construct” (Wittrock, 1974, p. 94). References American library Association. (2006, September 29). 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Educational Psychologist, 11 (2), 87-95. Wittrock, M.c. (1992). Generative learning process of the brain. Educational Psychologist, 27 (4), 531-541. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 11-17 Teaching for Fidelity in the Use of Technology in the Math Classroom Beth Bos Texas State University San Marcos, Texas, USA Dick (2008) introduces pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity to computer designers to help them design math related technology, but the same terminology and direction can be applied by teachers to choose technology to use in the mathematics classroom. In order to guide students’ thinking and to prepare future and current teachers to use technology enhanced math objects, teachers also need to know what pedagogical, mathematical and cognitive fidelity are and be able to design lessons faithful to these principles. the purpose of this paper is to describe a pilot program designed to teach the principles of pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity to pre-service and in-service teachers. (Keywords: technology, pedagogical, mathematical, cognitive, fidelity) the National Council of teachers of Mathematics’ position statement on technology states: “technologies are essential tools within a balanced mathematics program. teachers must be prepared to serve as knowledgeable decision makers in determining when and how their students can use these tools most effectively” (NCtM, 2003). to better equip teachers with the knowledge they need in order to make wise decisions about the use of technology, they need to be familiar with the instructional purposes of technology in the math classroom and the importance of using web technologies with high levels of pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity. If the technology is faithfully used to create rich mathematical patterns, add to cognitive connections that bring logic and reasoning to our environment, and allow us to do the mathematics (explore, conjecture, test and apply), technology deepens mathematical understanding and encourages students to work at higher levels of generalization or abstraction (NCtM, 2000). to reach these objectives teachers must be challenged to rethink and in some cases relearn the purposes and strengths of technology as it relates to mathematics. As with curriculum designers they need to be aware of the fidelity of the technology and reflect on whether their choices maximize the potential of the medium. technology offers a unique environment where math objects can be manipulated and explored to discover special mathematical patterns. enabled by the ability to yield quick accurate responses with multiple representations, technology improves problem solving processes as it focuses on critical patterns. Discovery is enhanced and more mathematical content can be revealed in less time. Capturing the key features of technology in a mathematical setting is crucial. 12 Bos the Association of Mathematics teacher educators (AMte, 2006) in their position paper strongly endorse the idea that one cannot truly be an effective teacher of mathematics in today’s classroom unless one has “the knowledge and experiences needed to incorporate technology.” Knowledge includes the key principles that facilitate effective use of: pedagogy (allow doing mathematical processes like investigating, exploring, revisiting, testing conjectures and apply concepts), mathematical soundness (being true to the living nature of mathematics), and cognitive reasoning (connecting and being able to make sense of the mathematical object as it merges and solidifies into a new concept). experience comes from using websites with a high degree of pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity that focus on concept development rather than serve to inform or assess. Recent national studies in mathematics education (Kim, 2003; Martin, Mullis, Gonzalez, & Chrostowsky, 2004; National science Board, 2003) indicate that technology and content classes should be integrated. A similar approach is being piloted at texas state University in san Marcos, texas. In the graduate elementary math methods class, potential and practicing teachers are being asked to look at math related websites first to look at the instructional purposes to classify mathematical websites as informational, computational, quiz, game, or interactive math objects. the classifications are described below. By examining their instructional purpose teachers determine which format would be used to develop conceptual understanding. second, examining web sites where exploration, conjecturing, reasoning, testing, and applying take place, students determine the fidelity of selected sites to see which have the highest degree of pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity. From this search of websites they pick one website high in fidelity that meets one of their content objectives and design a lesson plan incorporating both content and technology. this lesson is to be used during their teaching experience. student response to this format indicate that many see the use of technology as more than an add-on but an important link to conceptualizing abstract concepts. teachers become aware that choosing technology is not a casual process and not all technology leads to a better understanding of mathematics. the following sections elaborate on a proposed integration of technology in a math methods classroom. Formats for Web-Based Applications Before pre-service and in-service teachers can appreciate the importance of choosing technology applications wisely they should be given the opportunity to explore the five commonly used formats for math related web-based applications: informational, computational, quiz, gaming, and interactive math object. teachers would be expected to list: website URL, format category, and purpose for each math related site. Information formats present helpful facts in a narrative with simple graphics where needed. the gathered facts can be useful when applied, but are presented in a very static format with possible links to more information. the format’s purpose is simply to convey information and make access quick and painless. Most websites we encounter are informational. 1) the computational website format provides an applet where data is inputted to give an outputted value. similar to a calculator, it generates a response to change in entered values. the result is static and has no other relationship acting upon it. this format is also informational and must be applied in another setting. A web site that calculates interest on a car loan would have a computational format. 2) there is the format that checks for understanding in the form of a quiz or assessment. the inputted value yields a response that tells you if it is right or wrong. the site will often calculate your score, but this is not like a game format where you would be competing with another. Its purpose is for the user to check for understanding of the concept and often gives the right answer if requested. the feedback however is limited by either a right or wrong possible answer. open ended questions and free responses are not possible. 3) the gaming format is competitive and is also a form of assessment. emphasis is on winning, beating another participant or previous score. often with gaming formats importance is put on speed rather than accuracy and the learning objective is supplanted by the urge to win at all costs. there is no time for reflective analysis. though many feel gaming has the potential to dramatically change education (squire, 2006; Jenkins and squire, 2004; Gee, 2003; Prensky, 2001), no empirical studies have shown gaming environments increases academic achievement or deepen mathematical understanding. 13 Teaching for Fidelity in the Use of Technology in the Math Classroom 4) the interactive math object has multiple representations, multiple points of entry, no penalties for ‘wrong’ answers because it allows for conjecturing, reasoning, testing, and application. sites with interactive math objects have access to directions and examples, give feedback in terms of multiple representations (not a right or wrong response), and interpretation is up to the user. It is the user’s responsibility to try again and apply their conjecture multiple times. By encouraging future and current teachers to explore and classify math websites as one of the five types of formats, they begin to see the choices that are available on the web. they see how each purpose relates to the instructional environment. If concept development is the focus, one format uniquely provides the opportunities needed to explore, revise, redesign, test and apply. often thought of as a composite of the all the formats, an interactive math object provides information, checks for understanding, and has an input/output functionality. the potency of this format clearly sets it apart for strengthening instruction. But not all math objects have a high degree of pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity. From their list of URLs for interactive math objects, teachers now need to take a closer look at fidelity of the technology applications. After learning about the three forms of fidelity they will be determine the characteristics of math objects that are classified as having low, medium or high degree of fidelity. Pedagogical Fidelity technology’s pedagogical fidelity in the math classroom is about allowing students to ‘do’ mathematics and not be distracted or limited by technical features. According to Dick (2008), the student should perceive the tool as (a) facilitating the creation of mathematical objects, (b) allowing mathematical actions on those objects, and (c) providing clear evidence of the consequence of those actions. this places emphasis on active student participation in investigation and sense making which parallels the constructivist perspective (Gadanidis, 1994) that underpins NCtM’s (2000) Standards document. this stands in contrast to the typical mathematics pedagogy, where teacher lecture is followed by student seatwork. to evaluate fidelity of pedagogy, we ask: to what extent does the technology support the pedagogy, or in other words, to what extent does the technology help focus student attention on mathematical relationships and to what extent does it help students investigate and make sense of such relationships? or, we can inquire, to what extent does the technology support the pedagogy - the mathematical content and cognitive process goals? Appropriateness of math object, availability, and required training affects whether students can manipulate math objects to reach their instructional goals. Does the technology allow for doing? Is the math object appropriate for its instructional purpose? Is its availability doable? Is its use intuitive with and without directions? Mathematical Fidelity When referring to the mathematical correctness of technology, Dick (2008) refers to the technical disconnects between what is mathematically correct and what is mathematically possible with technology. he refers to errors in representations due to technology limitations or when ease of use is more important than faithfulness to mathematical structure. this we can see in the modeling of continuous phenomena with discrete structures, or simply in interpretation of expressions such 3x2 as (3x)2 or 3(x)2 or sin 2x as (sin 2)x or sin(2x) (p. 335). the robustness of the technology is examined to determine mathematical fidelity. According to Johnson (2008), mathematical fidelity is “the degree to which the mathematics explored in these modeling environments remains faithful to the mathematics content to be learned.” From this definition we are lead to another question: what is the mathematical content to be learned? however, in the field of mathematics defining mathematics is not as easy as it appears. When a group of pre-service teachers was asked this question they responded with a list of topics – numbers, geometry, algebra. A superficial definition misses the depth, beauty, and enjoyment found in its study. As Grandgenett (2008) adds, “For those who take the time to look more deeply, mathematics often represents a rich and dynamic excursion into trying to know and control our world through its patterns.” Reuben hersh (1997), a philosopher and mathematician, in What Is Mathematics, Really? believes that people don’t like mathematics because of the way it is misrepresented in school. It bears little resemblance to the mathematics of life or work or even the mathematics in which mathematicians engage (p. 150). this lack of alignment must be negotiated before a math object can be determined to have mathematical fidelity. 14 Bos Keith Devlin (2000), a mathematician and writer of several books about math, tells us that he hated math in elementary school until he came across a quote by W. W. sawyer (1955); “Mathematics is the classification and study of all possible patterns (p.12).” In response to this quote Devlin (2000) wrote, “Pattern is here used in a way that everybody may agree with. It is to be understood in a very wide sense to cover almost any kind of regularity that can be recognized by the mind. Life and certainly intellectual life, is only possible because there are certain regularities in the world.” (p.7) steen (1988), another mathematician, suggests the following definition and discussion: Mathematics involves, observing, representing and investigating patterns and relationships in social and physical phenomena and between mathematical objects themselves: Mathematics is often defined as the science of space and number … [but] a more apt definition is that mathematics is the science of patterns. the mathematician seeks patterns in number, in space, in science, in computers, and in imagination. Mathematical theories explain the relations among patterns…. Applications of mathematics use these patterns to “explain” and predict natural phenomena... (p. 616) In choosing technology with a high degree of mathematical fidelity, the mathematical content must be more than anatomically or procedurally correct. It must be faithful to the deeper richness found in life’s patterns and relationships. Keeping this in mind teachers must also carefully choose technology applications base on true mathematics, and not a “watered-down” version in the search for a more engaging classroom. Cognitive Fidelity If a technology tool, interactive math object, has a high degree of cognitive fidelity it must be faithful to the student’s cognitive processes. Cognitive fidelity refers to whether a concept is better understood when the object is acted on. Because of action performed on it does it make sense and add depth of understanding and meaningful schema to the concept? technology offers hope for making abstract mathematical ideas more concrete for learners (Kaput, 1992, p. 529; Lester, 2000, p.2). Interactive mathematical objects as cognitive tools may reduce cognitive responsibilities by taking over some of the more mundane elements of a task (Connell, 2001; Kieran, Boileau, & Garancon, 1996; Lajoie, 1993; surgue, 2000) and thus help higher order thinking and hypothesis testing. Can the math objects be used to construct and deconstruct, test and revise to understand structure of concepts? Does manipulating the patterns lead to great depth of understanding? Ranking Fidelity Pedagogical, mathematical and cognitive fidelity in a web-based environment can be determined by rating them on a scale of low to high. When a mathematical object has misconceptions and creates confusion it has a low level of fidelity. It is also low in fidelity if the object is static and lacks manipulability or usability; and, if the mathematical object is contrived it does not have conceptual development and depth the object falls into that category. When directions are not available or limited the mathematical object fails to yield connections or needed transitions and ranks low in fidelity. If the results generate one answer at best; making conjectures, and being able to test them is not an option and fidelity is low. Medium fidelity is used to label a mathematical object that has somewhat misleading representations and requires more direction, or the directions lack intuitive connections. some mathematical objects make sense but need to be more consistent and reliable. Medium fidelity is used to describe website where transitions are made using trial and error, yet lack clarity. Conjectures are based on emerging patterns, but testing is not possible with a medium level of fidelity. high fidelity has accurate representations that are easy to manipulate, and intuitive rather than contrived. transitions appear in a logical, sense making sequence with multiple interpretations possible. Conjecturing and problem solving are encouraged and conjectures are testable. since web-based mathematical sites vary in usability, and mathematical and cognitive fidelity, the variance is best represented by a sliding scale rather than a black or white, fidelity or no fidelity rating. (Dick, 2008) After becoming familiar with pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity, teachers fill in a chart similar to table 1 without the descriptive narrative. Determining the characteristics of each level of fidelity clarifies the desired objective. When the criteria are used to compare mathematics sites, websites high in fidelity can be verified. 15 Teaching for Fidelity in the Use of Technology in the Math Classroom the next challenge for teachers in training is to use one of their websites with a high degree of fidelity to develop a lesson from the content material covered in the course. Part of the closing analysis is a reflection on the question ‘does technology deepen students knowledge,’ with teachers justifying their answer. Table 1 Degrees of Pedagogical, Mathematical and Cognitive Fidelity (Bos,2008) Low Fidelity Pedagogical Manipulation is difficult and hard to work with. Technology is hard to access. Not intuitive, confusing to use. Not appropriate for the concept being taught. Medium Fidelity Manipulation is not intuitive, but after reading the directions it is doable. May be easier to do without the technology. High Fidelity Mathematical manipulation is doable, technology is available and encourages active participation, requires little or no training. Math objects are appropriate for activity. Mathematically correct. Maximizes the interpreting and using of patterns. Believable and livable use of mathematics. Mathematical Mathematical concepts too simplistic or too complicated. Patterns are not revealed. Leads to rote memorizing rather than conceptual understanding. Not applicable to real world. Static no opportunities to explore and test conjectures. Patterns do not make sense. Confusing and unyielding. Patterns lack predictability. Mathematical significance is minimal. Application of mathematics unclear. Cognitive Limited opportunity to explore and test patterns. Patterns require either minimal or too much manipulation to make sense of concept. Math objects can be used to construct and deconstruct, test, and revise to understand the patterns and structure of concepts. Manipulating the patterns lead to great depth of understanding. 16 Bos ConClUsion the quote by Neiss (2008) “tomorrow’s teacher must be prepared to rethink, unlearn and relearn, change, revise and adapt (p. 225),” reflects what is being asked of mathematics teachers today. No longer can teachers wait for tomorrow. No longer is technology an innovative attention getter in the math classroom. It is a way of seeing mathematics and understanding relationships that have never been seen or understood in the same light as with today’s technology. With this opportunity to reinvent mathematics in education comes obligations to stay true to the nature of mathematics to make it more than rote numbers but relationships and interactive patterns that reveal life’s quantitative interactions. With this new light in the field of mathematics comes an awakening of the logic and reasoning behind the schema that binds concepts. technology creates opportunity to see and manipulate patterns while leaving the mechanics to automatic processing to unfold the greater picture. With technology we can appreciate the core of mathematical thought, but we must be discerning users. As teachers we must continue to search for technologies that are faithful to the pedagogical, mathematical and cognitive principles that unite technology and mathematics. 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Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 19-26 Responding to Depleted Budgets through Forging New Partnerships: Educational Technology Connections to Medicine Rachel Boulay, catheRine FulFoRd, and PeteR leong University of Hawaii, USA the university of hawaii’s educational technology department previously developed collaborations statewide with local schools, community colleges, and private businesses. through Pt3 grants, these partnerships focused on teacher education and built upon the communal interest in education among all stakeholders. With lack of Pt3 funds encouraging these partnerships, further intensified by pending budget restrictions, a concern arose that departments of educational technology would diminish their involvement with external partners in communal educational initiatives. this paper presents a case study of how one institution built upon their experience with forging partnerships gained through their Pt3 projects to construct a new partnership with the John a. Burns School of Medicine. Four initial projects stimulated the partnership: video tutorials, online course development, summer curriculum development, and systematic educational assessment. this paper examines the projects through a partnership formation model and suggests a path for other technology-focused departments to consider in forging new medical-related partnerships. the university of hawaii’s educational technology department previously developed statewide partnerships with various stakeholders in education. through participation in their Pt3 grants, local schools, community colleges, and private and non-profit businesses focused on teacher education and built upon the shared interest each had in education. With lack of Pt3 funds encouraging these partnerships, a concern arose that departments of educational technology would diminish their involvement with external partners in communal educational initiatives. instead, refocused attention on interdisciplinary education fuels new partnerships in educational initiatives that rely on technology. interdisciplinary education is defined as an educational approach where two or more disciplines collaborate in the learning process with the goal of enhancing the practice of each discipline (larson, debasio, Mundinger, & Shoemaker, 1996). interdisciplinary education provides an opportunity for knowledge acquisition across disciplines and facilitates connections among disciplines. interdisciplinary education builds upon the depth of specific studies in a holistic manner where emphasis is upon analyzing, applying, and integrating knowledge. Potential learning outcomes of interdisciplinary education are: (1) increase in flexible thinking, (2) greater awareness of the strength and limitations of a specific discipline, (3) strengthened ability to synthesize and integrate knowledge, and (4) improvement in critical thinking skills (ivanitskaya, clark, Montgomery, & Primeau, 2002). interdisciplinary education helps learners to expand the scope of 20 Boulay, Fulford, and Leong their knowledge and develop skills, knowledge, and understanding of relationships among different disciplines (ivanitskaya et al., 2002). Faculty need to develop their own ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and to model interdisciplinary approaches in learning for future generations of students. Bulger (1995) notes teaching across schools builds teamwork among faculty and is a visible model to students of interdisciplinary collaboration. While certain contexts have more history in exploring natural connections and interdisciplinary advantages to working together, the field of educational technology has less tightly worked with Schools of Medicine. an important question to ask is how can such a partnership come about? What criteria are necessary for successful partnership formation? While multiple suggestions for partnership formation can be found, for example see casey (2008) for a review article from a medical discipline, interdisciplinary research calls for selecting the very best research from among multiple disciplines. Business literature focuses more on measures of profitability, sustainability, and collaborative advantage in partnership formation. as partnership formation and development are more prominent themes among the business field’s published work, business literature may provide a potentially more useful approach to critical examination of partnership formation, benefiting other disciplines, such as education or medicine. among a review, Kanter’s (1994) study emerges as a well-suited and useful framework. Kanter’s study of more than 37 companies and their partners from 11 countries reveals eight criteria (the 8 i’s) of successful partnerships: (1) individual excellence, (2) interdependence, (3) importance, (4) investment, (5) information, (6) integrity, (7) integration, and (8) institutionalization. according to Kanter, each partner must possess individual strengths that will bring significant and valuable contributions to the partnership. the partnership would therefore afford both organizations with new opportunities. in addition, since both partners provide complementary strengths, these new opportunities can only be realized with both partners present, neither can accomplish alone. another criterion to consider is the importance of the partnership to each partner’s strategic objectives which will provide the major motivation for both partners to make the partnership work. Partners also need to demonstrate long-term commitment to the relationship by investing in each other, for example, through equity swap or cross-ownership. Kanter asserts that information sharing between partners needs to be “reasonably open” for partnerships to succeed. Partners need to treat each other with great respect and trust. Successful partnerships also demonstrate operational and interpersonal integration to ensure a smooth working relationship. lastly, great partnerships become institutionalized into formal relationships that transcend personalities that created the partnerships. Kanter proposes these eight criteria are useful in assisting individual institutions to transform into successful collaborative partners. Methodology this paper presents research in progress from an institutional case study. the foci of the case is a department of educational technology (etec) located at the university of hawaii. etec had a thriving hub of research and educational partnerships in connection with a series of several grants of increasing funding. in 2005, the extramural funding declined tremendously, resulting in no external funds to support on-going initiatives. despite significant reduction of external funding, common among other Pt3 projects on a national level, this particular institution was successful in leveraging institutional resources to support all major grant activities previously supported by Pt3 funds. this provided an opportune context to watch the developments of a department of educational technology as it reinvented itself and forged new initiatives. over the last three years, the etec faculty launched a new online Master’s degree and recently started a new doctoral program, enrolling their first cohort of doctoral candidates in Fall 2007. however, an emerging trend is appearing, linking etec and Medical faculty. using Kanter’s criteria of 8 i’s of successful partnerships, this paper analyzes the various projects, henceforward called case studies 1 - 4, that have been or are currently being explored by etec and the Medical School to determine how each project meets these criteria. the ultimate goal of the exploratory stage of this study is to determine the criteria that would help identify potentially meaningful and lasting partnerships between etec and the Medical School. Case Studies of Potential Projects to Promote Partnerships with Medical Institutions Responding to Depleted Budgets through Forging New Partnerships Case Study 1: Ventures in Using Video 21 the center for cardiovascular Research negotiated the purchase of a Vevo 770, a high-resolution imaging system. a cardiovascular researcher has the ability to image in vivo the functionality of small animal anatomical and physiological features as well as the ability to measure blood flow. a researcher would use this to monitor heart attacks and other cardiovascular related illnesses. however, few individuals were familiar with the new piece of equipment, especially students. the center for cardiovascular Research purchased equipment enabling surgical procedures to be recorded and projected to a large wall-mounted screen for teaching students. the center for cardiovascular Researcher quickly recognized the potential to create learning tools for not only their own students but also students across the nation, given they were one of only a few centers nationally performing these specialized surgeries. the center for cardiovascular Research became a partner of etec-connections, an initiative that identifies partners with educational initiatives that use or are related to educational technology. the department of educational technology at the college of education had produced videos that were broadcast on local television. Faculty learned lessons regarding quality, file size, compressions, and web delivery that could leverage the expertise at the medical school. Researchers at the medical school recorded surgical techniques and worked with etec faculty to be able to deliver these videos on a mass scale, easily over the internet. Presently the initiative is investigating using the PayPal option via Moodle to house, charge, and globally distribute the videos. the center for cardiovascular Research was tasked with developing stronger educational resources, according to grant objectives mandated by the u.S. national institutes of health. using an instructional design framework, the etec department faculty could help medical researchers think through the development process to improve the purpose and delivery of education resources that capitalized on newer technologies. the medical school had content-specific knowledge that they need to package and distribute to their clientele; the educational technology department had the experience of developing video-based tutorials. For example, videos that provide training in surgical procedures on small rodents. these videos are recorded using high end equipment in addition to video-tutorials, digital story telling is likely to fill a much needed gap in the medical community. outreach educational initiatives are strongly being encouraged at national as well as local levels, including new initiatives aimed at patient and community health education. however, the knowledge of how to maximize new technologies to convey educational messages and distribute those messages, can be an area that departments of educational technology can assist clinicians and community health personnel envision in new ways that harness the power of new mediums. For example, digital story telling has been suggested to be a powerful tool and could easily be tapped to communicate the dangers of diabetes or childhood obesity. the medical field is searching for avenues to reach people on an individual basis and raise awareness in communities about critical and often life-threatening health conditions. the partnerships are just beginning to emerge that would capitalize on the strengths of each department’s strengths in this communal concern. Case Study 2: Educational Summer Programs Summer research experiences for promising youth have been a well-accepted practice in science and medical education. during these programs, a junior high school, high school, or undergraduate student will likely spend 6-12 weeks working alongside a researcher on their own science project. using scientific inquiry to solve real world problems, students have a taste of what the profession entails and learn foundational techniques. the u.S national institutes of health have increased investments into educational initiatives and are sending a message to medical researchers concerning the importance of promoting science educational initiatives. however, scientists who lead their fields in medical investigations typically do not ask research questions to increase knowledge about organizing summer programs, designing the curriculum students engage with over the summer, assessing the learning of the student, monitoring a student’s engagement and motivation to pursue science, and evaluating the longitudinal effects of participation in such interventions. these research questions more closely align to those of educational researchers. the current environment of the national institutes of health that is promoting new educational initiatives for students to pursue medical research provides a unique opportunity to forge new collaborations between medical and educational researchers as they develop and evaluate curriculum aimed at promoting long-term interest in science. Faculty from the department of educational technology have more experience with curriculum assessment, online surveys, databases of student participants, tele-mentoring, and social networking environments to unite summer program participants as a sample of a few of the topics being introduced to traditional summer programs for research interns. Pres- 22 Boulay, Fulford, and Leong ently, the etec-connections partnership is redesigning award-winning curriculum provided by the university of calgary for its local student population, while including the insights and experience of local scientists. infusing research-supported educational strategies into existing summer educational programs provides an opportunity rich for collaborations between faculty from distinct disciplines. Case Study 3: Medical Explorations into Distance Education online curriculum and programs have increased tremendously over the last decade. the medical field is no different; however online Md degree programs are still not offered among the 126 allopathic medical schools or the 28 osteopathic medical schools accredited in the united States. however, beginning trends are indicating recent interest that would predict the emergence of such programs. oceania university of Medicine was founded in 2002 and recently graduated its first 2007 cohort of six physicians. the program is a full-scale, rigorous medical school curriculum, typically completed in four years. designed and supervised by medical professors, instruction is through problem-based case studies, including the pre-clinical courses, rather than lengthy lectures about physiology or biochemistry in a full auditorium with little chance for interaction. Many uS medical schools are adapting their curricula to problem-based, or case-based, learning. this method uses a detailed patient scenario to present medical issues and problems that students work through to diagnose and treat, while at the same time, learning about the basic medical sciences that are pertinent to the disease or medical condition. For example, an asthma case would take students through diagnosis and treatment, then the physiology of respiration, the chemistry of how various treatments interact with the body, the anatomy of the lungs, and such subjects. “the future of medical education largely depends upon how well we use technology to improve its delivery to students around the world … i am pleased and humbled to join the world’s first medical school to make a mentor-supported distance learning environment a reality” Vice chancellor cheema, oceania university of Medicine, physically located in america Samoa. the field of educational technology has been developing expertise, understanding, and practical tools that support high quality distance education. as medical schools consider gradual inclusion of online curricula, partnerships between faculty knowledgeable with distance education and those with medical expertise will be needed. in addition to development of online programs, online units have an important place in medical education and research. at the university of hawaii, online modules were created to present institutional policies and practices to all individuals involved in research. For examples, online modules, accompanied with mandatory tests, are provided to all individuals wishing to conduct studies, involving the use of animals or participation by humans. Modules are presented in online course management system and successful completion is a prerequisite to being granted institutional clearance for the study. the design and development of such modules has a long history in departments of educational technology that place a strong emphasis on instructional design. Case Study 4: Systematic Educational Assessment assessment in higher education has been an increasing area of interest among policy makers. departments of educational technology have played a role in assisting colleges of education to utilize databases for tracking students during and after graduation from their teacher preparation programs. in the etec–connections initiative, the School of Medicine, recognized it needed to improve tracking potential target pools of students, tracking students after graduation, and monitoring other community initiatives to increase awareness and promote interest in health careers. the etec faculty had created tools that allowed for online surveys to be created easily. online surveys were created to measure young students’ interest in science and careers in science. alternative technologies, such as blogs, video documentaries, etc were presented as alternative approaches to gather information regarding students’ experiences in programs and to document their learning. as faculty in medicine and education, typically, use distinct measurement tools for gathering data, important lessons were learned as faculty came to understand each other’s approaches and data gathering methods. Faculty engaged in important discussions regarding alternative assessments, such as performance assessments, com- 23 Responding to Depleted Budgets through Forging New Partnerships mon in medical education, or portfolios of work, common in teacher education programs. interesting combined ideas emerged, such as, digital portfolios including a series of successful performance assessments combined with student reflections and surveys. needs analysis and/or system analysis, common theoretical underpinnings in fields such as educational technology, are less commonly used in medical education settings. using a systematic approach, departments and their respective faculty could determine problem areas and draw from a wide range of options from multiple fields to work together on a common goal of improving the assessment of educational initiatives. Evaluation Results table 1 provides a summary of the evaluation of the four case studies using Kanter’s criteria of 8 i’s that make successful We’s. a check mark indicates a criterion met by the case studies. each of the eight criterion are then presented followed by a brief description of how the case studies met or failed to meet the criterion. Table 1 comparison of Four case Studies to Kanter’s eight i’s of Successful Partnerships Criterion Case Study 1 √ √ √ √ √ Case Study 2 √ √ √ √ √ Case Study 3 √ √ √ √ √ Case Study 4 √ √ √ √ √ - Individual Excellence Interdependence Importance Investment Information Integrity Integration Institutionalization Criterion 1: Individual Excellence all four case studies met the criterion of individual excellence. each partnership capitalized on the strengths of each department (etec’s instructional design, curriculum assessment, online course design and development as well as needs analysis expertise and the Medical School’s content expertise and numerous research and grant funding opportunities) to create new opportunities. Criterion 2: Interdependence all four case studies met the criterion of interdependence. in case Study 1, the Medical School has content-specific knowledge while etec has the experience of developing video-based tutorials. together, the etec-Medical School partnership allowed them to produce video-based tutorials for delivery over the internet. in case Study 2, the Medical School has a youth summer research program as well as access to the award-winning university of calgary (uc) sum- 24 Boulay, Fulford, and Leong mer research curriculum while etec has curriculum assessment expertise and intimate knowledge of the local hawaii student population. together, both organizations are able to successfully redesign the uc summer program for delivery to a local student population. in case Study 3, the Medical School is considering gradual inclusion of online curriculum while etec has been developing expertise in instructional design for online course development. this Medical Schooletec partnership will enable the creation of an online medical curriculum. Finally, in case Study 4, the Medical School emphasizes high stakes performance assessment and their students need to meet high minimum standards in order to practice while education in general evaluates teacher candidates more holistically prior to licensure. together, an etecMedical school partnership would encourage the development of a holistic approach to high stakes performance assessment that would benefit both partners. Criterion 3: Importance Both partners, etec and the Medical School, have their unique stratagems and long-term objectives. a major strategic goal of the Medical School is to continue to meet its training needs and produce high-quality medical practitioners. the Medical School is interested in more efficiently and cost-effectively educating future medical practitioners, while increasing the quality of training and retention of knowledge by future clinicians. From current medical students to the future student pipeline into medicine, such as youth interested in science, the Medical school recognizes as a priority their responsibility to provide educational opportunities responsive to the needs of these current or future students. technology, through the initial projects described in this paper, provided advantages and augmented their plans to meet these goals. in regards to etec, the department currently holds two major strategic objectives relevant to this new partnership with a School of Medicine. First, the department is interested in providing real-life experiences and learning opportunities for their graduate students. the department desires quality experiences in which students solve real-world problems and pose new creative, technology-rich solutions. the medical-related projects provide real-world opportunities for guided instruction that enhance students ability to successfully engage with clientele in a future corporate job market, and students further see practical instructional design projects first hand. Second, etec desires to increase potential income streams as these provide more financial stability for the department. this is an important and timely issue in financial restrictive budget periods. expanding potential income streams beyond state legislative funding or extramural funding, allows the department to complement those resources with a potentially more stable and lucrative income stream. Criterion 4: Investment none of the four case studies met this criterion. this could be attributed to the fact that unlike the private sector, public institutions such as etec and the medical school are not organized to engage in company takeovers or mergers. Further, rarely can public educational institutions share profits or equity, like companies can. this criterion may need to be redefined for application to educational partnership; however is still relevant when redefined. While etec and the Medical School have not clearly invested financially in each other in this case study, this criterion should be redefined to include sharing of human resources, such as time and energy of faculty or students. the etec and Medical School partnership recognizes their need to pay more attention to this criterion in the future. Criterion 5: Information While all four case studies were deemed to have met this criterion, the researchers felt that this criterion is not as explicitly met through the descriptions of the case studies above. this criterion is met as a pre-condition to forming the four collaborative projects. Without strong communication between the institutional entities, the ideas, plans, and execution of the projects would not have been possible. the attitudes and opinions of those working on the projects is that this criterion is met, while little evidence of the quality of meeting the criterion was not documented. Responding to Depleted Budgets through Forging New Partnerships Criterion 6: Integrity 25 this criterion is more subjectively met than objectively observed, within the examples of the partnership being studied. if this criterion was not met, then none of the projects described could have been materialized. in other words, the criterion of integrity that emphasizes enhancing mutual trust and not undermining the other partner, is critical to the continuation of any initial partnership. Partnerships in which issues of integrity are raised would likely dissolve quickly in educational environments. Criterion 7: Integration none of the four case studies met this criterion. the researchers would posit that this criterion was not met partially due to the emerging relationship between the partners. Criterion 8: Institutionalization none of the four case studies met this criterion. the relationship between etec and the Medical School is not formally identified. While giving credit to the other partner is underway, the partnership is still emerging and does not exhibit the strength necessary to meet this criterion. Summary on each project examined, some criteria were met. For an initiative to form new partnerships, some minimal criteria have to be met. in examining the four cases in this study, the same criteria were more commonly met on each project. the criterion of individual excellence, importance, and interdependence seemed critical in the formation of a new partnership. in addition to meeting these criteria, the new partnership exhibited no negative behaviors that would have eliminated the partnership from meeting the criterion of information or integrity. these steps combined to allow the success of a newly forged partnership and the realization of the four projects described as cases in this paper. however, the stability of this partnership is still being established, as evident from the lack of meeting more long-term criterion such as institutionalization or integration. a strategic examination of the partnership, such as this paper, is useful in guiding the partnership to strengthen itself. using criterion, such as Kanter’s eight i’s in successful partnerships, education departments can target useful and productive steps in identifying and strategically approaching partners who can contribute to their long-term goals and objectives. Conclusion Partnerships are essential in teacher preparation. colleges of education frequently have strong working relationships with other content specialty areas, such as Biology, Math, english, art, Music, etc., especially for educating secondary teachers. also, partnerships with local schools or districts are critical for field placements. While partnerships are common and often robust, critical examination of the formation of those relationships is less frequently examined. While many educators would generally support interdisciplinary efforts, educators need to understand partnership formation through an interdisciplinary lens, embracing knowledge and expertise outside of traditional lines of educational literature. this study aims to triangulate knowledge and efforts from the fields of educational technology, business, and biomedical science. this study suggests that literature from the business discipline may provide useful theoretical frameworks for critical examination of partnership formation in teacher education, which may be useful in examining the formation of many different types of educational partners. educational technology is an interesting field of study because it is constantly evolving. new technologies are designed and created, new tools are launched or repackaged to ease consumer use, and new constituents become interested in the use of technology to meet their educational goals. as departments of educational technology and faculty who 26 Boulay, Fulford, and Leong teach within those departments, it is too easy to get stuck in a rut of “doing the same old thing.” after the national cohesion fostered through the founding of the Pt3 community, departments of educational technology and their faculty needed to reposition themselves to pursue “new” directions. a further challenge for educational departments is to do this within a restrictive funding period such as the current environment in much of the united States. this process of institutionalizing one set of activities and moving on to the next large project is important to examine in more detail, to ensure that (1) activities and initiatives started by grant projects are not completely abandoned, (2) new topic areas interested in educational initiatives are able to link up with expertise from within the field of educational technology, and (3) new revenue streams are pursued that can stabilize departments during restrictive budget periods. an institutional case study of one educational technology department was begun to observe this natural progression “on-to-the-next-thing in educational technology. this paper presents the research in progress from this institutional case study. the etec faculty began to focus on educational initiatives within a local medical school forging a new collaboration with faculty in the medical school, four initial projects stimulated the partnership: video tutorials, online course development, summer curriculum development, and systematic educational assessment. in addition to highlighting these opportunistic projects for other technology-focused departments, these projects were analyzed against criterion of successful partnerships to highlight lessons in the formation of new interdisciplinary partnerships. By branching out of the traditional teacher education partnerships, faculty from the etec department discovered numerous projects where expertise from etec and Medicine could easily construct interdisciplinary education and collaborative advantages, leveraging specialties from different disciplines and hopefully broadening the student experience. References Bulger, R. J. (1995). generalism and the need for health professional educational reform. Academic Medicine, 70 (1), 31-35. casey, M. (2008). Partnership--success factors of interorganizational relationships. J Nurs Manag.,16 (1), 72-83. ivanitskaya, l., clark, d., Montgomery, g., & Primeau, R. (2002). interdisciplinary learning: Process and outcomes. Innovative Higher Education, 27 (2), 95-111. Kanter, R. M. (1994). collaborative advantage: the art of alliances. Harvard Business Review, July-aug, 96-108. larson, e. l., debasio, n. o., Mundinger, M. o., & Shoemaker, J. K. (1996). interdisciplinary education and practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 12 (2), 119-123. Acknowledgements Funding for this research was provided through the following grants: uS department of education grant no. P336c050047 and uS national institutes of health grant no. P20RR16453 and hl073449, Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 27-31 Integrating Tablet Technology into an Elementary Mathematics Methods Course Megan Burton University of South Carolina, USA using a tablet PC in a mathematics methods course for pre-service elementary teachers, the author implemented a variety of interactive conversations about mathematical thinking, teaching, learning, and assessment. Pre-service teachers who worked individually with students during the course displayed the work products to foster discussions about pedagogy, instruction, assessment, and student thinking. Pre-service teachers analyzed the student work and discussed both oral and written feedback that could support student growth. the ability to display and manipulate the work of students in the elementary school where this course was offered created meaningful dialogue and growth for pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in this course. tablet Personal Computers (PCs) are fully functioning personal computers that allow the user to go beyond typing capabilities and instead draw or write on the screen in any area and over data already displayed on the screen. this capability to handwrite on the screen, otherwise know as inking, creates innovative possibilities for the use of personal computers in the elementary mathematics classroom. the benefits of inking can already be seen in many classrooms by the use of Promethean boards or Smart boards. these boards have been used for graphing, displaying virtual manipulatives, introducing or reviewing a concept, and taking notes and writing on prepared presentations. the tablet PC could take this work a step further, by allowing more students to record thoughts at one time and to work individually, instead of in the whole class setting that the Promethean board and Smart board provide. using tablet PCs in a mathematics methods course for pre-service elementary teachers, the author used actual elementary student work from the course to foster discussions about pedagogy, instruction, assessment, and student thinking. Pre-service teachers analyzed the student work and discussed both oral and written feedback that could support student growth. While the use of only one tablet for the entire class had some restrictions, the ability to display and manipulate the work of students in the elementary school where this course was offered created meaningful dialogue and growth for pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in this course. Background the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (national Council of teachers of Mathematics [nCtM], 2000) articulates that that all students should be proficient in the use of technology. the technology principle states that instruction and student learning is enhanced by the appropriate use of technology. It is a vital component of effective mathematics classrooms. Pre-service teachers often do not have personal experiences learning mathematics with technol- 28 Burton ogy as a tool and this in turn minimizes their effectiveness in using technology when teaching mathematics. even when technology is implemented in elementary mathematics classrooms, it is often for the sake of using technology, rather than enhancing learning goals. If educators want teachers to be able to teach mathematics with technology appropriately and effectively, then modeling this in higher education and teacher preparation courses is essential. teacher preparation programs must become models and leaders for effectively implementing technology to enhance instruction and learning (Browning & Klespis, 2000; garofalo, Drier, Harper, timmerman, & Shockey, 2000). Pre-service teachers need to experience technology being implemented in natural ways that enhance understanding for themselves and their students. the use of tablet PCs to involve students in learning is a growing concept. the role and possibilities for this instrument are still being explored, expanded, and refined. For example, tutty and White (2006) examined the impact of tablet PCs when used to teach a programming unit in a technology course. they found that the use of the tablet PC promoted engagement and socialization that played an important role in the learning environment. tablet PCs supported the balance of active participation, building on knowledge, introducing new information, and refining ideas and concepts. through this balanced approach, they found that students were able to successfully revise concepts and knowledge. However, the research concerning using tablet PCs to impact teaching and learning is meager and more research on this topic needs to be done to effectively evaluate this technology’s role in education. the inking ability provided by tablet PCs provides a wealth of possibilities. It allows both teachers and students to interact, draw attention to specific points on a display, demonstrate strategies and thinking processes, and use the screen of a tablet PC as a working document for collaboration and dynamic communication (reins, 2007). Work between students and teachers using inking can be saved on the tablet PC for future discussions, revisions, and assessment purposes. Pre-service elementary teachers in one study reported that beliefs and understanding of concepts were often revised and refined through the inking shared by other pre-service teachers in the class (reins, 2007). they also expressed that effectively using digital ink technology on a projected image made them more self-aware, engaged, and reflective. garofalo, J., Drier, H. S., Harper, S., timmerman, M. a., & Shockey, t. (2000) categorized uses of technology in teacher education according to the primary user of the technology—the teacher educator, the teacher, or the student. the teacher educator is the primary user of technology when teacher educators use video case studies and multi media presentations to share new information or provide discussion material for pre-service teachers. When pre-service teachers are taught to use word processing programs, grade books and record keeping software, or web page production, they are being trained to be the primary user of technology. Both of these categories are often seen in teacher education programs. However, an important goal often missed is the third approach, which involves preparing prospective teachers to have students as primary users of technology. although the use of technology by teacher educators and pre-service teachers to enhance instruction, provide classroom models through videos, present materials, and other scenarios can be effective uses in the classroom, it neglects the third important use of technology in teacher education. Pre-service teachers need to experience effective use of technology where the student is the primary user of the technology. they need to be able to use the technology to explore and investigate concepts in their courses, where they are the student and to prepare and implement experiences in which the elementary students are the primary users of the technology. In addition, pre-service teachers need to explore technology in elementary mathematics beyond calculators, websites, virtual manipulatives, and graphing software. While these are important and useful, there are other forms of technology that can be beneficial in different capacities. nCtM (2000) advocates that teachers should use technology to support investigations of concepts, problem solving, and communication of thought processes. this paper focuses on the implementation of technology under the third category. there are many crucial aspects to consider when planning for instruction with technology. It is important to recognize and take into consideration the impact that both negative and positive experiences will have upon the beliefs for preservice teachers. these experiences with technology will affect the perceptions and understanding of the content being taught and the role of technology in the classroom for these future teachers. For that reason, teacher educators need to be very systematic in the ways they introduce and use technology in their classroom. For many students a teacher education course may be the first time they use a tablet PC, so it is critical that they have experiences that are engaging, meaningful, and support understanding. reins (2007) suggests that a classroom culture must be developed by the instructor to help students realize that incorrect answers or unproductive routes are acceptable, helpful, and often necessary in the learning process, especially in mathematics. Without this understanding, the capabilities for revision and refinement of mathematics ideas on a tablet PC may be lost. they may not fully recognize the role in learning an incorrect solution being displayed on a tablet PC can have in fostering understanding among all learners. a classroom community in which students support and encour- 29 Integrating Tablet Technology into an Elementary age each other in their meta-cognitive thinking is important if they are going to use the table PC as a tool for refinement, growth, and communication. However, this is an important element in effective instruction both with and without the use of tablet PCs. this culture is developed through modeling, questioning, comments, and open-ended inquiry activities. garofalo, Shockey, Harper, & Drier (1999) created a set of guidelines for the appropriate uses of technology in mathematics teaching. these include introducing technology in context, using appropriate pedagogy to address worthwhile mathematics, take advantage of technology, connecting the technology to mathematical topics, and incorporating multiple representations. these guidelines were used when planning ways to incorporate the tablet PC into the mathematics methods classroom. this paper explores the use of a tablet PC with pre-service teachers to examine student work and plan future instruction. Participants the university is a midsize, public university in the southeast. the student population is approximately 27,400 students, including 18,500 undergraduates. the College of education has approximately 1,070 undergraduates enrolled with approximately 90 students in their second semester of their junior year, which is the semester in which the elementary mathematics methods course is offered, according to the degree’s program of study. the structure of the elementary education undergraduate program requires all elementary pre-service teachers to take two elementary content courses in the mathematics department before taking the mathematics methods course from the College of education. elementary teachers at this institution are certified grade 2 through grade 6. the pre-service teachers at this accredited institution of higher education move through this program as a cohort or group of students, taking all of their coursework together. the participants, pre-service teachers, in this course had limited exposure to digital ink technology prior to this course. Pre-service teachers initially reported that most had seen this technology in various venues such as on signature machines for credit cards. Most had seen Promethean boards in classrooms where they had observed or worked with small groups. However, only two out of the 32, had personally used a Promethean board or tablet PC before. only one had used this type of stylus technology when working with a student. this lack of experience with digital ink technology further supported the need for exposure to this type of tool. In fact, most of the cooperating teachers in the urban and suburban districts where the pre-service teachers are placed use technology such as Promethean boards on a daily basis to enhance instruction. thus the incorporation of technology and discussion about appropriate ways to use this tool to enhance instruction are important. The Course the mathematics methods course is designed to encourage pre-service teachers to critically analyze the process of teaching, learning, and student thinking in the elementary grades. Prior to taking this course, participants have completed two courses that focus on mathematical content for teaching elementary school. the three-hour methods course is taught at an elementary school, with 35 minutes devoted to working with elementary students at this school. In addition to this field experience, pre-service teachers are in the field one day a week and participate in two full weeks at that placement during the semester. these field experiences are used to explore student thinking and connect the literature to pre-service teachers’ real world experiences. the instructor implemented a tablet PC into the methods course in a variety of ways for the purpose of increasing pre-service teachers’ understanding of their own mathematical thinking as well as their students. In addition the tablet PC was implemented to increase awareness and comfort in effectively using technology to support learning. an open-ended questionnaire was completed by pre-service teachers before and after the course to receive feedback concerning perceptions of the using tablet PC and other technologies in the mathematics methods course and in elementary mathematics instruction. this was an initial trial to determine if purchasing class sets of tablet PCs would be a worthwhile endeavor for this course. In addition, due to the fact that the course is taught on school sites, often in theatres, sciences labs, and other resource rooms where Promethean boards are not available, the tablet PC with an LCD projector was used to assist preservice teachers as they explore appropriate ways to use this type of technology in interactive elementary classrooms. the tablet PC was integrated into the classroom in a variety of ways to help support the instructional goals of the course. all presentations were done using the tablet PC and LCD projector. this allowed pre-service teachers and the Burton instructor to make notes on the presentation as issues arose. after class, the instructor would email the pre-service teachers these notes along with a reflection about the class. Websites, such as the national Library of Virtual Manipulatives (nLVM), were explored using the tablet PC. the tablet was used to explain assessments. For example, a sample lesson plan was displayed and prospective teachers used the tablet PC to modify the plan to meet the students’ needs and the instructor’s expectations. then these notes were sent to each pre-service teacher for future reference. In addition, pre-service teachers used the tablet PC to explain their thinking and strategies on various problems. this created opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn from each other as well as communicate their thinking, which are goals for these preservice teachers as well as their students. However, the use of the tablet PC to explore elementary students’ mathematical thinking and pedagogical approaches to support specific student growth was one of the most unique uses in this course. thirty minutes of each mathematics methods class was spent with elementary students. the pre-service teachers would work in pairs with 2 elementary students on various concepts the students were learning in school. this provided the elementary students with more individualized instruction and the pre-service teachers with opportunities to plan, implement, and reflect upon instruction specific to individual elementary student needs. It also allowed pre-service teachers an opportunity to hear elementary students explain their mathematical thinking and problem solving strategies. each week 2 pre-service teachers used the tablet PC with their students during this thirty-minute instruction time. they would have their students write and draw their strategies and solutions on the tablet PC. When the thirty-minute instruction time was over, the pre-service teachers came back together to discuss the experiences during this time. all pre-service teachers were invited to share observations, thoughts, and concerns about their time with the elementary students. then the class would focus on the work of the 2 pre-service teachers who used the tablet PC for that week. the work was displayed using the LCD projector and it supported classroom discussions about student thinking and learning. the pre-service teachers were engaged in learning about student thinking using these real world examples of students they knew. Displaying the work with an LCD projector allowed all pre-service teachers to see what the child had done while the presenting pre-service teachers provided background information about the student and situation. Strategies for orally working with the student in future lessons were given. For example if a student was struggling with equivalent fractions, the suggestions might be to provide manipulatives, to have the student draw the fractions using the same figure, or to play the game Fraction tracks. In addition to suggesting future instruction, this work was assessed in a variety of ways. While discussing various assessment techniques for this type of work, the tablet PC was used to demonstrate comments, questions, and scoring for each particular sample. the work was then saved on the tablet PC and was emailed to the pre-service teacher for future reference. 30 Pre-service Teacher Perceptions although all of the strategies using the tablet PC were seen as positive by most pre-service teachers on the final evaluation, there was one strategy that was mentioned by all as being the most powerful portion of the class. the self reported greatest impact upon prospective teacher’s learning was allowing them to use the tablet with their individual students to record their strategies during problem solving activities. In addition to valuing the individual record of their work with their own elementary student, the pre-service teachers valued being able to see student work from other students in the same class, while hearing their peers discuss their experiences. one student commented, “It is amazing how different students in the same class can be. I am glad we were able to talk about all types of students and ways to reach them and support their learning.” using the tablet PC as a natural part of our mathematics methods course provided an opportunity for pre-service teachers to experience how technology can be used effectively without detracting from the content. “I plan on using the Smartboard to have students share their different strategies and support each other in our math community. I never would have thought of that before this class,” was a reflection made by one pre-service teacher. thus, in addition to learning about student thinking and learning with support from the tablet PC, the pre-service teachers also became comfortable using this technology with students individually and as part of interactive whole group discussions. this newfound comfort with technology integration was apparent in lesson plans of prospective teachers, which integrated calculators and Promethean boards in more meaningful content development than previously observed. one pre-service teacher who completed her lesson with technology reported back that her cooperating teacher had never considered using Promethean boards as part of discussions about student thinking. the prospective teacher said that her cooperating teacher is now using this technology in new ways as well. this demonstrates that the effects of using technology in pre-service teacher education can be a ripple affect upon others in the education community. 31 Integrating Tablet Technology into an Elementary the pre-service teachers experienced a transformation in their thinking about technology. Instead of working technology into lessons, it became a natural tool to support student growth. overall, the major benefits from incorporating the tablet PC were (a) the pre-service teachers used the tablet PC to express their own mathematical thinking, (b) the preservice teachers used the tablet PC to explore student thinking and (c) the pre-service teachers became more confident in teaching mathematics with the use of technology. Conclusion Incorporating technology in meaningful ways that support the nCtM Principles and Standards (2000) is an important part of elementary mathematics methods courses. tablet PCs are one tool that can be an important part of pre-service teachers’ professional growth about their own mathematical knowledge, student thinking, and the use of technology for instructional purposes. Papert described (1980) technology as being a tool the child can “manipulate, extend, and apply to projects, thereby gaining a greater and more articulate mastery of the world, a sense of power of applied knowledge.” Students feel engaged when the class discussion is interactive, as it can be using tablet PCs. When technology is used as an integral means to achieve essential goals of the course, rather than for the sole purpose of showing technology, pre-service teachers begin to develop an awareness of the natural role technology can play in their future classrooms. one goal of elementary classrooms, according to Kamii and Housman (1999) is to create a culture where students are comfortable learning from each other. this occurs by sharing strategies, solutions, and misconceptions in a supportive, and engaging environment. Instructors of mathematics methods courses need to foster these ideas through their instruction. tablet PCs can be an effective tool in this process. References Browning, C. a., & Klespis, M. L. (2000). a reaction to garofalo, Drier, Harper, timmerman, and Shockey. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, [online serial], 1(2). available: http://www.citejournal. org/vol1/iss2/currentissues/mathematics/article1.htm garofalo, J., Drier, H. S., Harper, S., timmerman, M. a., & Shockey, t. (2000). Promoting appropriate use of technology in mathematics teacher preparation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [online serial], 1(1). available: garofalo, J., Shockey, t., Harper, S., & Drier, H. (1999). the Impact project at Virginia: Promoting appropriate uses of technology in mathematics teaching. Virginia Mathematics Teacher , 25 (2), 14-15. Kamii, C. & Housman, L. (1999). Young children reinvent arithmetic: Implications of Piaget’s theory. new York: teachers College Press. Papert, S. (1980). teaching children thinking. In taylor, r. (eds.), The Computer in School: Tutor, Tool, Tutee (pp. 161-176). new York: teachers College Press. reins, K. (2007). Digital tablet PCs as new technologies of writing and learning: a survey of perceptions of digital ink technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [online serial], 7(3). available: national Council of teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. reston, Va: author. tutty, J., & White, B. (2006). tablet classroom interactions. In D. tolhurst & S. Mann (eds.), Conferences in Research in Practice in Information Technology: Vol. 52. Eighth Australasian Computing Education Conference (pp. 229-233). Hobart, australia: australian Computer Society. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 33-41 Class Map for Community in Online Education Course Terence W. cavanaugh University of North Florida, USA caThy cavanaugh University of Florida, USA SWapna Kumar Boston University, USA This paper examines using a shared student-generated and interactive map displaying the locations of students in an online course as a resource for community building. Facilitating stronger feelings of community is an important component for retention, student satisfaction, and learning outcomes in an online course. rovai’s classroom community Scale was adapted to create a survey consisting of Likert questions addressing ten elements of community. The study took place in an online asynchronously delivered graduate educational technology course in which the map was used as a graphical form of dialogue in the cmS. The effect of the map was found through the analysis of measures of central tendency to be positive for all ten elements of community. The four most influenced elements were decreased isolation, feeling connected, feelings of community, and relating to each other. as online courses become a more common delivery format in education, course designs need to adapt and evolve that address the specific needs of instructors and students who may be located in far-ranging geographic locations. While students gravitate to online courses for convenience and for access to educational opportunity, they may feel uncomfortably removed and isolated from their peers and instructors. The art and science of online course design for adults has developed over decades: informed by research, reflecting changes in delivery technology, and accommodating shifting audience needs. To make the right instructional and design decisions, online educators depend on studies focusing on current technology, strategies, and learners. This paper examines a recent development in online courses, a shared interactive map, and it summarizes data on the contributions of the map to the effectiveness of online education courses. evaluations of online course effectiveness have focused on the quality of the entire course (huang 2002; rovai 2002a), individual learning objects and their functionality (Krauss & ally 2005), and ways that course content influence 34 Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh, and Kumar student connectedness in a course (Jung 2007). The goal of this study is to examine the value of a specific course element, which has been shown in pilot studies to positively contribute to online course experiences (Kennedy & cavanaugh 2008). This study carries forward a multi-step research agenda investigating the course components that appear to be most effective in online teacher education courses. Background The study described here took place in online asynchronously delivered graduate educational technology and educational leadership courses for educational administrators and instructional technology students in which a graphical form of dialogue was added to the forms of dialogue already supported by the course management systems (cmS), in this case Blackboard. The cmS supported asynchronous forms of dialogue including threaded discussion, a blog, and a wiki, and it supported synchronous forms of dialogue including chat and shared applications in the virtual classroom. most of the cmS-supported forms of dialogue rely on text, with the exception of shared applications. Figure 1 below illustrates the range of synchronous and asynchronous tools used in online courses and the comparative forms of control over the collaboration supported by each tool (cavanaugh & cavanaugh 2008). Tools that fall near the democratic end of the control spectrum are those that allow equal participation and control among students and instructors. In contrast, tools near the authoritarian end of the spectrum tend to be dominated by one or a few individuals. Figure 1. Synchronous and asynchronous tools used in online classes. The current abilities of online learning allows for incorporating rich media experiences meeting the learning styles or preferences for many learners (Dede, Dieterle, clarke, Ketelhut, & nelson 2007). This application of multimedia better engages the learner’s attention (reeves 1998) at the same time supporting learners who have a more visual learning style. The initial pilot study involved here used the visual and spatial medium of the interactive geographic map as an introduced form of dialogue with which students communicated information that the authors hypothesized would reduce their sense of isolation in the course and increase their sense of community, in particular for students whose visual/spatial styles were not well-supported by text-based community dialogue tools. These interactive maps are Web 2.0 tools for social networking and user-created content that hold potential for collaborative work in distance education (moore 2007). Sharing of information between students has been shown to increase a sense of community within a class (cutler 1995), and in this case the purpose of the shared maps was as a class community building experience, enhancing their social presence within the online course environment (rovai 2002a). Class Map for Community in Online Education Course Transactional Distance 35 The elements of online courses function together with the instructor and the students to create the learning environment. a frame for understanding the contributions of online course elements to the learning system is offered by the theory of transactional distance. Transactional distance, the learner’s sense of removal from the learning experience, is believed to depend on the instructor’s design of the course (structure), the instructor’s communication of expectations to the learner (dialogue), and the learner’s ability to enhance his/her own learning experience (autonomy) (moore 2007). Low transactional distance is believed to correspond with higher achievement and satisfaction in online courses. In a pilot study of transactional distance among 10 elements in an online education course, a shared asynchronous interactive map was found to be the most significant contributor to reduction of transactional distance among the five nontext course elements (Kennedy & cavanaugh 2008). On this basis, the course map was selected for a deeper examination. Because the map is student-generated and dynamic, it displays the geographic locations of all students in the course. The map makes visual and more immediate each student’s understanding of his or her co-learners position in space, thereby providing a visual-spatial marker in addition to the conceptual-verbal knowledge that students build of their classmates through online communication. The added sensory awareness of classmates might increase the immediacy of the learning community in the course. Community Online educators have consistently attempted to find ways to build and sustain feelings of community and reduce transactional distance in the absence of face-to-face interactions in online courses. a sense of community has been defined as “the perception of similarity to others, and acknowledged interdependence with others, a willingness to maintain this interdependence… a feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable structure” (Sarason 1974, p. 157) and has been found to play an important role in student satisfaction, perceptions of learning, collaboration and retention (rovai 2002a; 2002b; Shea 2006; Shea, Li & picket 2006). Brown (2001) identified three stages in the development of a sense of community online – making online acquaintances, feeling a part of community due to the exchange of ideas, and camaraderie as a result of intense association. The community of inquiry framework in online learning developed by garrison, anderson, and archer (2000) included the construct social presence, which they defined as “the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally, as ‘real’ people” (p. 94). The authors stated that social presence was crucial to the creation of an online community. a number of research studies reinforced the importance of social presence by concluding that social presence is positively related to learning outcomes and increases student satisfaction with the online environment as a medium of delivery (arbaugh 2005; arbaugh & Benbunan-Fich 2006; arbaugh & hwang 2006). Simultaneously, feelings of isolation and hindered social development, which are indicators of low sense of community in online courses, were suggested to have contributed to dropout rates (Tinto 1993; Wegerif 1998). Facilitating stronger feelings of community is therefore important to retention, student satisfaction, and learning outcomes in an online course. These elements are core constructs of the scale used to estimate the values of the collaborative main in the online course, as described in the next section. In order to ascertain the contribution of interactive online maps to students’ feeling of community, the researchers/we found it important to define sense of community and its possible relationship with learning. mcmillan and chavis’ (1986) definition of sense of community as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together” (p. 9) was adopted as a basis for this study. mcmillan and chavis identified the following four elements of a community – membership or spirit of community, influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and a shared emotional connection. Instructional Method The shared asynchronous mapping tool was initially used in a pilot class learning within an online course environment. The number of times that the map web page was accessed indicated that students were not regularly using the page. Therefore the placement of the class map was changed to an always-visible area of the course. When such a loca- 36 Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh, and Kumar tion is not feasible, an always-visible link to the map is acceptable. In the pilot course, the map display was redesigned to display to the students every time they entered the course environment. In Blackboard, the map tool was used as a permanent announcement. See Figure 2 for example class display in announcements section. In order to determine the compatibility of the course map tool with multiple learning management systems, the class map was tested in the moodle cmS. In these tests with moodle, the map was displayed in an hTmL block on the side of the screen, where it was always shown on the course’s main page. at the start of the semester, one of the students’ initial assignments was to participate in the development of an interactive geographic Information System (gIS)-based map. gIS programs input, store, retrieve, and analyze data sets corresponding to geographic locations, often in the form of map-like spatial representations. The interactive class maps provided a method of cooperative student participation in a course product and assisted in the visualization of the students as members of a group, through the display of course members’ locations. In order to deploy shared course maps in the online course, three components were needed: an online tool that identified longitude and latitude from a street address, a shared spreadsheet for the longitude and latitude data input by each student, and the map that displayed the location data in the cmS. Students used online tools, such as maporama and google maps to find their location in terms of longitude and latitude. Then using a collaborative spreadsheet available from editgrid they added their information to the map: their name, place of work, latitude, and longitude. editgrid is a Web 2.0 tool that includes an add-on called grid2map. This add-on transformed information from the spreadsheet into a keyhole markup language (KmL) data file that was plotted onto a digital map. This information was then automatically saved and used to update the map after each person had added his or her information. editgrid plotted gIS data on a google map and provided the necessary hTmL code to display the class map with all plotted points within the course environment. Figure 2. Sample class map embedded into the course management system. as a course component, the collaborative map addresses online course design standards. Specifically, the map contributes to the Sloan-c pillar of Quality Online education that is central to student learning, “learning effectiveness” (Sloan consortium n.d.). The learning effectiveness pillar includes effective practices related to course design, learning resources, interaction, and learning outcomes, among others. The goal of this pillar is proving quality learning experience. In this pillar, as in the course that used the map, community building is emphasized. as a course activity, the collaborative map also addresses instructional standards for the target population. In this case, the student development and use of the map contributed to several International Society for Technology in education (ISTe) educational technology standards for teachers. The collaborative construction of the map allowed the teachers to actually participate and model collaborative knowledge construction as they participated in this virtual community building activity, there by addressing the ISTe standards relating to (1) Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and creativity and (5) engage in professional growth and Leadership (2008). The Classroom Community Scale To measure the effects of the use of the collaborative course map, a survey instrument was developed to determine the extent to which the maps contributed to students’ sense of community in the course. rovai (2002a) used mcmillan and chavis’ (1986) definition to identify the essential elements of community as Class Map for Community in Online Education Course • • • • • • • • • mutual interdependence among members Sense of belonging connectedness Spirit Trust Interactivity common expectations Shared values and goals Overlapping histories among members (p. 3) 37 adapting mcmillan and chavis’ four elements for online courses, rovai (2002a) proposed four dimensions of classroom community - spirit, trust, interaction, and commonality of expectations and goals. In order to assess sense of community in online courses, he developed a Sense of classroom community Index (SccI) that consisted of 40 items, where 10 items made up a subscale reflecting each of the four dimensions. he used a five-point Likert scale that participants would use to rate their feelings of spirit, trust, interaction, and learning in an online course. a score could be computed by scoring and reverse-scoring the items such that higher scores corresponded to stronger sense of community. Later, rovai (2002c) developed a second set of 20 items that represented “the specific setting of the classroom, either traditional or virtual” (p. 201) and that had been rated as highly relevant to sense of community in a classroom environment by three professors of educational psychology. rovai reported that the cronbach’s coefficient of reliability for the classroom community Scale was .93 and the equal-length split-half coefficient was .91 (p. 206). The two sub-scales of 10 items each that reflected connectedness (cronbach’s alpha = .92) and learning (cronbach’s alpha = .87) also had a good reliability. The classroom community Scale has later been successfully used to measure sense of community in online courses in research studies with over 400 graduate students as participants (rovai 2002b; 2002c; rovai & Wighting 2005). Development of the Instrument rovai’s classroom community Scale was adopted for this study because it adapted mcmillan and chavis’s definition of community for online courses and has had a high reliability in online courses. The 10 items of the classroom community scale that were classified by rovai (2002c) as a connectedness or social community subscale were used to assess the sense of community among graduate students who used interactive maps in online courses in this study. The items were reworded using the past tense and specified interactive maps, because the instrument was to be administered at the end of an online course, and the researchers wanted to be sure the students were referring to the interactive maps. e.g. “I feel that students in this course care about each other” read “The class map made me feel that students in this course care about each other.” Based on the results of early evaluation with 12 graduate students in an online educational technology course, the survey was expanded to 20 items focusing on community. each item was asked twice: once worded in the positive and once in the matched negative. e.g. ‘The use of the class map made me feel isolated in this course’ and ‘the use of the class map made me feel more of a member of this course.’ The questions were randomized for online delivery. participants were asked to rate the items using a Likert scale that included strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree. The researcher adjusted the values assigned to different alternatives from ‘Strongly Disagree’ to ‘Strongly agree’ of some items. Items which expressed negative attitudes had values assigned to their alternatives reversed, so that the response ‘Strongly Disagree’ was assigned a value of +2 instead of -2, the response ‘Strongly agree’ was valued as -2 instead of +2, and so on. Thus, the total score revealed respondent’s degree of attitude, positive or negative towards the use of the class map. See Table 1 for the associated scoring based upon the question type and the answer given. 38 Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh, and Kumar Table 1 values associated with responses to Survey Questions Likert scale responses Strongly agree Agree Neither agree or disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Positively worded questions +2 +1 0 -1 -2 Negatively worded questions -2 -1 0 +1 +2 Participants The online course section was offered for 23 students who were enrolled in a graduate educational technology or educational leadership degree program in a southeastern university. all of the students were educators in K-adult organizations. geographically, the students resided within the state in which the course originated, within 50 miles from campus. however, during the terms in which the courses were offered, some of the students as well as the instructors traveled beyond state and national borders. These students ranged in experience as users of media and Web-based technology, with some having basic skills necessary to take a distance learning course and others being more experienced. Data a descriptive analysis of the survey results included the mean, standard deviation, mode, median and range to examine the students’ interpretation of the community aspects that the map tool may influence. In the work leading up to this study the shared asynchronous interactive map contributed to reducing transactional distance, having the greatest effect among the five non-text course elements assessed. The higher the score, in the range of -2 to +2, the more positive attitudes a respondent had toward community building with the class map. The effect of the shared asynchronous collaborative map was found through the analysis of measures of central tendency to be an overall positive for all ten areas, with 54.8% of responses indicating a positive effect, 36.5% being neutral, and only 8.7% indicating a negative effect (see Figure 3). as shown in Figure 3, some students’ responses showed extremely negative attitudes towards the use of the class map for community building. Irrespective of this, a mean score of +0.55621, a mode of +1 and a median of +1 for the responses indicate that the majority of the students had moderately or strongly positive attitudes towards community development with the class map (see Table 2). Class Map for Community in Online Education Course 39 Figure 3. plot of responses for all questions relating to community building. The community survey consisted of questions covering ten elements of community. In order to better identify the effectiveness of the class map as a tool for community building, the survey items were paired by the ten elements of community and then analyzed. all ten elements of community were rated by participants as contributing positively, as indicated by their central tendency. The most highly rated elements were decreased feeling of isolation and a feeling of being connected, followed by feelings of community and reliability. analysis indicated that the four strongest areas, with positive medians and the modes, were decreased isolation, feeling connected, feelings of community, and feelings of relating to each other (see Table 2). eighty percent of participant ratings indicated that the map decreased feelings of isolation or made the participant feel more of a member of the class. Only 6% of participants indicated an increased feeling of isolation. a feeling of connection to others in the course was indicated by 76% of participants, while only 6.5% indicated a lack of connectedness. The majority of participants (65%) indicated that the maps contributed to their sense of community, while only 8.7% felt it did not. Likewise, a majority of participants (61%) indicated that the map assisted in relationship development, while 30.43% were neutral, and only 8.7% felt it did not. according to student’s self reports the use of the collaborative class map statistically indicated a positive influence on the sense of community among the students in the online class. all of the surveyed elements of community indicated some positive impact, with decreased feeling of isolation and a feeling of being connected as the most positively influenced elements, followed by community and relationships. In this case, because the students were enrolled in a graduate educational technology class, the use of the map was also a component for achieving course based learning objectives such as use of communications technologies that support active, individualized, engaged, and constructive learning. To better determine the impact that class mapping may have on community future studies should include methodologies that go beyond self-reporting, such as random grouping into control and variable versions of courses. 40 Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh, and Kumar Table 2 Descriptive Statistics Results for the Ten Elements of Community Being Assessed Elements of Community Overall summary Decreased feeling of isolation Feeling of being connected Feelings of community Relating to each other Feeling of reliability Feelings of trust Confidence about others Feeling of caring Feeling that others will support Others depend on me n 460 46 Mean +0.556522 +0.869565 Median 1 1 Mode 1 1 SD 0.823841 0.718291 Range 4 3 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 +0.804348 +0.630435 +0.586957 +0.608696 +0.565217 +0.521739 +0.478261 +0.46522 +0.043478 1 1 1 1 0 0.5 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.718627 0.826201 0.832028 0.829411 0.749879 0.836371 0.809365 0.835504 0.868115 3 4 4 3 3 4 3 3 4 The class map is a multi-purpose resource for online classes. The map is a student locator that highlights their distances from the instructor and each other as well as their time zones. Knowing student locations makes instructors sensitive to possible impacts on students due to environmental situations such as weather condition, which could affect students’ ability to work. Instructors can tailor proximity-based resources for students, such field based opportunities, and can identify resources that are relevant to specific geographical populations, such as state standards. additionally the class map is a potential tool for matching students geographically for group projects and for displaying locations of interest to the course. The class map tool was developed and used with free or open source applications, making it extremely cost effective to implement in an online course. It requires little time for an instructor to add to a course. not only is it easy for students to learn how it use, the time required to complete the map is also short. 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Clay and Jason silvErman Drexel University, USA We discuss our work in an online mathematics course for teachers in which we have two goals: (1) supporting teachers’ mathematical development and (2) using the residue from their mathematical collaboration as seeds for second-order conversations. We present a brief segment of mathematical interaction and use this segment to demonstrate the mathematical development of individual participants and also to highlight potential learning opportunities that are afforded by our online model. We conclude with two “emergent prompts” that exist at the intersection of their existing understandings and our instructional objectives. These emergent prompts are meant to demonstrate the ways in which teacher activity and interaction can be capitalized on to support further interaction and learning and to extend the focus to other mathematical or pedagogical issues in the context of an activity that the participants have already developed a vested interest in. The mathematics reform efforts of the past two decades emphasize the importance of students actively working on mathematically challenging tasks (stein & lane, 1996; stein, smith, Henningsen, & silver, 2000) and communicating their mathematical thinking in classroom discussions (Cobb, Boufi, mcClain, & Whitenack, 1997; Hiebert, et al., 1997; lampert, 2001). instructional practices that support students’ engagement in these practices are complex, demanding, uncertain, and not reducible to predictable routines (Ball & Cohen, 1999; lampert, 2001; mcClain, 2002; schifter, 1995). Thompson, Philipp, Thompson and Boyd (1994) and Cobb, Boufi, mcClain, and Whitenack (1997) argue convincingly that students’ participation in conversations about their mathematical activity (including reasoning, interpreting, and meaning-making) is essential for their developing rich, connected mathematical understandings. in this paper, we argue that these conversations can also be a site that supports the development of essential mathematical and pedagogical knowledge for teachers: (1) understandings of the variety of ways individuals can understand a particular concept – what Piaget called decentering: “the uniquely human ability to differentiate one’s own point of view from the point of view of another” (Wolvin & Coakley, 1993, p. 178) and (2) organizing the ways that individuals can understand a concept into a developmental trajectory. Cobb, Boufi, mcClain, and Whitenack (1997) describe this process as reflective discourse and collective reflection: “repeated shifts such that what the students and teacher do in action subsequently becomes an explicit object of discussion [and] the joint or communal activity of making what was previously done in action an object of reflection” (p. 258). in our work with teachers, we seek to support reflective discourse and collective reflection as teachers engage with significant mathematical tasks and discuss their own mathematical activity. But we also acknowledge that the extent of conversations with teachers cannot end with the focus on their mathematical activity: the conversations must 44 Clay and Silverman be about something that transcends the conversation (the variety of solutions, regularities in the solutions, the generativity of particular solutions, etc.). in our work with mathematics teachers, we seek to find ways to capitalize on teachers’ mathematical work and use their work as a catalyst for reflective conversations about mathematics teaching and learning. We believe that the conversations that take place in a mathematics or mathematics teacher education class are ephemeral. Potentially important or insightful aspects of student’s or teacher’s individual and collective mathematical activity are often lost as a result of the chaotic nature of the mathematics classroom, the split-second decisions that teachers in face-to-face classrooms must make, the complexity of making teachers’ mathematical thinking public, and the lack of adequate documentation of the conversations. in our work, we seek to allay these challenges through taking advantage of the collaborative and permanent nature of the internet and online learning. in particular, in our online learning environment, teachers must make their thinking and understanding on a particular task public. We believe that the permanent nature of the online communication and collaboration enhances the possibility of reflective discourse and collective reflection, as individual posts or a selection of posts can easily be referenced and, ultimately, made a topic of conversation. We agree with Thompson (2002) who notes that while these reflective conversations can arise spontaneously, they can also be engineered purposefully. in this paper, we will discuss our recent work in an online mathematics course for teachers where we have two explicit goals: (1) supporting teachers’ mathematical development and (2) using the residue from their mathematical collaboration as seeds for deeper mathematical conversations. as we envision it, the role of the instructor in an online mathematics education course is much like the role of the instructor in an effective face-to-face classroom: monitoring teacher responses, selecting and organizing teacher responses to be discussed further, and supporting teachers making connections between their current thinking and understandings and broader mathematical understanding. When viewed in this way, the challenges for online teacher educators moves beyond instructional design, systematization of online learning environments and social aspects (such as instructor presence) and includes instructor decision making based on conjectures about teacher understandings and their relation to the learning goals. in fact, the role of the instructor is amplified because of both the sheer amount of data available to develop conjectures about teachers’ and whole class understandings and the asynchronous nature of the interactions that allows for reflective rather than spontaneous instructional decision-making. BACkgROund over the past two years, we have used a design experiment methodology to engineer an environment that holds promise for supporting pre-service and in-service teachers’ (henceforth, teachers) development of deep, connected understandings of school mathematics and that allows them to experience and explore the pedagogical implications of those understandings (Clay & silverman, 2008a, 2008b). our environment, which we call online asynchronous Collaboration in mathematics Teacher Education (oaC), has its roots in the belief that replicating traditional (face-to-face) instructional practices is insufficient for the creation of online learning environments (reeves, Herrington, & oliver, 2004) and required that we fundamentally rethink what legitimate and productive mathematical collaboration for teachers might look like in the online environment. our current model for oaC includes teachers (1) posting initial thoughts, comments, questions and solutions in a private online space, (2) engaging in small-group discussion focusing on comments and questions to the now public initial posts, and (3) participating in a synthetic discussion. We briefly discuss each phase of oaC below. oaC begins with teachers drafting solutions, describing their initial approaches, or posing questions they have with regards to a set of purposefully selected, mathematical tasks in a private space that only the author and the instructor can view. This private space is important in that it provides an open and safe environment for teachers to engage in mathematical activity where teachers can “think out loud,” mull over ideas, and ultimately create mathematics (silverman & Clay, submitted). The second stage of oaC involves catalyzing public discourse about the mathematical thinking and reasoning that has been generated in the individual thinking phase. after the teachers have had time to post their initial thoughts privately, we open up the individual postings for public discussion and everyone has an opportunity to read, comment on and ask questions about each other’s solutions. as teachers work through this phase, they are provided with opportunities to comment on and discuss the various interpretations of the problems, strategies, and representations employed. our primary mechanism for supporting reflective discourse and collective reflection is stage three of oaC: the synthetic whole-class discussion that takes place after each teacher has participated in stages one and two. The goal of these discussions is to facilitate the transition from doing math and supporting mathematical development (individual and col- 45 Reclaiming lost opportunities lective) to synthesis and reflection on the big mathematical ideas and pedagogical practices that each set of problems was selected to be a case of. it is important to note that the potential for the synthetic discussion was one of the original reasons the tasks were initially selected. it is in this phase that the teacher educator is invaluable: in order to orchestrate these discussions, the instructor must devise prompts that are designed to support further discussion and that exist at the confluence of the participants’ understandings and the relevant key mathematical and pedagogical ideas to be learned. of primary interest is the role of the teacher educator (the instructor) in supporting reflective discourse and collective reflection. in the next section, we provide an example of how the first two phases of oaC play out in practice. This example will serve two purposes: first it will provide evidence of the potential for individual development in the first two phases of oaC. second, it will demonstrate the potential importance of the teacher educator in creating new objects of discussion from the teachers’ discourse that are envisioned by the instructor as being likely to catalyze a reflective discussion. it is in this way that we extend research in mathematics teacher education through the unique affordances of online asynchronous collaboration. numerous research projects have noted the importance of extending students thinking (Fraivillig, 1999; Kazemi & Franke, 2004; Walshaw & anthony, 2008). Fraivillig (1999), in particular, noted the importance of teachers picking up on critical instructional moments and using them for an instructional purpose. We will document how this instructional practice is supported in oaC. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion about the importance of oaC in mathematics teacher education, namely how the instructional decisions being made by the teacher educator can then be used as a didactic object (P. W. Thompson, 2002) with the intent of supporting teachers’ ability to cultivate, identify, and utilize potentially rich discussion topics to extend teachers’ mathematical understandings. A CLOsER LOOk: ThE FiRsT TwO sTAgEs OF OAC in this section, we present one example of oaC from Proportional and Algebraic Reasoning, an online 10-week, graduate course in mathematics education at a university in the northeastern United states. The students consisted of graduate, pre- and in-service teachers and the course was developed and taught by the authors. The main source for content-based activities for the course was the Re-Conceputalizing Mathematics program (sowder, sowder, & nickerson, 2008). one segment of the course focused on understanding change and specifically the relationships between time, distance and rate. in the task we will focus on in this section, teachers were presented with the following scenario and asked to create two graphs, one to represent time and distance away from his cave and a second one representing time and total distance traveled: Wile E. Coyote leaves his cave, walking at a slow yet constant speed. Then he stops to build a trap for road runner. after several minutes, he turns around and runs back to his cave at a constant speed. (sowder, et al., 2008, p. 283). in the following exchange, including an initial post and four replies, teachers are referring to two activities from the week’s individual work. Each post below was a reply to the former post. This entire exchange took place over a period of two days. Justine: i am embarrassed to admit that i never interpreted y-intercepts as starting points or initial values before these problems started illuminating this. i know that is in part because graphs and lines never had stories and it was assumed that they didn’t start and end. so now i have a question about x-intercepts. it seems that in a lot of these, we can interpret x-intercepts as the ending point, when the candle is completely burned for example. i am not sure this is true in some of the Wile stories where we are graphing distance from the cave since i guess he could pass the cave (when returning to the cave) or not? Stacey: Perhaps a better way to think of the x-intercept is as returning to the original starting point rather than an ending point, because as you point out Wile E could just keep on going past the cave. Eileen: i always thought of an intercept as a point at which a line cuts an axis. The coordinate for the intercept becomes the point on that axis. interestingly, when the members of the class drew their graphs for the Wiley story for last week’s third exercise, some of the graphs were “floating” graphs and some were firmly attached to the x-axis. The freedom given to us to visualize our own graphs allowed us to interpret them with or without interception to the x-axis. This observation could have led to a great leaning moment. How does the equation for a graph change depending on where it is located on the four quadrants of the coordinate axis? 46 Clay and Silverman if we extended the floating graphs to allow Wiley to travel further than the cave on his return journey, the graph could have gone on without crossing another quadrant for a short while. if the graphs were fixed to the x-axis and then Wiley traveled further on his return journey past the cave, the line would have crossed the x-axis and gone into another quadrant. When he runs past the cave, what is his displacement? is it the same as the distance traveled? Where is he in relation to his initial starting position? do we use distance and displacement interchangeably in Physics? Roseanne: really interesting discussion, Eileen. i think that in the Wile Coyote problems the graphs actually are going to be restricted to the first quadrant... at least as long as we begin cave and continues on past (does not stop there), he would then be walking away from his cave, albeit in the opposite direction. This means the distance between him and the cave would actually be increasing... so unless we define what a negative distance means in the context, the graph would lie entirely above the x-axis. The problem i have with calling the distance Wile walked past his cave as negative distance is that Wile is not restricted to walking a linear path... for example, what if he takes a right turn when he reaches the cave and walks away from it in that direction? The interchange began with Justine discussing her observations and reflections on her work and that of her classmates (after the work had become public). We see evidence of Justine’s developing mathematical understanding of the significance of the y-intercept and, in the responses that follow, we see stacey directly addressing Justine’s questioning of her own conjecture of x-intercepts being an ending point. We see Eileen questioning the relation between the “location” of the graph and its equation and the issue of what the y-axis represents and whether its negative value would be acceptable in this situation. roseanne finds Eileen’s discussion interesting, but refutes her argument, stating “i think that … the graphs actually are going to be restricted to the first quadrant” and discussing her reasoning. in short, we see a great deal of mathematical interaction, with teachers questioning, justifying, extending and refuting their own and others’ posts. We believe this to be significant and attribute it to a number of factors, including the tasks the teachers are working on, the private nature of the initial interaction, and the role of the teacher in phases one and two of oaC (for more information about phases one and two, the reader is directed towards Clay & silverman (2008a) and silverman & Clay (submitted)). in the remainder of this paper, we discuss the ways in which the teacher educator can use the artifacts from this interaction to create new topics of discussion that extend the existing discussion to the whole class and to focus on the mathematical and pedagogical ideas that were part of the initial rationale for selecting the task and that lie unexamined just below the surface of the posts. We believe that these discussions are essential to achieving the goals of oaC and that a great deal of potential would likely be lost were the teacher not explicitly focused on identifying potential second-order didactic objects and posing them back to the class. ThE sECOnd hARvEsT: ExTEnding LEARning ThROugh REFLECTivE disCOuRsE And COLLECTivE REFLECTiOn in this section, we present and discuss two “emergent prompts” that are grounded in the excerpts of teacher thinking discussed previously and that could be used as the seed for the synthetic discussion (the third phase of oaC). The emergent prompts are presented as a case of the ways in which instructors in online teacher education environments can work at the intersection of our teachers’ existing understandings and our instructional objectives. it is important to note that while it is often the case that only a subset of the class participates in any one discussion thread, all teachers in the class have participated in the larger discussion forum (which is comprised of many threads). additionally, as a result of the requirement to respond to a specified number of posts in each discussion forum, we believe that each teacher in the class has had an opportunity to at least briefly consider many if not all of the emerging ideas and arguments. We see the emergent prompts as serving two purposes. First, they provide an opportunity for the entire class to participate in a thread that, in its current state, holds the potential for continued generative and significant mathematical or pedagogical interaction. second, they hold the potential for extending the conversation past the current foci towards a significant mathematical or pedagogical topic or issue that was either touched on or not present, but can emerge from, the original conversation. it is also worthwhile to note that while we present two emergent topics, we do not envision using them both, or others one might create, at one time with a particular class. rather, we envision an instructor using emergent prompts to meet particular curricular goals and focusing on issues like deepening mathematical content, mathematical processes and pedagogical practices in the context of a particular content focus. Reclaiming lost opportunities Emergent Prompt #1: deepening Mathematical understandings 47 one type of emergent prompt focuses on deepening teachers mathematical understandings. For example, the instructor may wish to support a whole-class reflective discussion that focuses on the key mathematical understandings underlying the first two posts: quantitative reasoning and the importance of focusing on the quantities that each variable represents and reasoning about those quantities and the relationships between them (smith & Thompson, 2007). For example, an instructor might propose the following emergent prompt: Justine began an exchange, entitled Intercepts, with an exciting learning moment about her continued understanding of y-intercepts. in it, she discussed her emerging understanding of what the y-intercept could represent contextually in contrast to its mathematical definition. she followed up with a related question about the interpretation of x-intercepts. in the discussion thread, two conjectures are floating around with regards to the interpretation of the x-intercept: (1) it is the ending point and (2) it is returning to the start point. How do you interpret the x- and y- intercepts? does it vary depending on the particular scenario being depicted? We pose this prompt primarily to expose the whole class to a potentially significant discussion that was well aligned with our rationale for selecting the task. We feel that it is essential for teachers (and students) to focus attention on the physical meanings and interpretations of each point on a graph as representing, simultaneously, two coordinated values of the quantities (variables) in question. since the x- and y- intercepts are special examples – often with particularly meaningful interpretations – we believe that this prompts holds the potential for supporting further conversation that focuses on the importance of understanding the problem scenario and interpreting the significance of each quantity (variable) individually and in a coordinated fashion (saldanha & Thompson, 1998). Emergent Prompt #2: Focus on Mathematics Pedagogy We also envision potential conversations that focus on pedagogical practices. For example, the following emergent post focuses on the importance of analyzing and interpreting teachers’ thinking: Consider the first line of the responses given to Justine by each of the participants in the Intercepts Forum this week. Consider the learning affordances offered by each, then return to your replies throughout the week and determine the learning affordances of each of those. “Perhaps a better way to think of the x-intercept is as returning to the original starting point rather than an ending point, because as you point out Wile E could just keep on going past the cave.” “i always thought of an intercept as a point at which a line cuts an axis. The coordinate for the intercept becomes the point on that axis.” “really interesting discussion, Esther. i think that in the Wile Coyote problems the graphs actually are going to be restricted to the first quadrant...” For this week’s emergent issues discussion there is one forum for each of the three replies. share the affordances you see, confirm or refute those others offer. Then create a forum for examining your own first lines. if you have several replies, you may discuss them individually or as a group. you may also choose to comment on the replies made to your posts. The idea here is to become conscious of the many different ways one can respond to students as well as the affordances that come with it. We are, of course, not looking for the “correct” response as every student comes to the table with different needs and different understandings at any given moment. This prompt asks teachers to take a closer look at the way they respond to others’ mathematics. We envision the ensuing conversation as supporting teachers to become aware of how they respond to others’ mathematical thinking as they may never have been asked to do so before. our intention is to support teachers in thinking about 1) mathematics as a social experience and 2) the processes of learning and teaching mathematics in a social environment. The emergent prompts discussed in this section provide us with an opportunity to discuss a final affordance of the online environment and, particularly, the role of the teacher in purposefully orchestrating collective reflection and reflective discourse in mathematics teacher education. Each of the prompts discussed was envisioned to catalyze a discussion that would include more teachers in discussing a significant topic and that holds the possibility of extending the current discussion in mathematically or pedagogically significant ways. it is important to note that the instructional decisions that are reflected in each emergent prompt are significant in and of themselves: deepening and extending mathematical understandings, and focusing on mathematics pedagogy. Blanton (2002) and Zeichner (1996) argue that content-focused 48 Clay and Silverman courses can provide a site where teachers can “seriously explore content in parallel with pedagogy” (Blanton, 2002, p. 118). We believe that the online environment, and oaC in particular, makes such parallel exploration more viable. COnCLusiOn in this paper, we discuss our experiences in orchestrating productive mathematical discourse in an online course and the ways that we, as teacher educators, seek to maximize the potential for teacher learning by focusing jointly on teacher activity, emerging understandings, and our instructional goals. in short, we acknowledge Ball’s (1993) instructional philosophy: “With my ears to the ground, listening to my students, my eyes are focused on the mathematical horizon” (p. 376). What makes this philosophy significant in oaC is manifold. First, the permanent nature of the online interactions provides a rich data set from which conjectures regarding existing and developing individual and collective mathematical and pedagogical understandings can emerge. second, the learning environment is asynchronous, therefore there is time to devise appropriate and effective instructional interventions rather than the split-second decision-making required of face-to-face courses. Finally, instructional decisions are permanent and public and can serve as a seed for discussions about both the pedagogical decisions made by the instructor and its impact on classroom conversation and individual development. We believe it is significant that each of these issues do not come out of the blue—each of them derives from a mathematical experience in which each member of the class has taken part. in each of these cases, the role of the instructor is primary. While the selection of an initial task can be made by a content-area expert or instructional designer, we believe that instructional events must be truly emergent to provide a grounded and relevant experience for all teachers involved, therefore many instructional decisions must be made by the current teacher in the moment, reclaiming issues that lie just below the surface of previous discussions. our model of oaC in mathematics Teacher Education makes visible zones of proximal development of the individuals in the class as well as the socio-cultural experiences of the class as a whole, affording teachers the opportunity to examine and question the mathematical and pedagogical activity and decision-making of all involved, including the instructor. References Ball, d. l. (1993). With an Eye on the mathematical Horizon: dilemmas of Teaching Elementary school mathematics. Elementary School Journal, 93, 373-397. Ball, d. l., & Cohen, d. K. 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Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 51-59 Deploying Read/Write Web Approaches for Pedagogic Change amongst Faculty in Higher Education HeatHer Conboy, riCHard Hall, and Pam tHomPson De Montfort University, UK the emergence of read/write web approaches in learning and teaching has implications for the professional development of teachers in Higher education. this paper describes the integration of such approaches in a professional development program (PGCertHe) in a UK University, and scopes the emergent outcomes for a cohort of academics. the voices of both learners and tutors are evaluated, drawing upon a triangulation of datasets, including questionnaires, focus groups and wiki-based action plans. the authors investigate ways in which read/ write Web approaches can be used to enhance the personalization of learning and student motivation and participation, in both formal and informal learning processes and contexts. these outcomes underpin recommendations for professional development curricula, and highlight how read/write approaches open-up dialogues about curriculum design. a critical element of future work is, therefore, whether this strategy empowers participants to be better placed to engage with their own learners. research studies on the student experience in Higher education (JisC, 2006; teseP, 2007; Green and Hannon, 2007) suggest that a collection of technologies, including both institutional and non-institutional tools, are crucial in connecting students’ informal and formal learning. However, there is little research on how these technologies can be successfully integrated into the experiences of new staff as learners in order to motivate their pedagogic thinking. With the higher education sector in the UK focusing upon the development of innovative strategies for engaging diverse groups of learners, and for supporting flexible and work-based learning, an understanding of how a diverse range of academics as learners can develop their pedagogic practice is critical. the development of these skills is an area which is ill-defined and complex, with many personal, peer-group, technical and systemic factors impacting on the learning experience. recent research has highlighted the affordances of the read/write web, or Web 2.0, for the development of constructivist approaches to pedagogic development (anderson, 2007; dmU, 2008; Franklin and van Harmelen, 2007). this aligns with siemens’ (2006) view of personal learning development as a process of making meaning through socialization, interaction and collaboration. the authors set out to better understand the ways in which a faculty development program, which 52 Conboy, Hall, and Thompson already aspired to constructivist principles, might integrate such approaches with a view to expanding and broadening the participants’ engagement with pedagogic aspects of their own curriculum. the development program in question is the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher education, PGCertHe, a two-year accredited program focused on enhancement of learning and teaching, particularly aimed at new lecturers. the taught component takes place in the first year. this paper evaluates the impact of read/write web technologies on the pedagogic engagement of a cohort of PGCertHe participants in one institution. it assesses the implications of the read/write web for: the personalization of learning; student motivation and participation with the learning process; and, the relationship between informal and formal learning contexts. the voices of both participants and tutors are evaluated, and underpin recommendations for practitioners wishing to enhance PGCertHe curricula. a critical strand is embedding strategies that empower those PGCertHe participants to be better placed to engage with their own learners. THE ConTExT oF THE PosT GRADuATE CERTiFiCATE in HiGHER EDuCATion nationally, in the UK, there is a growing awareness of the need to assure and improve the quality of learning and teaching provision. the ‘dearing’ report of the national Committee of inquiry into Higher education in 1997 recommended that all institutions of higher education provide access to programs of lecturer development for their staff (dearing, 1997). in 2006 the UK Professional standards Framework in teaching and supporting learning in higher education was launched. the PGCertHe meets the requirements of standard descriptor 2 of the framework. the PGCertHe is accredited by the Higher education academy, as are many such programs in the UK. this gives it status within the academic community and allows participants to move on, should they choose, to apply to be Fellows of the Higher education academy. in this institution, it is mandatory for academics with three years or fewer teaching experience in higher education to undertake the PGCertHe. this is not an untypical requirement nationally as is the fact that such programs are delivered and assessed at masters’ level. so the role of the PGCertHe is to challenge the teaching process with a view to enhancing academic practice and student learning. across the sector this challenge is impacted both by external drivers like the status of teaching within the profession and the requirements of professional bodies, and by internal, institutional drivers like the recognition of learning and teaching enhancement and the impact of work-based learning. therefore, in the delivery of PGCertHe curricula reflective practice is vital in engaging new staff in a context of change (edwards and nicoll, 2006). this view is reinforced by nicholls (2002, p.110), who argues that ‘there are more positive ways forward than imposing a professional development system that is based on operational competence and practical outcomes’. she demands that academics focus upon themselves as reflective learners, and the formal curricular aspects of programs like a PGCertHe are only part of a professional development solution. any conception of professional learning is systemic, and involves interplay between individuals and their environments in situated, work-based social practices (Knight, tait and yorke, 2006). event-led professional educational development complements rather than displaces situated social learning. Critically, non-institutional learning may enable staff to make a coherent, personal response to subject or professional change (Knight, 1998; Conrad, 2008). The diverse, institutional structures of PGCertHE programs facilitate both formal and non-formal learning experiences, and provide spaces that facilitate reflective practice and enable new pedagogic strategies to crystallize. Moreover, these structures enable staff to position themselves within broader, inter-departmental communities of practice (Fry et al., 2004). This learning journey encourages academics to develop their capacity to innovate and to be more adaptive in their pedagogic strategies. Such a participatory approach demands the deployment of collaborative, interactive tools. ConsTRuCTivisT PEDAGoGiC DEsiGn oF PGCERTHE Professional development in e-learning, more generally, occurs in a number of institutional contexts, within and beyond faculties, in dedicated one-to-one mentoring and larger sessions. this enables academics to develop their situated understanding of technologies from the perspective of their own core curriculum tasks. However, we consider lecturers Deploying Read/Write Web Approaches for Pedagogic Change 53 who participate in the PGCertHe to be critical in establishing and disseminating innovation in teaching across the faculties. Given that our student-body are supposedly ‘digital natives’ and at home with at least some web-based technologies, we focused upon e-pedagogy in order to enable lecturers to make enlightened decisions about how to incorporate these tools effectively into their teaching. For academic staff to consider ‘tapping into’ the use of read/write approaches within their curriculum, they need to have engaged and reflected on their own learning and teaching, as well as to have become familiar with the technical aspects. We hoped that a broadening of the scope of the PGCertHe would promote motivation and engagement opportunities for staff development and the enabling of a read/write web culture. it is also important to enable teachers to consider ways in which they can engage diverse learners, perhaps through the use of emerging technologies. the PGCertHe at de montfort University (dmU), which is at the heart of this study, has embedded a distinctive pedagogical framework that is underpinned by Fry et al’s (2004) taxonomy of conceptual frameworks, in particular the mechanisms used to bring about participant engagement and pedagogic change. such conceptual frameworks focus upon constructivist learning theory (driscoll, 1994) and the need for individual schemata to change, in order for learning to occur. this personalization is connected to experiential learning and reflective practice (Kolb, 1984; schon, 1987) and formal developments in professional practice (eraut, 1994), through a problem-based approach. in turn, this enables the development of socially situated learning, where students can define and discuss strategies for overcoming specific curriculum issues (lave and Wenger, 1991). reflection on these approaches is then assessed formatively to support the process of pedagogic adaptation. in developing problem-based approaches, bruner’s (1966) concept of the spiral curriculum has been influential in framing participant-engagement in the process of pedagogic change. With this in mind, developmental activities include: role-modeling teaching behaviors in small groups; team-based analysis of the language and concepts of education; hands-on synchronous and asynchronous sessions with e-learning champions; learning-set activities; formal and informal pedagogic discussion, including blogging; and peer-observation of teaching and mentor support. therefore, in the delivery of dmU’s PGCertHe, framing a space in which academics can reflect and develop a program of personal, developmental activities is central. However, this is framed by informal and formal participation in networks or communities of practice (Wenger, 1999). Collaboration encourages us to consider educational designs not only in terms of techniques for supporting the construction of subject knowledge, but also in their effects on the formation of professional identities. thus, PGCertHe participants experience and develop: places of engagement (learning spaces); materials and experiences (learning tasks) with which to build professional identities; and ways of making their actions matter (learning partnerships). the learning communities that emerge revolve around active participation, and formal and informal connections being made between resources and peer-groups. the aim of the PGCertHe is to enhance these connections so that learning communities can flourish, precisely because such cohorts are influential institutional networks or sub-cultures. by engaging in cross-institutional teams, new academic staff are able to draw upon a range of effective practice, and thereby seed that practice in their own module delivery. READ/WRiTE Tools AnD APPRoACHEs in a short time-span, there has been a step-change in the affordances of web-based applications. tools can be embedded within the curriculum at low cost in order to connect people and information. these tools are often known as Web 2.0 applications (o’reilly, 2005), but they are also usefully referred to as read/write web applications. the use of the term ‘read/write’ emphasizes an approach rather than a toolset and stresses the marriage of broadcast and interactive tools within a personalizable environment. these applications afford opportunities for: social networking, using software like Facebook; social bookmarking, using tools like; user-generated content, using blog and wiki software; virtual representation in worlds like second life; the syndication of content including multimedia; and innovative approaches to content and application-handling, including mash-ups and aggregation. their impact has prompted practitioners to reevaluate curriculum delivery, and sharpe (2006, p.16) has highlighted that: “this shift creates an era of opportunity for education. at the heart of education and learning lie the encounters that an individual has with people, places and things, and the opportunity each encounter presents for interaction, challenge and growth. as digital technology pervades everything around us, we can enrich each encounter to harness the global resources of the information world and of learning communities, to make it more appropriate in that moment to that individual”. 54 Conboy, Hall, and Thompson these connections are realized through the interplay between applications and people. anderson (2007) has highlighted six key areas in which these connections are made real: user-generated content; the power of the crowd; data on an epic scale; an architecture that supports participation; network effects; and openness in content and computer code. that said, there are still many issues for educators to consider, particularly around identity, engagement, privacy and technological confidence. anderson (2007, p.53) pinpoints ‘the need to explore further the informal, social aspects of the learning that takes place and the many issues concerning participation. We cannot, for example, assume everyone is happy working in the “self-publish” mode.’ However, engaging with read/write web relationships and experiences can form part of an agenda for educational change, through the use of networked professional development (Gergen, 2003, p.46; Goodfellow and lea, 2007, p.74). READ/WRiTE WEb imPlEmEnTATion in PGCERTHE Whilst read/write technologies offer opportunities for social networking, user-generated content and mobile learning, they also require universities to gear-up staff development opportunities within curriculum teams and support staff. developing the engagement of academic staff with both technologies and their impact upon the learning environments experienced by learners is crucial. the dmU e-learning Pathfinder Project (dmU, 2008), focused upon building enhanced institutional knowledge of both read/write web technologies and the developmental strategies that support pedagogic participation. due to their cultural role as future pedagogic leaders and champions, PGCertHe participants were targeted for development work. the development of these academics is vital because it extends the technological scope of those teams and keeps the emphasis on pedagogy. therefore, the following, technology-enhanced development plan was implemented (Fig. 1) with the aim of facilitating the development of learning spaces, tasks and partnerships. the learners participated in face-to-face demonstrations, discussions and modeling of current practice. this was designed to enable participants to consider a variety of disciplinary perspectives to learn through reflecting on their own practices and expectations. they also compared and shared their own experience of using technology within their curriculum. Following a baseline study at the end of the first workshop, students were asked to post their reflections on read/write web concepts to a PGCertHe blog. this functioned as a tool for engaging students in the practical and technical use of new media, as well as enabling some to take the step of actually participating. as a complement to the blogging activity, students were asked to develop an action plan, which was to be posted on a collaborative wiki. students were also invited to comment on at least one of their peers’ action plans. differentiated strategies enabled students to carry out their plans: faculty champions were available for one-to-one help in designing learning activities; small group face-to-face and synchronous sessions focused upon particular technologies in context; and review sessions enabled students to engage with issues like assessment. the summative assignments focused on enabling the individual student to evaluate the implementation and impact of her/his action plan. the design of these interventions was predicated upon shared experiences and aspirations. moreover, it focused upon active, personalized group work, with hands-on, small-group development sessions, where tasks based upon emergent issues enable learners to understand their own context and that of others. the wiki-based action plans were designed to shape the direction of their personal learning development, along with formative commentary from tutors and peers. Deploying Read/Write Web Approaches for Pedagogic Change 55 Figure 1. Pedagogic Framework. EvAluATion the 33 participants came from four faculties comprising a wide range of disciplines including nursing, humanities, computer science and art and design. the program required attendance at planned face-to-face sessions with tutors one afternoon per week over two semesters. as mentioned above, engagement with technologies was not mandatory but tutors stressed the formative potential of the tools for enhancing the curriculum. tutors identified that written summative assignments would be enriched by academic reflection on the potential and actual use of technologies within the curriculum. successful completion of the written assignments was a prerequisite for achieving the certificate. the discussion that follows pivots around the impact on the curriculum priorities of PGCertHe participants of deploying read/write technologies. the evaluation is designed to analyze conversations about emergent curriculum approaches, in order to examine how the tools provided and activities are being embedded. it focuses upon the triangulation of several datasets. the main research questions were as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. What was PGCertHe participants’ knowledge of the read/write web? What were initial attitudes towards the read/write web for teaching and learning? How would participants use these tools with their own students? What development activities are useful to support this? Firstly, a short survey was conducted to ascertain the ‘baseline’ attitudes, literacies and interest in technologies, both for personal use and teaching. this was intended to help illuminate initial motivation and changes in practice over the period. the survey was paper-based and disseminated at the end of class. Questions were open-ended and revolved around the specific technologies that were used both within and beyond educational settings; how academics felt about integrating these technologies in their practice; and their hopes for integrating emerging technologies with their students. secondly, participants’ intentions for curriculum change were reviewed through in-depth interviews, video analysis of focus groups and a thematic analysis of 18 wikis created by participants’ curriculum-based action plans. the evaluation approach examines what students say about the impact of the read/write web on their experiences, in order to provide a pragmatic description of their expectations for the use of those tools and approaches in the curriculum. this accords with the view of reason (2003, p.106) that the ‘fundamental strategy of action research is to “open communicative space” and help the emergence of “communities of inquiry”. this approach becomes rigorous through consensual participation. as elliott (2007, p.159) has noted: ‘the democratic process of enquiry determines which descriptions of the human environment, natural as well social, best enable human beings effectively to interact with it to satisfy their needs and desires.’ 56 Conboy, Hall, and Thompson THE imPACT oF READ/WRiTE WEb APPRoACHEs on THE PGCERTHE a baseline survey with PGCertHe learners demonstrated that a wide variety of technologies was being used in teaching. these broadly categorized into tools for general web searching [n=16], the use of the blackboard virtual learning environment [n=17] and email [n=16], and using digital equipment like whiteboards, smart boards and dVd players [n=13]. However, it revealed a raft of untapped expertise, precisely because staff were engaging with read/write web tools like Facebook [n=4], Flickr [n=4], msn [n=6], sKyPe [n=6] and texting [n=4], alongside more general use of the web [n=14] and digital equipment like mP3 players, digital cameras and mobile devices [n=12]. most staff thought e-learning was embedded to some extent and was becoming more so each session within their programs and departments. one member of library staff noted ‘We are user lead and our users are at least familiar with iCt. For the library, we must provide a medium with which our users can operate.’ this issue of engaging with student-led technologies was relevant for seven academics, one of whom noted ‘neither of us are particularly switched on to technology [but we are] aware we need to up our game’, whilst a distance learning tutor added ‘we cannot function efficiently without these technologies’. this baseline also highlighted that participants felt the student experience could be enhanced technologically, through: better access to information [n=5]; the extension of face-to-face work [n=13]; scaffolding it literacy [n=8]; developing student-led learning [n=12]; and developing interactivity [n=8]. Connecting up personal and academic technologies was critical for one participant who noted ‘learning should simulate their real-life experiences which are full of emerging gadgetry and technology.’ this member of staff wanted to ‘shift responsibility of learning to the learner and possibly engage students when they are switched off by other methods’. these PGCertHe participants focused upon how far technologies could enhance the student experience, through sharing, widening of access, accessibility, and better means of communication. they saw a greater choice and variety of methods enhancing teaching and learning, alongside a sense that new technologies could help transcend geographical distance and provide an immediate, direct line between student and teacher, and between peers. Crucially, they felt they needed to understand where the students were ‘at’, both socially and technologically. However, some staff did not develop pedagogic action plans, but focused upon understanding specific tools like: blackboard; multimedia; and blogs and wikis. subsequent action-planning (tab. 1) written on wikis revealed that the PGCertHe learners’ hopes for their students centered on the following. 1. 2. 3. enhanced teacher–student communication, in particular for providing subject-based and assessment information. enhanced peer–peer and student-lead developments, focusing upon conceptual discussion and reflection. developing their students’ critical literacy. the PGCertHe program leader noted ‘it’s good to get an overview about how we want students to experience what we teach (and why). this will always go back to the basics of knowing the group; where they’ve come from; where they’re heading, in the broadest sense.’ these issues are illustrated by two examples from the student action plans. one participant recognized the need to understand where their students were coming from: “i floated the idea of setting up a wiki with my criminal law students - first year undergrads. in two classes of about ten each, after the tumbleweed had blown across the floor, there was a flicker of recognition about the concept and even some enthusiasm. this was quite a surprise, given that they’re supposed to know about wikis etc. anybody else come across this?” a second illustrated the personal, technological implications: “Face to face interaction is limited and i feel i need to improve both my technical know how, my understanding of the theory of e-learning and my skill as an e-tutor”. Deploying Read/Write Web Approaches for Pedagogic Change 57 Table 1 issues developed in participant action plans Pedagogical / Technological Issues Participants [N=18] 3 4 3 9 2 10 6 Develop the use of Blackboard Develop the use of multimedia, including the use of MP3 players Learn how to use blogs/wikis Embed blogs and wikis in curriculum context Embed read/write web tools for assessment and feedback Embed read/write web tools to deliver content Embed read/write web tools for discussion and reflection However, three staff in particular had a more complex view of how read/write web technologies could enhance their pedagogic practice. one argued that ‘i’m aiming for the students to be responsive, through harnessing the power of e-learning. i’d like to consider and potentially include ideas that come up from students in future class activities or learning.’ a second stated ‘the students already use a blog for their critical studies module so all are used to an “on-line” way of working. this will enable the students to create a wider discourse around their studies.’ intriguingly, this PGCertHe participant wanted to develop a more user-centered learning environment: ‘in my research i found that there was already software to enable students to have these technologies but could they all be combined?’ the later survey encouraged staff to reflect on the impact of professional development in read/write web technologies through the PGCertHe. there was a general feeling that opportunities had been created to adopt new and creative approaches and that if staff has not embarked upon the program, an important agenda would have been missed. these learners highlighted particular teaching benefits, namely: increased pedagogic creativity; the potential to engage with new markets; and the ability to support a range of learning needs and styles. indeed, most staff recognized the pursuit of further professional development in the use of read/write web technologies as a positive, personal enabler. there was recognition that time pressures may be a barrier to taking full advantage of their potential in teaching and some acknowledgement also that non-e-learning methodologies may still be the expected norm amongst the program team. these time pressures were evident in some of the action plans. although 18 staff developed action plans on the wiki, by the end of the program only eight had been fully implemented. of the remaining 10 staff who developed but did not complete action plans, only five did not attend the supporting elearning development sessions. moreover, in general, the wiki-based action plans were not collaboratively used or dynamic, despite prompting and offers of support by tutors. For many of these learners, time and local support for pedagogic development were barriers to their intended engagement with technologies, leaving a gap between what they had planned and what they achieved in practice. this highlights a need to engage all PGCertHe participants in meaningful, situated tasks. therefore it is critical that PGCertHe leaders model effective e-learning practices, such as the use of blogs and wikis in giving feedback. ConClusions in summary, the study demonstrated that attempts to broaden staff development using read/write web approaches provided scope and a rich terrain for practitioners’ engagement with their teaching and curricula. the vast majority of participants claimed to have experienced heightened awareness of read/write web approaches, with many academics in the process of implementing innovations in their own teaching. these approaches have opened new spaces for reflection on pedagogic practice and have enhanced the potential for peer interaction. the initial baseline evaluation highlighted that PGCertHe participants already used a wide variety of read/write technologies in their social and professional lives, and had a high level of potential expertise for embedding these tools in the curriculum. this is particularly the case given lecturers’ hopes for engaging their students in critical discussion and reflection. Conboy, Hall, and Thompson Critically, this use of read/write web technologies has enabled the team to make in-roads into the learning diversity agenda. the selection of interactive and collaborative tools enabled PGCertHe tutors to enhance the participatory approach through enhanced reflection and the creation of networks within and across teaching teams. one recommendation is to make links stronger between user-focused tools and diverse learner needs. again, this needs further modeling in practice, through process of PGCertHe leaders consistently engaging with read/write technologies. in this way, the power of interdisciplinary communities of practice can lead change. as one practitioner argued, “things have changed and i am considering how these technologies can not only enhance my teaching, but also how they can help me with my specific learning needs too.” 58 However, the lack of full engagement in the wiki-based action plans needs to be acknowledged. Whilst the maintenance of masters-level practice is central, we need to consider the best ways to motivate and enable practitioners to integrate the use of these tools into the assessment process. as an outcome of this study, further curriculum developments and changes to assessment are being incorporated into delivery. these changes include observable use of read/write web tools in assessments. this entails building in opportunities for participants to develop Personal learning environments and to explore the potential of undertaking a range of shorter patchwork assessments, which may be completed online, rather than in the traditional reflective essay format. developments also include further opportunities to engage in online synchronous discussion, as well as offering an introduction to other forms of delivery, such as podcasting and the use of immersive virtual environments, such as second life. these are to be based around focused tasks; thus providing further scope for a variety of learning needs, approaches, and diverse discipline perspectives. 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Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 61-68 Captivating Young Learners and Preparing 21st Century Social Studies Teachers: Increasing Engagement with Digital Video Ann C. CunninghAm AnD ADAm FrieDmAn Wake Forest University, USA This paper reports on the results of an integration model designed to help teacher candidates recognize the value of engagement to successful instruction in the elementary classroom. Faculty from three courses collaborated on an interdisciplinary project that included a field-based teaching component for early stage elementary teacher candidates. Candidates worked in teams of three to design and create digital video anchors to support a social studies lesson that was later implemented in the field. On one level, the integration of the video anchor was a strategy for reinforcing teacher candidates’ awareness of the value of instructional engagement. The design and implementation of the anchor also served to engage teacher candidates in technology-enhanced instruction in an early field experience, promote collaboration with colleagues, and teach digital video editing techniques within an authentic context. results from teacher candidate reflections and field-based observations conducted by faculty reveal that teacher candidates recognized the powerful influence their video anchors had in engaging their students and capture their attention. This paper presents the preliminary findings of a lengthier exploration into impact of digital video on engagement with social studies in the elementary classroom. Although lesson plan formats, style, and the degree to which students should be actively involved with their learning may differ among curriculum theorists, one generally agreed upon practice is the notion of gaining the attention of learners at the onset of any instructional sequence (gagné & Briggs, 1979; Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2005; hunter, 1984). Beal, Bolick, and martorella (2009) noted that instruction “should begin with some brief initiatory activity that arouses curiosity, puzzles the students, or somehow focuses attention on what is to be learned” (p. 109). it is clear that gaining learners’ attention is paramount in the teaching and learning process; however, there are many ways in which this may take place. examples include asking students to list what they know about a particular topic, read a passage, analyze an image, or watch a brief video. While gaining the attention of the learner is a traditional component of instructional design, computer hardware and software has become increasingly present in the K-12 environment (van hover, Berson, Bolick, & Swan, 2006), and numerous researchers (Braun & risinger, 1999; hicks & ewing, 2003, VanFossen & Shiveley, 2000) lauded its potential for instruction and engagement. This potential includes providing access to materials that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain (Cohen & rosenzweig, 2006), but inherent in the increased availability of learning materials is the prospect for students to engage in higher order thinking as they consider and evaluate multiple perspectives (Doolittle 62 Cunningham and Friedman & hicks, 2003, international Society for Technology in education, n.d.). in addition to higher order thinking, computer hardware and software offer opportunities to engage students who have multiple types of intelligences, as gardner (1983) described. For example, Berson (2004) noted how digital images can enhance instruction while milson and LaComb (2001) described how email communication and interaction with various music composers from around the world can promote greater understanding as well as a more personalized connection to content. Finally, new technologies may provide teachers with opportunities to individualize instruction for students, as rose and meyer (2002) asserted. The use of technology has been lauded by the national Council for the Social Studies (1994), and its potential to positively impact social studies instruction has consistently been praised (Braun & risinger, 1999; Cohen & rosenzweig, 2006; VanFossen & Shiveley, 2000). more recently, in an effort to engage and prepare learners for twenty-first century society and the skills that they will need to possess in order to thrive in the burgeoning global economy (Friedman, 2005), the use of technology in instruction has been advocated by state boards of education, exemplified by the north Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission (2006), which stated that teachers should “know when and how to use technology to maximize student learning” (p. 4). The potential for technology to impact instruction is great; however, as mason, Berson, Diem, hicks, Lee, and Dralle (2000) pointed out, it should be integrated into social studies content and be used in a manner that allows students or teachers to engage in an activity that they otherwise would not be able to. Anchored instruction is a pedagogical strategy that places content learning within an authentic situation which promotes problem-solving while helping engage learners and address diverse learner needs (Brown, Collins, Duguid, 1989; Cognition and Technology group at Vanderbilt, 1990, 1997). The anchor connects the content to a real, or imagined, meaningful problem solving context that inherently engages students in the learning experience. Often incorporating video, the goal of anchored instruction is to engage students in a scenario that requires them to absorb and reflect on the context in order to solve problems and/or identify solutions. regardless of the context, anchors should possess four characteristics: capture the imagination, be perceived as important by learners, legitimize the disciplinary content they integrate, and accommodate a variety of learning approaches (Barab and Landa, 1997). For the purpose of this paper, the anchors are teacher candidate created videos designed to engage elementary students in a problem or project-based activity. Adding digital video to an anchor elevates student engagement and addresses diverse learner needs by providing multi-modal representation of content and permitting multiple playback options on command. Whether commercial or teacher-created, the use of this technology strategy in the diverse social studies classroom has great potential for increasing engagement, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The challenge for teacher educators often lies in the provision of opportunities for their teacher candidates to practice technology integration in the field, especially early field experiences (Kelley, Wetzel, Padget, Williams, & Odom, 2003). As hard as it might be to orchestrate technology-enhanced instructional experiences for teacher candidates, particularly in early field experiences, professional organizations have been calling for this since the turn of the century. The international Society for Technology in education (iSTe) outlined performance profiles for the preparation of technologically proficient future teachers in the first version of the national educational Technology Standards for Teachers (iSTe, 2000). The professional preparation performance profile expects teacher candidates to “design and teach technology-enriched learning activities that connect content standards with student technology standards and meet the diverse needs of students (ii, iii, iV, Vi)” (p.16). As early as 2000, professional organizations committed to the development of technology-proficient teachers called for field-based technology-enhanced instructional opportunities for teacher candidates using materials that they designed on their own. Perhaps as a result of technology’s potential and state mandates, the past decade has witnessed technology software, hardware and teaching strategies integrated into social studies teaching methodology (methods) courses at both the elementary and secondary level. Stemming from a longitudinal study of teacher educators from 1999-2006, Bolick, Berson, Friedman, and Porfeli (2007) noted that technology use among teacher educators has increased over time. A wide variety of literature describes different means and methods by which technology integration has taken place in methods courses (e.g. Bolick 2004; Crowe, 2004; merryfield, 2003; rock & Passe, 2004). The 2008 revised version of the national educational Technology Standards for Teachers (neTS*T) includes scenarios designed to provide concrete examples of how the standards can be met at the beginning, developing, proficient, 63 Captivating Young Learners and Preparing 21st Century Social Studies Teachers and transformative levels (iSTe, 2008). The first performance indicator in Standard One “Facilitate and inspire Student Learning and Creativity” requires teachers to “promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness” (p.12). The integration of a teacher-created digital video for engagement meets Standard One at the “proficient” level because it “enable(s) students to demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes by promoting and supporting these activities and modeling related knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (p.12). Depending on the level of technology use of the students after the integration of the video anchor, teacher candidates might also address performance indicators in Standard Two, Three and Four. These newly revised standards for teachers are aligned with uneSCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework for 21st Century Learning. if novice teachers are expected to encourage the growth and development of their students as 21st century citizens, then it is incumbent upon teacher educators to orchestrate meaningful technology learning and teaching experiences throughout their pre-service preparation. The Collaborative Teaching Model The opportunity for developing and teaching with content-based video anchors was created through the Wake Forest university education Department’s intentional structuring of coursework and field experiences that demonstrate technology in the context of content in order to maximize its potential described in both instructional technology as well as social studies literature. in this sequence of courses, preservice teachers were intentionally enrolled in methods, technology, and field experience courses during the same semester, which fostered an alliance between the three faculty responsible for the courses resulting in a rich opportunity to develop the technology-enhanced instructional strategies and experiences of the elementary teacher candidates. For candidates in the elementary education program, once the major is declared and candidates are formally admitted to the program at the end of their second year in a four-year undergraduate program of study, all candidates participate in two full semesters of required education coursework. The elementary education Website outlines the program sequence: During the spring semester of their third year, candidates are taught the Technology in education course concurrently with several methods courses and a field experience which provides a venue for practicing technology-enhanced pedagogical skills. Faculty teaching the eDu 307 Technology in Education and the eDu 295 Teaching Elementary Social Studies in a Pluralistic Society courses collaborate on an instructional design project that focuses on teaching social studies content. The collaborative teaching model is often associated with the teaching of students with special needs where teachers with content knowledge collaborate with teachers trained in specialized instructional techniques for students with disabilities work together to ensure the success of pK-12 students. in higher education, collaboration more frequently occurs in research and publication efforts, but is gaining footing in the area of teaching as state and national expectations for teacher candidates’ increase. regardless of the situation, collaborative teaching models develop from the recognition of common goals and the contribution of individual specialized knowledge or skills. To be effective, this level of cooperation requires communication and negotiation skills as well as a measure of altruism from each member of the partnership. At Wake Forest university, faculty recognized the positive impact a collaborative model would have on the preparation of elementary teachers and took advantage of a currently existing course structure to maximize the experience for their students. in this model, teacher candidates work in groups to develop the technology-enhanced instructional unit, developing technology projects as requirements for eDu 307 and integrating them into their lesson plans in their long-range instructional project for eDu 295. One major technology project is the digital video anchor. This project requires the teacher candidates to identify curriculum that they will teach in a local classroom during their eDu 203 Field experience course and create a project or problem-based lesson that includes a digital video anchor designed to engage the students. This lesson is taught toward the end of the semester to allow candidates sufficient time to develop the lesson to align with the elementary classroom curriculum. The coordination of the unit topics with the local teachers and the planning for the teacher candidates’ lesson at the end of the semester is handled by the faculty teaching the field experience course. The orchestration of this project from university to local classroom requires collaboration between faculty and clinical faculty supporting the teacher candidates in the field, which is time-consuming but valuable to the development of teaching proficiency on two primary levels. The process of planning, developing, and implementing the lesson simulates activities of real teachers and reinforces the reflective process of high quality teaching in a technology-enhanced class- 64 Cunningham and Friedman room. Secondly, teacher candidates are participating in an authentic 21 century skill development activity similar to what they are designing for their students. They must collaborate, create, problem-solve and publish materials that they develop. These experiences were intended to help prospective teachers recognize the value of technology to support engaging teaching and recognize the impact on classroom engagement through their own participation in and observation of field-based lessons. st Assessment of the final products occurs on several levels. The initial video anchor is evaluated in the Technology in education course by both faculty and the peer cohort. using the rubric given at the beginning of the assignment, the faculty provide feedback on content, potential for engagement, ingenuity with video-editing techniques. The peer review comes in the form of short responses in the “3 plusses and a wish” format. each person anonymously comments on three positive features of the video anchor and provides at least one statement about how the video anchor could be improved. Candidates use the feedback to revise their videos prior to the second evaluation. This model promotes collaboration among and between faculty and teacher candidates while fostering a community of practice. The second evaluation stage occurs in the Social Studies methods course when the candidates simulate teaching their lesson in an elementary classroom. in this instance, the candidates work in teams to teach an abbreviated version of their lesson. They show their video anchor, conduct questioning, and guide the post-viewing activity within the context of a real classroom teaching event while the other teacher candidates assume the role of an elementary classroom experiencing the lesson. Oral feedback is provided at the end of each teaching demonstration from faculty and from other teacher candidates. Faculty also meet with each group and de-brief the lesson, including the video anchor. At this point, the candidates may again modify their instruction and video anchor, as necessary. The final evaluation occurs when the candidates teach in the elementary classroom. During this event, faculty, cooperating teacher/s, and members of the elementary cohort observe the teaching episode, including the interaction between the teaching group and the interaction between the teaching group and the elementary students. Faculty and nonteaching candidates document general feedback during their observations and focus on strategies the teaching group uses to engage the students. All teacher candidates receive written non-graded evaluations and feedback, and the teaching experiences are de-briefed in the social studies methods course. informal feedback is provided by the cohort during the de-briefing and from the cooperating teacher while at the school. Within a week of the teaching episode, each candidate submits a written reflection about the teaching episode that addresses all aspects of the lesson from preparation to implementation. The findings presented below represent the initial results of an ongoing research study that seeks to determine the impact of the collaborative model on the attitudes, skills, and dispositions of teacher candidates. Although initial results rely solely on candidate perceptions, further exploration will include field-based data collection on levels of student engagement. At the conclusion of the semester, candidates were asked to rank each software/hardware application addressed in the technology course in terms of their perception of their usefulness for engagement and respond to openended questions about the value of engagement. These informal data collection strategies yield interesting findings that lend merit to additional study. Findings This collaborative teaching model is designed to support the growth of teacher candidates in a variety of ways, but the main focus of the experience is on preparing future teachers to recognize that they have the power to engage learners through their instructional design choices and decisions. Digital video anchors used appropriately to capture and sustain student engagement are a vehicle for ensuring that teacher candidates recognize the impact of technology as an engagement tool for all learners. in order to determine whether the model helped teacher candidates in the early stages of their professional program understand the value of engagement, with or without technology, candidates were asked to respond to the following open-ended question: Based on your experiences this semester, do you think that increasing the level of engagement helps students learn? Why or why not? 65 Captivating Young Learners and Preparing 21st Century Social Studies Teachers The question did not direct candidates to address technology, but since they were asked to share their thoughts during the final technology session it is natural that many of them chose to include references to technology in their answers. To analyze the connections between the reasons given in the candidates’ responses and the type of learner activity associated with the reasons, the faculty first reviewed the responses and removed any that did not include reasons why engagement helps students learn, eliminating three of the twenty responses. The faculty subsequently used grounded theory as described by Strauss and Corbin (1998) to review the remaining responses, as they “allow[ed] the theory to emerge from the data” (p. 12). As elementary education is a marriage of developing a receptive attitude toward learning with the cognitive mastery of concepts, the faculty used the categories of learning outcomes in the affective domain as delineating by Krathwohl, Bloom, and mesia (1964) in their taxonomy as this theory assumes that cognition is present in each component (Smith & ragan, 1993). Table 1 shows the responses in order of number of reasons (highest to lowest) and the taxonomy categories for each reason. Table 1 responses to open-ended question: Based on your experiences this semester, do you think that increasing the level of engagement helps students learn? Why or why not? Reasons given why increasing engagement helps students learn and phase of affective hierarchy Three reasons in response: 1. pay more attention (attending) get excited (responding) and enjoy doing the work (valuing) 2. paying attention (attending) and responding (responding). . . the more they are learning. 3. less likely to be behavior problems and get distracted/distract (attending) other students . . . most learning-conducive environment that a teacher can provide. 4. cannot and will not learn when they are bored, uninterested and unengaged (attending & responding) engagement opens doors (responding) for . . . allowing students to learn and want to learn (valuing)! 5. more interested (attending & responding) and “engaged” (responding) in the lesson and if it relates to them . . . remember it more and (valuing) have a better working knowledge of the subject matter (organization). 6. they are paying attention (attending) . . . absorbing more information (responding), and are more likely to remember in a meaningful way (valuing & organization). Two reasons in response: 1. the more students will commit to memory . . . understand concepts. (attending, responding, valuing, organization) 2. engaging lessons create[s] a happier learning environment (attending) and interested students (responding) 3. produces better student work (attending, responding, valuing, organization) and creates a more fun learning environment. 4. they become involved (attending, responding) and active learners (valuing) which decreases the chance that they will get bored or that their minds will wander. 5. If they can feel more involved in a lesson (attending, responding, valuing), they will learn more (organization). 6. Students learn better when they are interested in the content (attending, responding, valuing) and feel as though they have a part in their own learning (organization). 7. different levels of engagement enables different modes of learning for each student (attending, responding) and therefore a higher success (valuing). 66 Cunningham and Friedman One reason in response: 1. pay attention to what the content is (attending) 2. keeps students interested (attending) and excited (responding) about what is going on in the classroom 3. will be interested in what they are about to learn (attending, responding) 4. it helps them relate in a more personal way (attending, responding, valuing) Table 2 responses including references to technology in the open-ended question: Based on your experiences this semester, do you think that increasing the level of engagement helps students learn? Why or why not? Giving them new, fun exciting ways to learn engages them. Students now relate better to technology than books. Also, using various forms of technology can engage a variety of learners. I definitely agree and think that increased levels of engagement help students learn. I saw the effects of having a high engagement activity throughout my social studies lesson. Creating engaging lessons creates a happier learning environment and interested students. My social studies lesson would not have been nearly as successful without use of video. Getting students engaged and enthused about a lesson produces better student work and creates a more fun learning environment. When we used the video in our social studies lesson, students were really excited about doing the lesson. It was neat to see them perk up with attention at the video. I definitely think that increasing the level of engagement will help students learn because they will be interested in what they are about to learn. Technology is a great way to engage your students. In a taxonomy of five levels: attending, responding, valuing, organization, and characterization by a value complex, most of the teacher candidates provided reasons that reached the fourth level of the taxonomy (Smith & Ragan, p. 304). Analyzing the reasons through an affective lens revealed that ten of the seventeen responses reached the third or fourth level of the taxonomy. The number of reasons in a response was unrelated to the sophistication in terms of taxonomy levels addressed in the response. The candidates’ responses also included references to the value of technology to increase engagement. Table 2 lists the question responses that included specific references to technology. Five of the twenty (25%) responses included direct references to the value of technology to promote engagement, and one other response inferred that technology promoted engagement as the context of the response was a description of how the candidate experienced engagement throughout the technology course. These responses indicate that at least one-fourth of the teacher candidates were impressed with the impact that technology had on student engagement. Conclusions Based on the responses to the open-ended question, the majority of the teacher candidates experiencing this collaborative teaching model were able to articulate sophisticated reasons why engagement was valuable to the learning process when asked to respond spontaneously. Although their terminology was couched within the affective domain, their responses still indicated that increased engagement produced learning in the cognitive domain. The fact that the candidates’ 67 Captivating Young Learners and Preparing 21st Century Social Studies Teachers responses were spontaneous and they were provided limited space and time to generate them makes the sophistication of their responses more impressive. Without being prompted, 25% of the teacher candidates cited the value of technology to increase student engagement. Based on the informal evidence presented in the candidates’ responses to the openended questions, it can be concluded their experiences in the collaborative teaching model helped them understand the importance and value of designing instructional materials that increase student engagement and recognize the potential of technology to increase student engagement. Further study will explore the long-range impact on teacher candidate teaching practices and dispositions as well as the impact of digital video anchors on elementary students’ participation and engagement. Implications The collaborative teaching model combining instruction and scaffolding from methods, technology and field experience faculty has the potential to shape instructional design choices for future teachers. This model also has a positive impact on elementary students and classroom teachers who experience the instruction. Future research on the habits and dispositions of teachers who have experienced this type of instructional model in their pre-service programs will provide better data about the long-term impact of the model, but it is clear that this was a memorable event for the teacher candidates and they can build on their successes with technology-enhanced instructional design during the student teaching experience. The success of this model in an early field experience has implications for placements in student teaching so that the teacher candidates may continue to build their technology and instruction skills in an environment that will support it. 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Available: Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 69-78 I Think, iPod(cast), I Learn: Using Digital Media and Podcasting in Teacher Education Lee Woodham digiovanni, Stacy L. SchWartz, and chriS greer Georgia College & State University,USA While many of today’s college students have a high rate of digital literacy, the use of digital media and/or podcasting is relatively new in teacher education, particularly when used as a vehicle for students to express their understandings and as a teaching tool. this article chronicles the collaboration between faculty in instructional technology and early childhood education programs as well as the implementation of digital media applications in one of the first courses in a two-year teacher education program at a four-year university. as teacher educators, we have noticed the ever-expanding normalcy of technology in our students’ lives. many of our students have never known the need for a typewriter, getting a cell phone is a rite of passage, and since our students are required to have access to their own computer, we see students on a daily basis using technology that is familiar to them as they text friends, check email, utilize Facebook, listen to iPods, and the like. We have sensed a great irony in this situation. While a majority of our students continue to move ahead in their Web 2.0 world, we have recognized a widening divide between what teacher educators and students know and do. Further, many of our students developed digital literacy in spite of, not necessarily because of, efforts to utilize technology in their Prekindergarten-12th grade education. in our primary focus on content specific teacher education, we were constantly asking our students to foster digital literacy by integrating technology into their lessons in the Prekindergarten-fifth (P-5) classroom. meanwhile, our own use of technology in the classroom was limited to things such as overheads, email, word processing and PowerPoint applications. ironically, not only were we behind the learning curve, our students rarely saw any models in the field that helped them process how digital literacy could play out in P-5 classrooms. We came to recognize that unless we have an understanding of how our students view and utilize digital media and have thought about its applications from an educational point of view, it was difficult to ask our pre-service teachers to envision fostering digital literacy in their classrooms. this recognition resulted in a collaboration between some of the faculty in the instructional technology program and the early childhood education program at our institution. this article seeks to 70 Digiovanni, Schwartz, and Greer provide a documentary account of our joint efforts to link digital literacy that many of our students access on a continual basis with ways that pre-service teachers think through and with technology in both our classes and the P-5 setting. Pedagogical Perspectives in our review of literature, we focused on digital media; specifically, we looked into how others used podcasting in their teaching. We settled on podcasting because of the proliferation of iPods in our students’ lives, and the portability and flexibility iPods and supporting software can provide in terms of reaching P-5 students. this particular point is critical in the development of this project. While it is becoming easier to find literature about podcasting in higher education, we often found that professors were using podcasting to deliver audio files of lectures to students (often referred to as coursecasting or profcasting) – a top-down type of approach to education (Leaver 2006a). this approach is easily recognized if one scans many of the offerings at itunesU from various institutions of higher education. Seeing how lecture is not how we usually approach our teaching (or for that matter, encourage our future educators to teach), we continued to search for benefits of podcasting beyond that of lecture redelivery; we wanted technology to be a way for students to actively build meaning, an application of constructivism. consequently, we wanted to design a course with podcasting that was more interactive, much as Leaver (2006b) describes: For students, podcasting can be far more than a content-delivery mechanism; it can be part of their ongoing participation in knowledge communities in both tertiary settings and beyond. Student podcasting also levels the playing field in relation to ideas of content-creation and can be part of the processes of helping learners develop the tools of cultural interaction, not just consumption, which are increasingly an essential part of digital literacy. Such uses of podcasting as way to actively build meaning of content within higher education are slowly emerging (e.g. Lazzari 2009, Lee et al. 2008, mcLoughlin et al. 2006). as teacher educators, the idea of expanding students’ digital literacy while reinforcing content sounded encouraging to us. We sensed that our students were proficient with the consumption of digital media, but based on previous experience with students at our institution imagined that few of them were proficient in the creation of digital media (podcasting, digital storytelling, web design, etc). We questioned the benefits versus the added work that we would encounter (the rewrite of the course, the collaboration with multiple professors, our own training, the added requirements of the students). campbell (2005) found that there are good reasons for acquiring at least rudimentary skills in “rich media” (or “multimedia”) authoring. more and more students come to school with these skills. this is a language they not only understand but use, often on a daily basis. Some of them have been blogging, shooting and editing video, creating Flash animations, manipulating photographs, and recording digital audio for many years. these are the tools of their native expressiveness, and with the right guidance and assignments, they can use these tools to create powerful analytical and synthetic work. yet even such digitally fluent students need to learn to manipulate their multimedia languages well, with conceptual and critical acumen, and we in higher education do them a disservice if we exclude their creative digital tools from their education. (para. 11) as we discussed earlier, we were looking to use technology in ways that would include students as active meaning makers and as essential participants in the construction of knowledge rather than passive consumers. Podcasting, for us, was a logical choice due to its proliferation and accessibility for our students. as we focused more on podcasting we recognized that P-5 students could easily learn to create podcasts as well to showcase their learning, but the likelihood of these P-5 students doing so was slim if they were not in a classroom with a teacher familiar with podcasting or other digital media creation. it is important to note here that podcasting integration is not and should not be constrained to the world of higher education. While there is a paucity of research on the effectiveness of podcasting within the P-12 classroom, research indicates that the iPod can be used to “…hone students’ vocabulary, writing, editing, public speaking, and presentation skills.” (Borja 2005). one of the overarching objectives within our technology integration course is to provide pre-service teachers with the skills necessary to effectively use technology within the P-5 classroom. as we worked together, it became clear that all three of us shared the same goals. We wanted to not only embolden our pre-service teachers’ use of technology within their college coursework, but to translate into increased digital literacy within their future P-5 classrooms. through our collaborative efforts, we developed a plan for how to combine the goals of both instructional technology courses and early childhood education courses over a three-semester sequence during which we shared the same stu- 71 I Think, iPod(cast), I Learn dents. our first focus with digital literacy would allow us to use technology as our students learned about P-5 students by studying educational theory. From there, we could enlarge the process in future courses so that our students were using digital media for their P-5 students and then eventually with P-5 students. as our enthusiasm grew we decided that there were more advantages than disadvantages in making podcasting a larger focus in our teacher education program. We began this collaboration by asking: What are pre-service teachers’ perceptions about using digital technology to develop and represent their understandings about children’s development, learning and their communities? how do pre-service teachers represent their knowledge in non-traditional formats? What are the benefits of using digital media to teach and assess students? While we developed and subsequently implemented our plan for the three prong focus of using podcasting as a means to learn about children, as a way for pre-service teachers to create podcasts for children, and finally for our preservice teachers to create podcasts with children, this article chronicles our collaboration between instructional technology and early childhood education program faculty during the initial semester where we combined our teaching goals in the redesign of one early childhood education course that teaches about child development. in addition to the questions above, specific questions regarding the initial course we were redesigning emerged: does the use of iPod technology assist pre-service teachers in deepening their understanding of child development and educational theory? does the use of digital media and iPod technology help pre-service teachers apply this information and produce materials that are accessible, meaningful, and relevant to elementary school students, teachers, families, and the wider community? With the previous questions in mind, we applied for the iPod initiative Faculty Learning community through our institution that has not only provided iPods for our students but has also allowed us to utilize podcasting and digital media technology in our classes. in the rewriting of the first course requirements, the collaborative meeting between the instructors within the two disciplines allowed us to pick several projects that have traditionally been completed as papers and convert them into digital media assignments. these assignments would be utilized for both instructional technology and early childhood courses, with one course grading for content and the other course grading for technology application. one project, the educational theorist podcast, has students working in groups with each group eventually becoming an expert on one educational theorist. By combining existing information and creating their own materials through interviews with scholars in their field, (i.e. a dewey Scholar, a director of a montessori school, a teacher who studied the reggio approach) and other artifacts, students would be able to share this information first with their peers and then the larger educational community through a class webpage. another assignment, the exploring communities podcast and weblink, asks students to investigate the community where they were engaged in field work (looking for understanding of resources available to families, the social, political, economic climate, etc.) and create a multimedia presentation that not only would be evidence of the pre-service teachers’ understanding on the impact of community on education, but also might become a valuable resource for the local schools and families. as we designed the course, we could imagine this project becoming a link on the elementary school’s website that might have information for families that could include newcomer’s information, local educational field trips, how to seek assistance in the community, etc. Finally, we asked students to utilize digital media to produce materials that not only show their understanding of a child’s typical social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, but also as a product that is useful to a wider audience, the child development brochure or multi media presentation. here we could see a link that could be a part of individual teachers’ web pages that would help families understand “typical” child development. We know from our own elementary teaching days that families often wonder, “why does my child always…? is it oK that s/he does not yet…?” this digital product could be as simple as a PdF brochure available to parents or as involved as a multimedia presentation of child development for the grades in which the pre-service teachers are placed. thus the project not only lets us, as course instructors, assess students’ understanding of child development, but also creates a useful resource to the schools and their families. one of the bigger challenges with this unique approach to technology integration was providing the students with the necessary tools and skills for the creation of a podcast. each pre-service teacher is required to own and use a laptop throughout the two-year program. this requirement introduces challenges within the technology integration class, especially in regards to the various operating systems and system configurations that will be present among the students’ machines. the laptops are predominantly Windows-based, and therefore it was decided that microsoft Photo Story and microsoft movie maker would be utilized for the content creation. these two software packages are relatively easy to 72 Digiovanni, Schwartz, and Greer learn and are freely available to any XP or vista configured computer. accommodations were also made for pre-service teachers who own apple computers, which many consider to be better equipped for producing multimedia content with their excellent iLife multimedia suite. the greatest challenge for both of these particular podcasting projects involved the conversion of the Windows media video files, which are created by both Photo Story and movie maker, into podcastcompatible files. once again, considering the technology budgets within modern P-12 school systems, the goal was to utilize software that was freely available and easy to use. two software programs, the Jodix iPod video converter and videora iPod converter, were found to do an outstanding job of converting the files regardless of operating system or computer specifications. the podcast-compatible files could then be uploaded to our University System’s podcast server for distribution throughout the class. this podcast server was developed at our institution as a way for public universities throughout the state of georgia to host and share podcasts for educational purposes. Our Study in our qualitative study we examined a cohort of forty-one pre-service teachers as a case. Study through case method is applicable for us because we as “researchers are interested in insight, discovery, and interpretation rather than hypothesis testing” (merriam 1998, p. 29). case study is also appropriate for the study because it “is particularly suitable design if you are interested in process” (merriam 1998, p. 33), and a vital aspect of this inquiry is to study the pre-service teacher’s learning. As the semester started, we assessed students on their comfort level with digital media through an online survey we created (Fig. 1). As anticipated, many of our students were very comfortable with the consumption of digital media, but were less comfortable with creative tasks in the realm of creating digital media. This knowledge was crucial to us, for we felt that the possibilities of modeling constructivism remained very high with this project. Figure 1. Self-reported Student technology Proficiency Prior to implementation. as the projects were assigned, students were learning skills needed to complete the projects in their technology class. the students learned to negotiate class time and deadlines so that they could meet requirements, go to technology class with questions, and seek us out on their own time for assistance. We structured the assignments so that they were first completing one of the more simple podcasts. Students were asked to take still pictures and use their laptops to create the podcast of the community in which they were interning. the Photo Story software is incredibly simple but still allows a bit of flexibility throughout the creation process. Students were able to use digital cameras to capture their own digital images and then load these images into Photo Story. narration could then be added to each photograph and music could 73 I Think, iPod(cast), I Learn be incorporated into the background of the entire project. Based on feedback received from the students as well as from our own observations of their work, this first assignment proved to be a good starting point. the next project involved students combining movies they had filmed, video clips from internet resources, as well as their own audio and interviews they conducted with others in order to learn about educational theorists central to early childhood education. While Photo Story allows for the creation of a basic podcast, we felt that the students had progressed to a level that enabled them to move to creating video podcasts. the movie maker software provides the students with a great deal of flexibility in regards to the integration of mixed media into their projects. in addition to still photographs and narration, the students used video cameras to interview faculty and teachers. Furthermore, some students found videos on youtube and other online sources that could supplement their digital images and videos. these videos were downloaded using the website and then converted to a movie maker compatible file format with the freely available WinFF software. movie maker was relatively stable when handling the various media, although the updated version that comes with the vista operating system was noticeably buggy on certain laptops. one drawback to movie maker is the limitation that comes when incorporating multiple audio sources into a project. With only one audio input allowed in the software, students were unable to include background music after adding their narration. For students with mac laptops, the imovie editing software proved to be an excellent choice for handling the various images and videos that were required for the podcast. We had little problems chronicling the students’ skill progression and ability to integrate content knowledge with their technology skills as they completed the projects that were assigned them and asked for assistance in our individual classes. ascertaining whether or not these projects were effective in the learning of course content was achieved in part by asking for reflective feedback as students completed each project. this feedback took the form of answers to three basic questions: • What are your reactions to the project? • What benefits, if any, do you see to such a project? • What advice do you have for future podcast projects? Findings to determine if our project was meeting our goals, we took extensive notes during class sessions as students were grappling with technology and content. Prior to beginning these projects, we pre-assessed our students by surveying them regarding their technological proficiency, and we followed up at the end of the semester with a post assessment that looked for growth in their proficiency. additionally, we interviewed students about their projects, as well as had students complete reflective feedback writing as described above. this collection of data was coded, looking for specific themes. as we analyzed the data, the following themes emerged: Depth of Understanding one of the things that truly impressed us was the depth of understanding that our students gained and demonstrated about the content. We had students speaking knowledgeably about Piaget, vygotsky, montessori, and other theorists with a level of understanding we have not witnessed with previous cohorts. a number of students commented about their level of understanding in the reflections, with comments such as “I learned more than I would have if I had sat through a PowerPoint,” and “I was able to go more in depth because I could use sources that we wouldn’t have been able to use if we were just writing a paper.” Greater Engagement and Confidence the change in assignment focus (from projects being completed with the professor as the audience to projects being completed with peers, professionals, and professors being the audience) seemed to “up” the level of engagement and understanding. the purposefulness in the products seemed to translate well with the students – their work had greater 74 Digiovanni, Schwartz, and Greer purpose than just to prove “i know the information.” With each project, we witnessed our students’ confidence growing. in many reflections, we found a similar sentiment expressed as this one below: at first i was terrified with the idea of making a Podcast, as it was something that i have never done before, and i am usually more traditional and like things done the old-fashion way with posters and even a photo type album sounded very interesting. however, i ended up really liking the Podcast idea, simply because of the really neat technology stuff that we were taught in class that i am really excited about using for my own personal projects. Fear gave way to confidence. more than that, though – our students were having fun with their learning: “I had fun and it was beneficial to me.” Positives and Negatives About Group Work our project also provided us a way to interact with and build relationships with our students. this project is assigned during one of the first courses of our students’ two-year cohort program. Using digital media gives us not only another way to learn about each other, but also a way to consider how iPod technology can make a difference in their teaching and learning. the projects in the first class were deliberately designed to be group work so that students would gain the experience of working collaboratively. a number of students remarked that the group work component, particularly so early in their cohort program, helped them get to know each other better as well as enhance their learning. While many students were successful with cooperative learning, some were not. one statement that came up repeatedly in the reflective writing regarding these projects was that some gained more skill than others in creating digital media because of the nature of the group work – only one person at a time could make changes to the final product. most seemed to appreciate the opportunity to create and learn more about digital media, but a number lamented that they really did not get to practice the skills as much as they could have had the projects been more individualized. our post assessment survey regarding technology proficiency that students took online mirrored this concern – while obvious gains had been made in students’ ability with creating podcasts and digital recordings, proficiency is not as high as we would like it to be (Fig. 2). We are curious what these results will look like at the end of the cohort sequence. Figure 2. Self-reported Student technology Proficiency after initial course. Access to Resources many students commented that one of the greatest benefits to them was that they have access to the other students’ completed podcasts. the community podcast in particular helped students to acclimate quickly when they changed placements during their junior year. Plus, the ability to watch and listen to the podcasts on their iPods made the resource con- 75 I Think, iPod(cast), I Learn venient and portable. “I love that it’s up on our server and that we can access it whenever we want to. It’s a lot easier to get the information that way, instead of every group having to print out over 15 copies of a long paper.” Creativity and Risk Taking overwhelmingly, students discussed how the podcasts allowed them to be creative in their presentation. creating a podcast is an interesting and exciting way to complete a project. the educational theorist project consisted of a lot of history and facts, which often makes presentations long and boring. By making the project into a podcast, we were given the opportunity to make it interesting and exciting. Words such as the ability to express myself creatively repeatedly showed up in reflections, as well as the acknowledgement that the medium allowed students to take a risk in performance that they might not have taken if they got up in front of the class to present. Time Commitment the one overwhelming concern that students expressed was finding the time to complete the lengthy projects, as well as the ability to find time to complete their projects. the students have a very full schedule with field placement two days a week and class three days a week. Both group time and the time it took to edit videos were significant for these initial projects. Putting it all together proved to be quite difficult. [We] spent over 20 hours figuring out how to put all the videos on one computer and how to be able to transfer everything. We were able to get a lot of help from the mac center at the library. Next Steps the success we witnessed as well as the feedback from students about the assignments from the first course gave us the confidence to continue the integration in other courses, just as we imagined during this project’s inception. We have also continued this study with a new cohort of students and have found that many of the responses to these activities are similar, but there is a richer understanding of how the assignment relates to constructivism than our first attempt at this study. Students discuss in the reflections their frustration with the first assignment, and it creates a great segue into discussing the principles of constructivism, particularly as they experience frustration that leads to learning, as well as the scaffolding that comes from completing this project as a group. this awareness of how the assignment modeled constructivism was present for us during the first iteration of the study, but we did not make it as transparent to the students as we did the second time, partly due to a difference in teaching styles, but more because we anticipated the level of frustration during the second iteration of this project. additionally, the comments students provided during our initial implementation about frustration with group work were noted, and steps to insure that all students were involved during the creation of the initial podcast were included in the assignment description and grading during the second iteration. one problem we did not anticipate was difficulty with converting to podcasts utilizing movie maker during this continuation of the study. We believe this difficulty emerged due to more of our students having Windows vista rather than XP, as some bugs within the program that appear to be more present with Windows vista. these problems are causing us to consider other options for video podcasting assignments in the future. While our initial focus was using digital literacy to learn about children, schools, and educational theory, we have since moved to projects that allow our pre-service teachers to use technology for the children that they teach. one example that has been very successful with the students in a subsequent class is the creation of Karaoke/Music Videos that they have turned into podcasts. Student feedback about group projects encouraged us to make this assignment an individual one. the students individually created their own videos that were uploaded to the cohorts’ podcast channel, and they now have a library of children’s song podcasts that can be utilized by P-5 students or themselves as teachers. Feedback from this project is overwhelmingly positive, and students reported that the time that it took to complete the project was significantly less now that they have greater comfort in their production skills. additionally, students have completed 76 Digiovanni, Schwartz, and Greer a group podcast using the digital format of their choice to help make the connections between Play and Development based on the grade level they were teaching. Students have also submitted individual PdF handouts describing a Play Center they have implemented in their field placement and these were shared via our podcast channel. our next plan in the process is to have our pre-service teachers consider how to utilize digital media with their P-5 students as they gain more skill in building and implementing curriculum in their field placements. through each of these steps in the process, we are emphasizing that digital literacy has as much a place in schools as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Conclusion the use of digital media such as podcast production in teacher education is still very new. as we completed our literature review, it was very difficult to find the use of podcasts in higher education for anything other than lecture redelivery; it has only been recently that studies that chronicle digital media production as a means to learn content have emerged (e.g. Lazzari 2009, Lee et al. 2008, mcLoughlin et al. 2006). our students are learning about technology and course content in ways that mirror constructivism – frequently they have to build understanding for themselves, but in so doing, their understanding ends up being much stronger than had they just duplicated a model or were lectured about a topic. through our deliberate focus on technology integration, students soon find that they are able to include digital media in their teaching and are able to advocate to others regarding the importance – not only in how they present information, but also in having their own students create podcasts and other digital media projects. digital literacy, then, will hopefully become an integral part of what our students are providing their P-5 students. We began this project recognizing that digital media would provide us a new way of interacting with and producing material related to the content of child development and learning. many of our students are technologically savvy and seem to think with and through technology – this project would give our students a way to do such with content related to educational theory. additionally, though, this project fits well with another one of the features of our teacher education program. as teacher educators, we strive for frequent and successful collaborations. this collaboration is not only good for us, as it improves our teaching, but also helps to provide a model for our students regarding what collaboration can look like when they are educators. By working together on adding this component to one of our courses, not to mention building a collaborative relationship among the three of us, we have been able to support each other as well as provide more support for our students as they begin grappling with technology as a teaching tool. For us, an obvious gain comes from working together to improve our teaching through both collaboration and technology. References Borja, r. (2005, december). Podcasting craze comes to K-12 schools. Education Week, 25(14), 8-8. campbell, g. (2005, november). there’s something in the air: Podcasting in education. EDUCAUSE Review, 40(6) 32–47. retrieved July 20, 2007 from Lazzari, m. (2009, January). creative use of podcasting in higher education and its effect on competitive agency. Computers & Education, 52(1), 27-34. retrieved January 10, 2009 from academic Search complete. Leaver, t. (2006a, october). iPodium: Student Podcasting and Participatory Pedagogies. Association of Internet Researchers Conference. retrieved July 20, 2007, from Leaver, t. (2006b, February) iteach, iLearn: Student Podcasting (the Presentation). 2006 Teaching and Learning Forum. retrieved July 20, 2007, from Lee, m., mcLoughlin, c., & chan, a. (2008, may). talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501-521. retrieved January 10, 2009 from academic Search complete. mcLoughlin, c., Lee, m. J. W. & chan, a. (2006). Using student generated podcasts to foster reflection and metacognition. Australian Educational Computing, 21(2) 34–40. merriam, S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco, ca: JosseyBass. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 79-88 A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics Using Inquiry, Technology and Collaboration: An Initial Report Laurie a. DunLap anD antonio r. QuesaDa University of Akron, USA a blended distance learning workshop was conducted at the university of akron for inservice mathematics teachers of grades 8 – 12. Multipoint interactive video conferencing was utilized to deliver interactive sessions between the university and five locations in northeast ohio. the “ti-nspire” calculator and course management system “springboard” were used in the workshop. the goals of this workshop focused on deepening content knowledge, integrating technology, using inquiry, and peer collaboration. initially, participants experienced frustration with this new environment, but this faded after three meetings. the results indicate that the goals of the workshop were achieved at a high level and that using the blended distance delivery, as opposed to face-to-face delivery, did not seem to lessen the amount of learning accomplished by participants. the experience gained will enhance the second half of this sequence which is offered in 2009. a blended distance learning workshop was conducted for inservice mathematics teachers of grades 8 – 12. the workshop utilized multipoint interactive video conferencing to deliver interactive sessions between the university of akron and five other locations in northeast ohio. this is the first distance workshop that we have offered incorporating multiple sites and it represented the first half of a two part sequence of workshops. Facilitators as well as participants needed to adapt to their new virtual “surroundings”. Both the “ti-nspire” calculator and the course management system “springboard” were completely new technology for the majority of those involved. initial participant comments reflected the frustration that this new environment was bound to create. after three meetings, however, the level of comfort increased substantially for everyone, and the assessment of the results illustrates that the demanding goals of the workshop were achieved at a high level. also, evidence suggests that using the blended distance delivery, as opposed to faceto-face delivery, did not seem to lessen the amount of learning accomplished by the participants. this experience will no doubt enhance the second half of the workshop being offered in 2009. Purpose the main purpose of this workshop was to help teachers deepen their understanding of content while learning how to integrate technology, inquiry and collaboration into teaching strategies. there is a growing demand for professional development in these areas (Conference Board of the Mathematical sciences [CBMs], 2001). the content portion was centered on families of continuous functions, modeling and data fitting with real life applications, and connections to calculus from pre-algebra, analytic geometry and trigonometry. this content reflects ideas that technology enhances and/ or makes more accessible (CBMs, 2001; Quesada, 2007). the teaching strategies were chosen because they facilitate 80 Dunlap and Quesada the development of mathematical power: “Mathematical power includes the ability to explore, conjecture, and reason logically; to solve nonroutine problems; to communicate about and through mathematics; and to connect ideas within mathematics and between mathematics and other intellectual activities” (national Council of teachers of Mathematics [nCtM], 1991, p. 1). an additional purpose of this workshop was to offer professional development to teachers at remote sites by using a blended distance delivery. Theoretical Framework the strategies of technology integration, inquiry-based (iB) instruction and peer collaboration support our constructivist teaching philosophy and are ideal for developing a deep understanding of mathematical content (CBMs, 2001; nCtM, 1989, 2000). these strategies can be applied effectively in distance education (Markel, 1999; rumble, 2001; Wells, 2007). Wells also states that engagement and thorough evaluation are keys to durable professional development. this supports our use of two other strategies: reflection and assessment. By employing technology integration, iB instruction, and peer collaboration during the workshop, teachers experienced these methods as students, before they were required to devise ways to implement them in their own classrooms. experiencing strategies as students increases the likelihood that teachers will adopt these strategies in their classrooms (nCtM, 1991). ti-nspire calculators were the primary technological devices integrated in their lessons. as teachers progressed through the workshop, they developed word processing skills by using ti-nspire Link software and the Microsoft Word equation editor. the versatility of the ti-nspire calculator proved to be invaluable to initiate the teachers into the use of different approaches to solve problems. this graphing calculator was used to convey concepts and make connections between content often viewed as isolated. the participants had the opportunity to practice some basic skills on their calculator by viewing videos that were uploaded on the course management system. then in the classroom, they collaborated on iB lessons that explored concepts and expanded their calculator skills. incorporating technology in these ways is recommended in the literature (CBMs, 2001; Garofalo, J., Drier, H., Harper, s., timmerman, M. a., & shockey, t., 2000; nCtM, 2000). the collaboration, guidance and technology contribute to developing skills in iB learning (tsankova and Dobrynina, 2005). these strategies also contributed to developing a community of learners which increases the chances for success of professional development for teachers through distance learning (Lock, 2006). Formative assessment was used to scaffold the participants’ progress in many ways, such as keeping participants on schedule and aware of their progress. For example, having the assignments being due for grading after every meeting helped to prevent the participants from getting behind in a fast-paced course. assessment was also designed to lead the students through integrated tiers of educational goals. For example, to prepare the participants for writing an iB activity with their team, they first experienced iB activities as learners, then read about and reflected over iB activities. Before they began creating their activities, they were provided with a rubric that listed elements that should be part of their iB activities. incorporating a variety of assessments throughout instruction in this way is recommended by the nCtM (1989). particular care was taken to scaffold them through the process of learning about and using iB activities because previous workshop participants had very little experience learning under this modality and lacked the necessary skills (einsporn, Quesada, pachnowski & saliga, 2007). the activities created by the participants will be made available to ohio teachers via the akron Math Community website reflection was a constant theme of the workshop. after each activity, everyone uploaded a reflection on how what they had learned would be echoed in their teaching. at the end of every class, they uploaded a reflection that described what they had learned during the day. Continuous grading was done partly so that they could introspect on their progress and make adjustments as needed. on the first and last days of the workshop teaching philosophies were written so that they could evaluate how their ideas may have changed during the course of the workshop. so, by the end of the workshop, each of them had compiled an electronic portfolio that encapsulated all of their work. such a portfolio might aid them when integrating what they had learned into their teaching. reflective skills were focused on continuously so that they could become better learners and teachers (nCtM, 1991). all of these pedagogical strategies were integrated with each other to increase their potency so that the participants could maximize their outcome from the workshop. A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics Methodology Course Delivery Logistics 81 the workshop utilized multipoint interactive video conferencing to deliver interactive sessions between the main site at the university of akron and five locations in northeast ohio. the primary instruction for the course originated from a technology enhanced distance learning classroom on the university’s main campus. the presentation was then distributed in real-time via ip videoconferencing connections to selected sites in Cuyahoga, Lorain, summit, Medina and Coshocton counties. the classroom facilities utilized at the university were equipped with multiple cameras and microphones that allowed full interaction between instructors and participants. the instructor’s microphone and camera had a tracking feature that allowed the primary instructor the freedom to move around the classroom and remain in the camera shot at all times. When students at the akron location activated a microphone at a student desk, cameras located in the front of the room automatically zoomed in on those speaking. this feature allowed far-site counterparts to see who was commenting or asking a question. upon completion of a student speaking, the default view would return to the original image of the instructor. While each far-site location varied in design and capabilities, each had basic camera and microphone designs that were comparable to the akron location. to further improve the collaborative nature of the course, locations were equipped with an interactive sMart Board. the lone exception was the stark County facility, where a tablet pC and projector substituted for the sMart Board technology. using “see and share”, a web-based collaborative data sharing program from tandberg Corporation, all sites were able to share information such as word files and software programs. in addition, the smart notebook software provided an electronic version of a “chalkboard” with which all sites could write and interact. participants at each of the locations were also provided laptops within wireless environments. technology support for the program was available on several levels, as recommended in the literature (Williams, 2003). the connectivity was monitored on an ongoing basis by staff and student assistants at the university of akron. a student assistant was designated to observe each session in its entirety and provide in-class support as needed. a student assistant was also available at all times to provide telephone support to those in need at participating sites. in addition, full time distance learning engineering staff was on call for each session of the event. each far-site location also had a designated technical contact in the event of any site specific issues. Following the workshop, digital recordings of each session were made available to participants. Course Structure During the spring, summer and fall of 2008, 78 mathematics teachers of grades 8 through 12 participated in the workshop. the original workshop enrollment was 88; however, 10 teachers had to withdraw for personal reasons. Forty school districts, 43 high schools, and 6 middle schools were represented. each participant that completed the workshop earned 6 graduate credits. the university of akron provided tuition scholarships; participants paid only service fees amounting to approximately $210 per semester. the workshop lasted 11 days: 4 saturdays during the spring semester, 6 full days during the summer and a follow-up session on a saturday in the fall. in the spring of 2008 the university of akron began using a new course management system that they named springboard. it is powered by Desire2Learn inc. its schedule, Content, Locker, Discussion, Dropbox, Grades, Competencies, rubrics and Classlist features were used to support the workshop. the schedule feature was used to post homework assignments and the Content feature was used to post course materials such as the syllabus, activities, ti-nspire videos, readings, rubrics, and lesson formats. the Locker feature allowed each team to post materials for which only team members would have access. the Discussion feature supported an asynchronous, anonymous “question and answer” threaded 82 Dunlap and Quesada discussion and private discussion area for each team. the Dropbox feature was used to created separate drop boxes for each assignment that was due. all of the facilitators were able to enter grades using the Grades feature and the participants were able to view their own grades (and class statistics such as means, minimums and maximums) as they were submitted. the Classlist feature was used to send emails to any selected subset of the participants and facilitators. the rubrics and Competencies features were used to keep track of what percentage of students were earning at least a 75% average on activity questions that addressed ten learning outcomes. the workshop directors supervised the workshop from the main site. each of the other five sites had one facilitator. a class would start with announcements. then a team would volunteer to debrief one of the assignments due that day. as they presented their solutions to the activity, facilitators or participants at any of the sites could interrupt them with comments and questions. sometimes one of the facilitators would ask for a break in the debriefing so that they could hold a brief discussion at their site. this tactic helped with clarification and it also helped with keeping participants from getting behind. once a debriefing was completed, participants were given time to make corrections and upload their solutions and reflections. each team created one set of solutions for each activity. after lunch, the professors at the main site would usually lead the participants through one or two more activities in class. occasionally, one of the other facilitators led an activity. there were also five readings assigned during the workshop, so the afternoon might be a time to discuss a reading. at the end of each meeting, an email was sent to participants that outlined what they needed to complete by the next meeting. an email was also sent to the facilitators that outlined what they needed to grade. teams of three to four participants were created on the first day of the workshop at each site. they collaborated with their team members during every class as they worked on iB activities, but since some activities were also assigned for homework, they also collaborated outside of class. When experiencing problems, teachers could ask for help from other teams at their site or ask for help from anyone in the workshop by posting a question in the threaded discussion that was set up for the course. the sustained, intensive nature of the workshop made the collaboration particularly critical for those involved. By the end of the workshop, the participants developed networks of support within their teams, sites, and workshop. Assessment Tools the assessment tools used in the workshop were an anonymous pretest and posttest, self assessment surveys, a peer survey, a workshop evaluation survey (given by the external evaluator), graded assignments and informal observations. assessment was designed to evaluate what the participants could do, as well as what they perceived they could do, in the areas emphasized in the workshop. the test questions reflected the content from the workshop. they were written by the facilitators and tested by other instructors for errors and clarity. there were 32 questions; 10 were in a multiple choice format and 22 were in a short answer format. an example of each type is in table 1. the averages on questions 1 and 2 increased from 47% to 77% and 62% to 81%, respectively, between the pretest and posttest. A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics Table 1 sample of test Questions 1. The minimal possible degree of the polynomial 83 p ( x ) depicted to the right is A. 6 B. 5 C. 4 D. 3 E. Can not be determined from the graph 2. Find the domain and range of the function h( x) = x − x the questions from the self assessment surveys and peer surveys are located in tables 5 and 6 of the next section. Grading of assignments was shared amongst the facilitators. For consistency, each assignment was graded by one facilitator using a rubric. the final lesson plans were divvied up amongst the facilitators. these were graded using a rubric with 22 categories that could sum to a maximum of 100 points. Results the level of success achieved in reaching the goals of the workshop was measured by the results from the assessment tools. this section discusses how these measures indicated that the goals of deepening understanding of content, integrating technology, using inquiry in the classroom, and collaborating with peers were accomplished. the anonymous pretest and posttest was used to measure content knowledge. paired sample t tests were performed on the results from the pretest and posttest. the mean score on the posttest (M = 23.63, sD = 5.79) was significantly higher than the mean score on the pretest (M = 17.71, sD = 7.49), t(73) = 11.07, p < .01 (two-tailed). the mean score on the test increased from 56% to 74%. as it happens, there was a similar increase (18%) between the pretest and posttest from a face-to-face workshop given in 2007. the content and activities of the workshops overlapped: about 90% of the questions on the 2008 test were also on the 2007 test and about 70% of the 2008 activities were also used in the 2007 (although there were modifications such as rewriting the calculator directions). the demographics were similar because 90% of the participants came from the same districts as the previous year. the tests questions were graded using the same criteria. also, participants were allowed to use the same calculators and were given the same amount of time to take the tests. this seems to indicate that the distance learning format did not have a negative impact on this measure. Furthermore, because most of the instruction occurred at the main site, it would be the least likely to suffer any ill consequences due to the distance learning delivery. thus, two one-Way anoVa’s were run on the pretest and posttest using the sites as the independent variable. the one-Way anoVa’s found no significant difference in pretest scores F(5, 68) = 0.69, p = .63, or posttest scores F(5, 68) = 1.96, p =.10, amongst the sites, as shown in table 2. in addition, two a priori contrasts were run that compared results from the main site to the results from the other five sites. 84 Dunlap and Quesada Table 2 one-Way anoVa Comparing sites test Question averages Sum of Squares Pretest Between Groups Within Groups Total Posttest Between Groups Within Groups Total 197.04 3894.71 4091.75 307.13 2136.23 2443.36 df 5 68 73 5 68 73 61.43 31.42 1.96 .10 Mean Square 39.41 57.28 F .69 Sig. .63 these contrasts used two separate t tests to compare the results of the main site to the average results of the other five sites on the pretest and posttest. no difference was found on the pretest t(68) = 0.73, p = .47 or posttest t(68) = 0.50, p = .62, as shown in tables 3 and 4. once again, these results seem to indicate that the distance learning delivery did not adversely affect the content results. Table 3 Contrast Coefficients Site Main Site 1 Site 1 -.2 Site 2 -.2 Site 3 -.2 Site 4 -.2 Site 5 -.2 Table 4 Contrast tests Comparing test results from Main site to average of other Five sites Value of Contrast Pretest Posttest Assume equal variances Does not assume equal variances 1.61 .82 Std. Error 2.20 1.56 t .73 .53 df 68 24.33 Sig. (2-tailed) .47 .60 on the self-assessment survey, participants reported making gains in all categories, especially the “Familiarity with the ti-nspire calculator” and “Familiarity with springboard”. these results are shown in table 5. the self ratings on familiarity with the ti-nspire went from an average of 1.4 out of 5 at the beginning of the workshop to a 3.4 out of 5 (see table 5). eight percent of the final project score came from an appropriate use of technology. the technology scores from the project ranged from 50 – 100% with an average of 92.86%. only ten participants (from three teams) received a score less than 75%. also, the results of a workshop survey given to the participants by an external evaluator indicated that they were likely to integrate technology when teaching their students. the sum of these results indicates that we succeeded with our goals related to integrating technology in their teaching. A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics Table 5 participant self evaluation survey results Likert Scale: 1 - Lowest through 5 Highest 1 Experience as a student participating in cooperative groups 2 Proficiency incorporating the use of cooperative groups in your classroom Familiarity with the newer mathematics approach using technology Familiarity with the concept of inquiry-based lessons Proficiency using inquiry-based lessons in your teaching Proficiency developing inquirybased lessons Proficiency incorporating the proper use of calculators into the teaching of math topics foundational to calculus Familiarity with the TI-Nspire calculator Proficiency incorporating the Internet into the teaching of math Familiarity with Springboard Do (will) you integrate the use of technology in the teaching/ learning of mathematics in your classes? 3 3.5 0.5 Presurvey 3.4 Postsurvey 4.2 Difference 0.8 85 3 2.6 3.9 1.3 4 5 6 7 3 2.6 2.5 2.8 4.2 3.7 3.6 3.9 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 8 9 10 11 1.4 2.6 1.6 3.4 3.4 3.4 4.4 4.3 2 0.8 2.8 0.9 the participants overwhelmingly commented positively about their fellow team members throughout the workshop. this was reflected in the scores they received for group work from their facilitators and in the self/peer group work survey which they took at the end of the summer classes. the group work scores from the workshop ranged from 80 – 100% with an average of 98.33%. the results from the group work survey are in table 6. the average scores on the group work survey ranged from 92 – 99% on the self assessment and 95 – 99% on the assessment of other members. the average survey scores are shown in the chart below. Furthermore, the results of a workshop survey given to the participants by the external evaluator indicated that they were likely to use group work in their classes. altogether, these results indicate that we succeeded with our goals related to collaboration with their peers. 86 Dunlap and Quesada Table 6 Group survey scores Likert Scale: 1 - Lowest through 5 Highest 1. Contributes good ideas toward the solutions of the activities. 2. Was willing to work collaboratively. Self Rating Rating by Team Members Self Rating Rating by Team Members Self Rating Rating by Team Members Self Rating Rating by Team Members Mean 4.58 4.77 4.93 4.95 4.77 4.83 4.88 4.94 N 73 73 73 73 73 73 73 73 Std. Deviation .76 .42 .25 .19 .66 .44 .33 .18 Std. Error Mean .089 .049 .030 .022 .077 .052 .039 .021 3. Was willing to type up assignments. 4. Listen to others’ ideas. the teacher participants read the chapter Math inquiry: Developing Curious students by authors Jenny tsankova and Galina Dobrynina from the book Integrating Inquiry Across the Curriculum (edited by richard H. audet and Linda K. Jordan) (2005). there was a discussion of this reading in class and all but two students turned in a synopsis of the reading. all of the synopses received a score of two out of two. each of the self-ratings on understanding and using iB methods increased by 1.1 or 1.2 points (see table 4). the final project was graded using a rubric that included ten categories demonstrating the iB techniques from the reading. these categories were worth 40% of the project grade. the inquiry scores from the project ranged from 75 – 100% with an average of 92.14%. also, the results of a workshop survey given to the participants by the external evaluator indicated that they were likely to use iB activities with their students. put together, these results indicate that we succeeded with our goals related to experiencing, understanding, and creating iB activities. We were pleased with the results achieved towards our goals, yet we would like to improve further in iB lessons and technology integration. next year we will spend additional time in class having the teams practicing how to turn an activity into an iB activity. also, we plan to give them examples that show the extent to which we would like them to incorporate technology into their final projects. Lessons Learned We realized that the numerous new technical elements in this workshop would require training in advance for the facilitators, on top of all of the traditional preparations that needed to be made. Fortunately, our previous experience aided us in completing some of the normal preparations efficiently and effectively, such as recruiting participants and selecting content topics. to prepare for the distance learning delivery, we met several times with the technology personnel at the university before the workshop. in preparation of using instructional technology with which we had little or no experience (sMart Boards, both versions of the ti-nspire calculators, and springboard), we attended and conducted instructional sessions through the fall and spring to gain a working knowledge of this technology. When the workshop began in april, we were grateful for all of these preparations because we were better able to handle all of the other issues that arose during the workshop. issues included power outages, laptops that constantly requiring rebooting, lack of scanners at most sites, participants not being able to retrieve, update, and delete files on springboard while facilitators comments (somehow) disappeared from graded assignments on springboard, and calculators that 87 A Blended Multisite Distance Workshop in Mathematics were draining batteries in a matter of days. We reminded the participants, on more than one occasion, that this technology was new for us too and that we would continue to resolve issues as quickly as possible. Fortunately, they were understanding and patient with us. Having a facilitator and technician at each site alleviated the power outage issues. Having administrative status on the laptops and the same version of software on all the laptops will address many of the computer issues. adding a scanner/copier at each site next time will allow participants to complete more of their work on site. We think we can work out the issues we had with springboard before the next workshop begins. Fortunately, it turned out that the battery problem was due to a faulty operating system on the calculators that has since been repaired. Many issues were just a matter of adapting to the new environment and equipment, and while it was true that large television screens provided visuals of the other sites, the degree of detail was not even close to that of a regular classroom. Hence, it was not surprising that some of the students requested that the debriefings take place at individual sites instead of in a distance environment. participants found that the ti-nspire had a steep learning curve, as its operating system differed a great deal from the ti-83 and -84 models to which they were accustomed. to allow for a gentler learning curve, future workshops will use mathematically simplified ti-nspire activities at the beginning of the course, so that teachers can focus on how to operate the calculator. this year’s workshop used an asynchronous anonymous threaded discussion within springboard, where teachers could post queries about the course. this discussion proved to be invaluable. When facilitators viewed the postings, they found that the teachers had already answered each other’s queries, demonstrating quick problem-solving via collaborative learning quite spontaneously in a distance learning situation. Considering all of the new technology used for the first time by workshop administrators, facilitators, and participants, the problems we experienced were actually minimal. By applying the same problem solving skills that we were promoting, we persevered and were successful. Conclusions By the end of this workshop, participants demonstrated a deeper understanding of content (that reflects ideas that are enhanced and/or more accessible due to technology). they also learned how to integrate technology, inquiry and collaboration as strategies for teaching this content in their classrooms. this workshop has demonstrated that with careful preparation, plenty of logistical support, effective pedagogical strategies and carefully designed iB activities; it is possible to achieve a high level of success in course goals while using a blended distance delivery format. the experience gained will no doubt enlighten and enhance our future offerings, including when the second half of this sequence is offered in 2009. Because the quality of technology is improving exponentially while becoming less expensive, the difficulties inherent in these types of workshops will decrease and make them easier to manage. We must continue offering this type of workshop because it has the potential to reach any site with adequate facilities, however isolated its location. References Conference Board of the Mathematical sciences. (2001). the mathematical education of teachers. Issues in Mathematics Education (Vol. 11). Washington, DC: american Mathematical society. einsporn, r., Quesada, a., pachnowski, L., & saliga, L. (2007). Conducting an online inquiry-based mathematics workshop: a first experience. Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, 55, 12-19. Garofalo, J., Drier, H., Harper, s., timmerman, M. a., & shockey, t. (2000). promoting appropriate uses of technology in mathematics teacher preparation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 1(1), 66-88. Lock, J. V. (2006). a new image: online communities to facilitate teacher professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 14(4), 663-678. Markel, M. (1999). Distance education and the myth of the new pedagogy. Journal of Business and Technical Communication 13(2), 208-222. national Council of teachers of Mathematics. (1989). Curriculum and evaluations standards for school mathematics. reston, Va: nCtM. 88 Dunlap and Quesada national Council of teachers of Mathematics. (1991). Professionals standards for teaching mathematics. reston, Va: nCtM. national Council of teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. reston, Va: nCtM. Quesada, a. r. (2007). Mathematics topics foundational to calculus at the secondary level. in s. Li, D. Wang & J. Zhang (eds.), Symbolic Computation in Education (pp. 4-30). Hackensack, nJ: World scientific. rumble, G. (2001). re-inventing distance education, 1971-2001. International Journal of Lifelong Education 20(1/2) 31-43. tsankova, J., & Dobrynina, G. (2005). Mathematics: Developing curious students. in r. H. audet & L. K. Jordan (eds.), Integrating inquiry across the curriculum (pp. 85-110). thousand oaks, Ca: Corwin press. Wells, J. G. (2007). Key design factors in durable instructional technology professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 15(1), 101-122. Williams, p. e. (2003). roles and competencies for distance education programs in higher education institutions. The American Journal of Distance Education, 17, 45-57. Acknowledgements this workshop was sponsored by the ohio Department of education Grant #Ci457-oMap-08-38, the university of akron, and a texas instruments equipment grant. We are indebted to eric Veigel for technical support and to Douglas Dunlap and rhonda renker for suggestions editing this paper. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 89-97 Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy Laurie e. Hansen University of California, Irvine, USA Loretta Donovan California State University, Fullerton, USA sHanan Fitts Appalachian State University, USA this pilot study examines the impact of technology integration within a multiple subject teacher education program with a bilingual or english language learner (eLL) emphasis on teacher candidate technology competence and self-efficacy to integrate technology. results indicate that the technology self-efficacy of all participants increased during the study period. no significant differences in access to technology or initial selfreported technology competence were found between bilingual and general (eLL) teacher candidates. More research is needed in technology and bilingual preservice teacher education. studies that examine how other factors (e.g., age, childhood socioeconomic status, prior classroom experience, field assignment, and course instructor technology competence) contribute to preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy would be particularly important. teacher self-efficacy can be defined as a judgment of one’s “capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated” (tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001 p.783). Low teacher self-efficacy results in less effort in teacher preparation of lessons and delivery of instruction, and decreased likelihood of persevering in the face of difficulties (tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy). therefore, it is better for teachers to slightly overestimate their own teaching skills (Bandura 1997). Career teachers (i.e., those with more than four years of teaching experience) have higher overall self-efficacy than novice teachers (i.e., those with three years or less of teaching experience) (tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy 2007). it is important for preservice teachers to have high self-efficacy by the end of the teacher education program so they can be successful in their first years of teaching. However, teachers not only hold general self-efficacy beliefs but also make judgments about their own capabilities within a given context (tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy), for example technology. Looking at self-efficacy literature (e.g., Bandura 1997), one might conclude that there is a positive relationship between technology self-efficacy and the integration of technology in teaching. However, Jones (2000) measured pre-service teachers’ computer self-efficacy and school access to computers and found that some preservice teachers have high self-efficacy in basic skills but did not necessarily use technology in their teaching. a variety of factors influence teach- 90 Hansen, Donovan, and Fitts ers’ use of technology in their day-to-day teaching practices, including ease-of-use, access, and usefulness of technology (Becker 2001; shuie 2007). attitudes toward technology and its use within bilingual preservice teacher education are important but overlooked areas in educational research. Many studies have been conducted in teacher technology education; however, research on bilingual and english as a second Language (esL) teacher technology education is limited to two studies that examined teachers’ self-efficacy and attitudes toward classroom technology use (simonsson 2004; Wetzel & Chisholm 1998). rodriguez and Pelaez (2002) described teacher preparation in esL with technology as a critical shortage area. success for english language learners (eLL) is highly dependent upon the knowledge and skills of their teachers (Parrish, Perez, Merickel, & Linquanti 2006). Bilingual teachers have a particular advantage when teaching eLLs because they often know the culture and language of the students and can therefore communicate more effectively with children and parents, and have been exposed to issues of school inequality through their life experiences and professional preparation (Weisman & Hansen 2008). Given the increased interest in overall technology reform (see Dynarski et al. 2007) and specifically in technological equity for low income and minority children (see discussions in Kulik 2003; o’Byrne, securro, Jones, & Cadle 2006) it is surprising that so little empirical research has been conducted related to technology education for bilingual and esL teachers. this places importance on the current study that examines the self-efficacy in competence and technology pedagogy of preservice teachers (including those prepared for bilingual and esL classrooms). More specifically, is there a difference between students in a bilingual program and a general program with regards to initial access to technology and initial self-reported technology competence? and how does involvement in a bilingual or a general teacher education program impact level of self-efficacy to use technology in the K-8 classroom? The Study the research took place in a large public university in California. the teacher education program is based on a cohort system in which students complete either a two or three semester program as a group. General (i.e., eLL emphasis) participants complete all requirements for state teacher certification including specific preparation for working with linguistically and culturally diverse students. the bilingual program provides additional depth on methodologies and issues relevant to teaching in bilingual classrooms and bilingual participants must pass oral and written proficiency examinations in spanish. For the remainder of this paper, participants will be referred to as either general or bilingual. students were invited to participate based on their stage of enrollment in the teacher education program (i.e., first semester of three). two cohorts (one bilingual and one general) were eligible based on this criterion. in spring 2008, 27 students self-selected to begin the bilingual emphasis program. twenty-five students from the bilingual program and 21 from the general program agreed to participate (tab. 1). Table 1 Participant Demographic information Age M Bilingual n=25 General n=21 Total n=46 27 SD 24 female 1 male 17 female 4 male 41 female 5 male 25 0 0 Gender Latino White Asian First Language English 3 First Language Spanish 22 3.83 30 8.58 5 13 3 18 3 28 6.60 30 13 3 21 25 Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy Method Data Collection 91 the primary data collection tools for this study were a pre- and posttest version of the teacher technology selfefficacy scale (ttses). the second source of data was a department technology questionnaire. third, interviews with participants were conducted. Teacher Technology Self-Efficacy Survey (TTSES) the ttses was developed by the lead researcher and consists of 37 questions in which participants rate their technology confidence on a scale from one to nine (one being “none” and nine being “a great deal”). eleven questions ask participants to rate their confidence in using technology, specifically the technology described in the California teacher education technology standards (e.g., “How much confidence do you have in selecting appropriate technological resources to support student learning?”). sixteen questions ask participants to rate their confidence in using specific technology skills and tools (e.g., “How much confidence do you have in using WebQuests for classroom instruction?”). Four questions ask participants to rate their access to technology (e.g., “Where is the primary location that you use your computer?”). Participants were also asked five demographic questions and one opened-ended question on their opinion of the need for bilingual teachers or teachers who teach english language learners to incorporate technology into the classroom. the ttses has internal consistency of 0.95 for pretest and 0.94 for posttest, calculated using Cronbach’s alpha. the ttses was developed using the standard methodology for measuring self-efficacy beliefs (see Bandura 2006 p. 307-319) and was modeled after Bandura’s (2008) teacher self-efficacy scale. More specifically, the ttses was targeted to the particular domain of interest; phrased in terms of what the participants perceive themselves to be able to do; contained sufficient gradations of difficulty to avoid ceiling effects; utilized a simple format; and used a large interval scale to increase sensitivity and reliability (Bandura 2006; 2008). Finally, to minimize response bias, participants completed the scale voluntarily and were identified by code number to protect confidentiality. the survey questions were revised after three rounds of trial with a small group of in-service teachers. Department Technology Competence Survey the Department technology Competence survey is a questionnaire that all students in the teacher preparation program are asked to complete upon acceptance into the Department program. information about the development of the survey was not available. this survey consists of two questions in which teacher candidates rate their attitude toward technology and the amount of technology assistance they anticipate they would need while in the program. the remainder of the questionnaire consisted of 18 items in which the participants rated their own competence on a variety of technology skills. the survey was determined to be internally consistent using Cronbach’s alpha (0.89). Interviews all participants were invited to be individually interviewed by the lead researcher. six participants, four from the general cohort and two from the bilingual cohort agreed to be interviewed. the purpose of the interview was to provide triangulation of survey data and may not be fully representative of all participants. interview questions centered on technology use at home and at the university and on participants’ confidence levels to use technology in the K-8 classroom. For example, students were asked “Describe your access to technology that you can use to help you as you complete the teaching credential program.” each interview lasted 20 to 30 minutes and was audio-taped. 92 Hansen, Donovan, and Fitts Data Analysis research question one examined the difference between students in a bilingual or a general teacher education program with regards to initial access to technology and initial self-reported technology competence. to compare access to technology preservice teachers had at home or in place of access, we performed chi-square tests. to examine technology competence, we compared group means on the department survey and calculated F values for each group. access to technology and technology competence were explored in more depth through the individual interviews. research question two examined how involvement in a bilingual or a general teacher education program impacted level of self-efficacy to use technology in the K-8 classroom. a one-way analysis of variance (anova) comparing bilingual and general groups was calculated to determine if these two groups were significantly different in their mean posttest technology self-efficacy. an analysis of Covariance (anCova) comparing the groups was calculated to determine if they were significantly different in their mean self-efficacy to use technology in the K-8 classroom at posttest controlling for mean competence scores. Mean pre-test and posttest technology self-efficacy scores for individuals were categorized into high, medium, or low. a one group t-test was performed to determine if there were significant differences between pre- and posttest technology self-efficacy for the entire group. technology self-efficacy was explored in greater depth through the individual interviews. Results of the 46 participants, 41 completed the department survey. twenty-five bilingual and 21 general program participants completed the pre-test ttses. twenty-five bilingual and 17 general program participants completed the posttest ttses. Four general and two bilingual students were interviewed at the end of their first semester coursework. During this time the participants had several course assignments due, which may have contributed to the low number of volunteers. However, we do not feel that only students who had positive things to say agreed to be interviewed. in this section we will present results in relation to (a) differences with access to technology and self-reported technology competence across groups and (b) changes in levels of technology self-efficacy through involvement with a general or bilingual teacher education program. DIffEREnCES In ACCESS To TEChnoLogy AnD TEChnoLogy CoMPETEnCE Participants’ access to technology included desktop computer, laptop computer, printer, scanner, and internet access (tab. 2). Table 2 access to technology at Home Desktop Bilingual n=25 General n=21 Total n=46 21 18 39 Printer 24 21 45 Scanner 19 10 29 Internet 24 21 45 Laptop 16 16 32 We performed chi-square tests for each of the types of technology to which preservice teachers reported having access. Chi-square tests revealed that there were no significant differences between the bilingual and general groups in access to a desktop computer (X2=0.0271, df=1, p>0.05), laptop computer (X2=2.68, df=1, p>0.05), internet (X2=0.8709, 93 Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy 2 df=1, p>0.05), and printer (X =0.8709, df=1, p>0.05). However, bilingual participants were more likely to have a scanner at home (X2=3.95, df=1, p<0.05). We also asked participants to rate their access to technology at home, work, or on campus (Tab. 3). Table 3 student responses to Question regarding Location for access to technology At Home Bilingual n=25 General n=21 Total n=46 24 17 41 On Campus 11 2 13 At Work 9 1 10 no significant differences were found on home access (X2=2.68, df=1, p>0.15) or at work (X2=0.2882, df=1, p>0.05). However, significant differences were found on use of technology on campus (X2=5.50, df=1, p<0.025). Bilingual preservice teachers were more likely to report using campus technology resources. Participants rated themselves on a number of different computer competencies prior to entering the teacher education program. no significant differences were found between groups on initial technology competence F(1, 39)=0.52, p>.05. Changes in Levels of Technology Self-Efficacy to investigate differences with regards to changes in self-efficacy levels, a one-way anova comparing bilingual and general groups on the posttest ttses was calculated. We found no significant difference between the groups on the technology self-efficacy posttest, F(2, 40) = 0.42, p>.05. an anCova comparing bilingual and general groups was calculated to determine if these two groups were significantly different in their mean self-efficacy to use technology in the K-8 classroom at posttest controlling for mean competence scores. results indicated that although the pretest was a strong predictor, F(4, 36) = 90.31, p<.0001, neither membership in the bilingual cohort, F(1,36) = 0.06, p>.05 nor technology competence, F(1, 36) = 1.28, p>.05, were significant predictors. Furthermore, the interaction between bilingual status and mean technology competence were nonsignificant. Both bilingual and general participant’s technology self-efficacy increased over time. a one group t-test revealed a significant difference between pretest and posttest technology self-efficacy, t(40) = 21.31, p<.0001. Bilingual and general group participants’ overall technology self-efficacy tended to change between the commencement and conclusion of first semester instruction (tab. 4). Mean scores between 1 and 3 indicate overall low self-efficacy, overall medium self-efficacy is represented by mean scores between 3.01 and 6, and overall high efficacy is represented by mean scores between 6.01 and 9. 94 Hansen, Donovan, and Fitts Table 4 overall technology self-efficacy Bilingual (n=25) pre-test Low Self-Efficacy (0-3) Medium Self-Efficacy (3.01-6) High Self-Efficacy (6.01-9) 0 24 1 Posttest 0 12 13 General pre-test (n=21) 2 18 1 posttest (n=17) 0 5 12 From this table it is evident that very few people had low self-efficacy at the beginning of the program and that there is a general shift toward greater technology self-efficacy for both groups. When looking at individual self-efficacy scores, we found that one of the bilingual students scored low in self-efficacy (3.18) on the pre-test and high (8.26) on the posttest. the two low self-efficacy general participants increased from 2.43 and 2.91 to 3.15 and 5.22, respectively. From this data, we surmise that individual differences may play a role in technology self-efficacy, given same exposure to technology methods. similarly, Lambert, Gong, and Cuper (2008) assert that individual differences (e.g., attitudes and abilities) may play a role in pre-service teachers’ technology-related learning. interview data revealed that the six interview participants were evenly divided in terms of confidence to use technology in the K-8 classroom. angela (general student) reported low technology competence and described her lack of selfefficacy to use technology to supplement lesson plans, “i have zero confidence. i would have to go home and i’d probably spend about 4 hours preparing a lesson plan.” similarly, tina (general student) noted, “i’m not that confident. i just never really used it that much until having to use internet and do research. i haven’t been exposed to a lot of technology and how it works.” two of the interview participants reported medium technology self-efficacy. Jessica (general student) stated, “Depending on the technology, if it is technology that i’ve used then i’m confident. But i don’t think i’ve seen enough technology used in the classroom by the students for me to feel 100% confident in using it.” While Carmen (bilingual student) stated, “i just can’t, for example troubleshoot, if i would have a problem with it. But as far as accessing things i would need to use, i would feel comfortable with it.” However, two of the six interview participants expressed high technology self-efficacy. Katie stated: i feel fairly confident. i’ve run into situations where i don’t know how to use something or fix something, but i feel confident that i can use it and i’m sure i’ll run into problems, but i think i can get through. and Fabiola (bilingual student), who worked as an instructional aide, described her actual use of technology within the classroom: one of my classes we go to the computer lab and actually help the second graders, so i help with that. But as for me, preparing lessons and things like that, i usually like PowerPoint presentations or research the internet for activities for the students. that’s the way how i use it. this is especially interesting in light of the fact that Fabiola reported feeling her lack of knowledge of the campus computer labs influenced her decision to not access computers at that location. the way instructors model the use of technology in coursework at the university may contribute to preservice teacher technology self-efficacy as well. the two bilingual interview participants commented specifically on the technological competence of their instructors. Carmen stated: Dr. Y has difficulty even opening up a PowerPoint or whatever. she has difficultly using technology so she’ll use it very minimally. the only one who is very technology savvy is Dr. X. she’s introduced us to a lot of things that we were not familiar with. Hopefully someday i could have that kind of knowledge that she has in using computers and finding resources. Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy Discussion and Implications 95 We found that bilingual and general preservice teachers did not differ significantly on home access to technology (with the exception of scanner) or internet usage. this finding is in alignment with a recent national study conducted by the PeW Hispanic Center. Fox and Livingston (2007) found that due to socioeconomic factors, such as low education levels and limited english ability, Latinos are less likely than Whites to have an internet connection at home. Moreover, the PeW study found that internet usage among college-educated Latinos is not significantly different than that of college-educated Whites and that bilingual/biliterate spanish/english Latinos are more likely to use the internet (Fox & Livingston). the bilingual preservice teachers in the current study are college-educated and bilingual/biliterate in english and spanish which may explain the apparent equity in access to and use of technology. Further, the university in which the study was conducted, although being a state institution, is located in a relatively affluent county. We consider these factors to be limitations of our study. Future studies could examine preservice teachers’ socioeconomic factors in terms of current and childhood (family) income, parents’ education, and K-12 schools attended to determine differences in technology access or use between low, middle, and high socioeconomic teacher education students. Bilingual and general participants in this study did not differ significantly in their initial self-reported technology competence. equity in access to technology and similar socioeconomic factors (i.e., education level attained and fluency in english) of the participants may explain this finding. the mean age (i.e., 28 years) may also explain participants’ technology competence, in that the “millennial” generation (i.e., those who were born in 1980 or later) have grown up using technology and are quite comfortable using it for work and leisure (Jayson 2006). When we consider this in light of our findings showing variation in choice for accessing technology, similar general access to technology, and that our participants were in a similar age bracket, it is not surprising that the two groups’ reported technology competence is not significantly different. the majority of participants in this study had medium or high technology self-efficacy at the beginning of the teacher education program. We tried to examine reasons for this more closely through the individual interviews. For example, we asked participants about their prior experience using or observing technology use in the K-8 classroom. this question emerged as a result of the semi-structured interview protocol and was not included as a question on the ttses. as a result, our data on this topic is limited to the six interview participants’ responses. the addition of questions on the ttses about prior technology experience in a classroom setting would help determine whether there is a correlation between classroom technology experience and technology self-efficacy. We also found that bilingual and general preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy increased during the study period. We surmise that involvement in a teacher education program contributed to that increase. this is consistent with Lin (2008) who found that participating in web-based workshops related to mathematics teacher education helped pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward technology improve. However, given the current findings it is difficult to say whether coursework, field experiences, or a combination of the two contributed to the increase in technology self-efficacy. Future study could examine more closely specific factors, such as field assignment (i.e., school, master teacher, grade level) and course instructor technology competence contribute to preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy. this study was conducted within a limited time frame (one semester) and thus provides a look at preservice teachers’ emerging technology self-efficacy. a longitudinal study that tracks bilingual and general preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy over the entire course of the teacher education program (i.e., two or three semesters), particularly focusing on preservice teachers’ application of educational technology during student teaching would be of interest. implications of this study extend to program coordinators and instructional faculty within bilingual and general teacher education programs. We found through interview data that some preservice teachers were influenced (and inspired) by technology use of instructional faculty. Program coordinators interested in increasing teacher candidate selfefficacy for teaching with technology could work with faculty to naturally integrate more technology use into their pedagogy and course expectations. Further, given that we found that most preservice teachers began the teacher education program at medium technology self-efficacy, instructional faculty could build upon the technology competencies that the teacher candidates already possess, and find practical ways to connect technology pedagogy to K-8 classroom use. 96 Hansen, Donovan, and Fitts Conclusion this study examined: 1. 2. the difference between students in a bilingual program and a general program with regards to initial access to technology and initial self-reported technology competence, and How involvement in a bilingual or a general teacher education program impacted level of self-efficacy to use technology in the K-8 classroom. We found that the technology self-efficacy of all participants increased during the study period. no significant differences in access to technology or initial self-reported technology competence were found between bilingual and general teacher candidates. More research is needed in technology and bilingual preservice teacher education. studies that examine how other factors (e.g., age, childhood socioeconomic status, prior classroom experience, field assignment, and course instructor technology competence) contribute to preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy would be particularly important. References Bandura, a. (1997). self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge: Cambridge university Press. Bandura, a. (2006). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. in F. Pajares & t. urdan (eds.), self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents (pp. 307-337). Greenwich, Ct: information age Publishing. Bandura, a. (2008). teacher self-efficacy scale. retrieved December 16, 2008, from, H. J. (2001, april). How are teachers using computers in instruction? Paper presented at the meeting of the american educational research association, seattle, Wa. Dynarski, M., agodini, r., Heaviside, s., novak, t., Carey, n., Campuzano, et al. (2007). effectiveness of reading and mathematics software products: Findings from the first student cohort. Washington, DC: u.s. Department of education, institute of education sciences. Fox, s., & Livingston, G. (2007). Latinos online. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center/Pew internet & american Life Project. Jayson, s. (2006, June 28). ‘Millennials’ come of age. usa today. retrieved December 16, 2008, from http://www.usatoday. Jones, a. (2000, april). use of computers by teacher education students during teaching practice. Paper presented at the meeting of the american educational research association, new orleans, La. Kulik, J. a. (2003). effects of using instructional technology in elementary and secondary schools: What controlled evaluation studies say. arlington, va: sri international. (sri Project no. P10446.001) Lambert, J., Gong, Y., & Cuper, P. (2008). technology, transfer and teaching: the impact of a single technology course on preservice teachers’ computer attitudes and ability. Journal of technology and teacher education, 16(4), 385-410. Lin, C. (2008). Preservice teachers’ beliefs about using technology in the mathematics classroom. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and science teaching, 27(3), 341-360. o’Byrne, B., securro, s., Jones, J., & Cadle, C. (2006). Making the cut: the impact of an integrated learning system on low achieving middle school students. Journal of Computer assisted Learning, 22, 218-228. Parrish, t. B., Perez, M., Merickel, a., Linquanti, r. (2006). effects of the implementation of Proposition 227 on the education of english learners. american institutes for research and West ed. san Francisco, Ca. rodriguez, D., & Pelaez, G. (2002, november). reaching tesoL teachers through technology. Paper presented at the meeting of teachers of english to speakers of other Languages, Puerto rico. shuie, Y. M. (2007). investigating the sources of teachers’ instructional technology use through the decomposed theory of planned behavior. Journal of educational Computing research, 36(4), 425-453. simonsson, M. (2004). technology use of Hispanic bilingual teachers: a function of their beliefs. Journal of instructional Psychology, 31(3), 257-266. tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, a. (2001). teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. teaching and teacher education, 17, 783-805. tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, a. (2007). the differential antecedents of self-efficacy beliefs of novice and experienced teachers. teaching and teacher education, 23, 944-56. Weisman, e. M., & Hansen, L. e. (2008). student teaching in urban and suburban schools: Perspectives of Latino preservice teachers. urban education, 43(6), 653-670. dura%20Instr.pdf com/life/lifestyle/2006-06-28-generation-next_x.htm Bilingual and ELL Preservice Teachers and Technology Self-Efficacy 97 Wetzel, K. & Chisholm, i. (1998). an evaluation of technology integration in teacher education for bilingual and english as a second language education majors. Journal of research on Computing in education, 30(4), 379-97. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 99-108 Instructional Planning Activity Types as Vehicles for Curriculum-Based TPACK Development Judi Harris and Mark Hofer College of William & Mary, USA Teachers’ knowledge is situated, event-structured, and episodic. Technology, pedagogy and content knowledge (TPaCk) – one form of highly practical professional educational knowledge – is comprised of teachers’ concurrent and interdependent curriculum content, general pedagogy, and technological understanding. Teachers’ planning – which expresses teachers’ knowledge-in-action in pragmatic ways -- is situated, contextually sensitive, routinized, and activity-based. To assist with the development of teachers’ TPaCk, therefore, we suggest using what is understood from research about teachers’ knowledge and instructional planning to form an approach to curriculum-based technology integration that is predicated upon the combining of technologically supported learning activity types within and across content-keyed activity type taxonomies. in this chapter, we describe such a TPaCk development method. TPACK successful technology integration is rooted in curriculum content and students’ content-related learning processes primarily, and secondarily in savvy use of educational technologies. When integrating educational technologies into instruction, teachers’ planning must occur at the nexus of standards-based curriculum requirements, effective pedagogical practices, and available technologies’ affordances and constraints. The specialized, highly applied knowledge that supports content-based technology integration is known as “technological pedagogical content knowledge,” abbreviated TPCk or TPaCk (koehler & Mishra 2008). TPaCk is the intersection of teachers’ knowledge of curriculum content, general pedagogies, and technologies (see fig. 1). it is an extension of shulman’s (1986) pedagogical content knowledge—the specialized knowledge required to teach differently within different content areas--which revolutionized our understanding of teacher knowledge and its development. 100 Harris and Hofer Figure 1. Technological Pedagogical Content knowledge (koehler & Mishra 2008). in the same ways that TPaCk (appearing in the center of fig. 1) is knowledge that results from teachers’ concurrent and interdependent content, general pedagogy, and technology understanding, it is comprised, in part, by three particular aspects of that knowledge that are represented by the other three intersections depicted. These are: • Pedagogical Content Knowledge: How to teach particular content-based material • Technological Content Knowledge: How to select and use technologies to communicate particular content knowledge • Technological Pedagogical Knowledge: How to use particular technologies when teaching each and all of these types of teacher knowledge are shaped by a myriad of contextual factors, such as culture, socioeconomic status, and school organizational structures. Thus, TPaCk as it is applied in practice draws from each of seven interwoven and interdependent aspects of teachers’ knowledge, making it a complex and highly situated educational construct that is not easily applied, learned or taught. still, as professional knowledge, it can be developed over time, and the educational technology community is beginning to explore ways to help teachers to build and use TPaCk. koehler & Mishra have tested a collaborative learningby-design approach in which educators work with content and technology specialists to plan instruction, each building TPaCk concurrently, yet in different ways (2005; koehler, Mishra & Yahya 2007). niess (2005) advocates a contentbased modeling approach to developing TPaCk, in which use of educational technologies supports content-based instructional strategies that are modeled for teacher-students by teacher educators. dawson’s (2007) and Pierson’s (2008) teaching inquiry approaches suggest that TPaCk can be developed when educational technologies become one of the foci of teachers’ reflective action research. our TPaCk development strategy (Harris 2008; Harris & Hofer 2006), described below, draws upon the literature about teachers’ planning practices to suggest an activity-based, curriculum-keyed approach to planning instruction that incorporates systematic and judicious selection of technologies and teaching/learning strategies. Instructional Planning Teachers’ knowledge is situated, event-structured, and episodic (Putnam & Borko 2000). Wilson, shulman, and richert (1987) describe it in pedagogical content knowledge terms, saying in teaching, the knowledge base is the body of understanding, knowledge, skills, and dispositions that a teacher needs to perform effectively in a given teaching situation, e.g., teaching mathematics to a class of 10 year olds in an inner-city school or teaching english literature to a class of high school seniors in an elite private school (p. 106). 101 Instructional Planning Activity Types similarly, teachers’ planning is situated (Clark & dunn 1991) and contextually sensitive (Brown 1990). it is also routinized and activity-based (Yinger 1979). arguably the pre-eminent researcher on instructional planning, Yinger asserts that all of teachers’ planning “could be characterized as decision making about the selection, organization, and sequencing” (p. 165) of routinized activities. More recent studies of teachers’ planning (e.g., McCutcheon & Milner 2002; Tubin & edri 2004) have reached similar conclusions, while calling for research into instructional planning that incorporates use of digital technologies. Though planning instruction that is facilitated by use of digital tools and resources can be complex, with each decision determining aspects of other decisions already made or yet to be determined (as the TPaCk model above illustrates), our work suggests that planning a particular learning event can be described as the end result of five basic instructional decisions: Choosing learning goals Making practical pedagogical decisions about the nature of the learning experience selecting and sequencing appropriate activity types to combine to form the learning experience selecting formative and summative assessment strategies that will reveal what and how well students are learning • selecting tools and resources that will best help students to benefit from the learning experience being planned since research on teachers’ planning has established it to be activity-based and content-keyed (Wilson et al. 1987), planning for effective instruction in which educational technologies are well-integrated should be similarly curriculumspecific and activity-focused. Thus, our approach to helping teachers to develop TPaCk is to suggest that they use curriculum-specific, technology-enhanced learning activity types as the building blocks for instructional planning. Developing TPACK Using Learning Activity Types Learning activity types function as conceptual planning tools for teachers; they comprise a methodological shorthand that can be used to both build and describe plans for standards-based learning experiences. each activity type captures what is most essential about the structure of a particular kind of learning action as it relates to what students do when engaged in that particular learning-related activity (e.g., “group discussion;” “role play;” “fieldtrip”). activity types are combined to create lesson plans, projects and units. They can also serve as efficient communication tools for educators wanting to share their plans for students’ learning with each other, as science education lesson study research in Japan has shown (Linn, Lewis, Tsuchida, & songer 2000). after teachers are familiar with a complete set of technology-enriched learning activity types in a particular curriculum area, they can effectively choose among, combine, and use them in standards-based learning situations, building their TPaCk in practical ways while doing so. This differs substantially from how teachers typically learn to integrate educational technologies into their teaching. in most cases, the technologies’ particular educational affordances and constraints are examined, and then curriculumbased goals are chosen. in the activity types approach, educational technology selections are not made until curriculumbased learning goals and activity designs are finalized. By selecting the technologies that best serve learning goals and activities last, both students’ learning and maximally appropriate educational technology uses are assured, with the emphasis remaining upon the former. By focusing first and primarily upon the content and nature of students’ curriculumbased learning activities, teachers’ TPaCk is developed authentically, rather than technocentrically (Papert 1987), as an integral aspect of instructional planning and implementation. Though teachers already use activity types in educational parlance (e.g., “kWL activities”), comprehensive sets of content-specific activity types that incorporate appropriate uses of the full range of digital technologies in each predominant curriculum area have not been published, to our knowledge. at the present time, our work is focused upon collaborative development and vetting of learning activity type taxonomies in six curriculum areas k-12: elementary literacy, secondary english, mathematics, science, social studies, and world languages. Plans for similar taxonomy development in the arts, physical education, and early childhood education have also been made. The first curriculum area to be addressed was the social studies. The resulting taxonomy of 42 social studies learning activity types appears below to help to illustrate our content-keyed, activity-based TPaCk development strategy. • • • • 102 Harris and Hofer Sample Activity Types Taxonomy of the forty-two social studies activity types that have been identified to date, thirteen are focused upon helping students build their knowledge of social studies content, concepts, and processes. Twenty-nine provide students with opportunities to express their understanding in a variety of ways. six of these knowledge expression activity types emphasize convergent learning and twenty-three of these activity types offer students opportunities to express their understanding in divergent ways. The three sets of activity types (knowledge building, convergent knowledge expression, and divergent knowledge expression) are presented in the tables that follow, including compatible technologies that may be used to support each type of learning activity. as the table of knowledge building learning activity types below (Tab. 1) shows, teachers have a variety of learning activity options available to assist students in building social studies content and process knowledge. They are able to determine what students have learned by reviewing their expressions of knowledge (Tabs. 2 - 7) related to the learning goals targeted. opportunities for students to express their knowledge can be incorporated during a unit of study (as part of formative assessment) or at the conclusion of a unit (as a summative assessment). at times, social studies teachers deem it appropriate for all students to come to a similar understanding of a course topic. This kind of understanding is expressed by engaging in convergent knowledge expression learning activities (Tab. 2). While in many cases teachers may want their students to express similar understandings of course content, at other times they will want to encourage students to develop and express their own understandings of a given topic. The twentythree written, visual, conceptual, product-oriented, and participatory divergent knowledge expression learning activity types (Tabs. 3 - 7) afford students opportunities to each share unique understandings of a topic or concept. Table 1 knowledge Building activity Types Activity Type Brief Description Students extract information from textbooks, historical documents, census data, etc.; both print-based and digital formats PowerPoint, Photostory, iMStudents gain information from teachers, ovie, MovieMaker, Inspiration, guest speakers, and peers; synchronous/ videoconferencing asynchronous, oral or multimedia PowerPoint, Word, Photostory, Students examine both still and moving (video, animations) images; print-based or Bubbleshare, Tabblo, Flickr digital format Podcasts (“Great Speeches Students listen to recordings of speeches, in History,” etc.), Audacity, music, radio broadcasts, oral histories, and Garageband, Odeo, Evoca, lectures; digital or non-digital Podcast People BlackBoard, discussion in In small to large groups, students engage Wikispaces, e-boards in dialogue with their peers; synchronous/ asynchronous Virtual fieldtrips, Photostory to Students travel to physical or virtual sites; develop their own virtual tours synchronous/asynchronous Civilization, Revolution!, Students engage in paper-based or digital Fantasy Congress experiences which mirror the complexity of the real world Students discuss opposing viewpoints; formal/informal; structured/unstructured; synchronous/asynchronous BlackBoard, discussion in Wikispaces, e-boards Possible Technologies Web sites, electronic books Read Text View Presentation View Images Listen to Audio Group Discussion Field Trip Simulation Debate Instructional Planning Activity Types Research Students gather, analyze, and synthesize Digital archives, Google Noteinformation using print-based and digital book, Inspiration to structure sources Audacity, MovieMaker, iMovie, Face to face, on the telephone, or via email digital camera students question someone on a chosen topic; may be digitally recorded and shared Students explore a topic using physical or virtual artifacts Digital archives 103 Conduct an Interview Artifact-Based Inquiry Data-Based Inquiry Using print-based and digital data available CIA World Factbook, Thomas, census data, Excel, Inspire online students pursue original lines of Data inquiry Bubbleshare, Photostory, Students sequence print and digital docu- Moviemaker ments in chronological order Word, Scrapblog, Google Pages, Historical Scene Investigation (HSI) Historical Chain Historical Weaving Students piece together print and digital documents to develop a story Historical Prism Students explore print-based and digital Wikispaces, Google Pages, documents to understand multiple perspec- Inspiration using links tives on a topic Table 2 Convergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Brief Description Students respond to questions using traditional question sets or worksheets, or through the use of an electronic discussion board, email or chat Possible Technologies Inspiration, Word, BlackBoard, e-boards Answer Questions Create a Timeline Timeliner, Photostory, Word, Students sequence events on a printed Bubbleshare or electronic timeline or through a Web page or multimedia presentation Students label existing maps or produce PowerPoint, Google Earth their own; print-based materials or digitally Students fill in teacher-created charts and tables or create their own in traditional ways or using digital tools Word, Inspiration, PowerPoint Create a Map Complete Charts/Tables Complete a Review Activity PRS systems, Jeopardy (or Students engage in some form of other games) on Powerquestion and answer to review content; Point, survey tools like paper-based to game-show format using SurveyMonkey multimedia presentation tools Students demonstrate their knowledge through paper-based, traditional format to computer-generated and scored assessments Scantron forms Take a Test 104 Harris and Hofer Table 3 Written divergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Brief Description Possible Technologies Write an Essay Write a Report Word, Inspiration, Wikispaces Students compose a struc(to track contributions from tured written response to a multiple authors) prompt; paper and pencil or word processed; text-based or multimedia Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Students author a report on Google Pages a topic in traditional or more creative format using text or multimedia elements Using historical documents and Word, Wikispaces or Google secondary source information, Docs (to track contributions from students develop their own story multiple authors), blogs of the past Photostory, Moviemaker, iMStudents create poetry, paper ovie, PowerPoint, VoiceThread and pencil or word processed; text-based or multimedia Students write from a first-hand Blogs, Word, Google Docs, perspective about en event from Google Pages the past; paper and pencil or digital format Generate an Historical Narrative Craft a Poem Create a Diary Table 4 Visual divergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Create an Illustrated Map Brief Description Students use pictures, symbols, graphics to highlight key features in creating an illustrated map Possible Technologies Google Earth, PowerPoint Create a Picture/Mural Draw a Cartoon Paint, Photoshop Students create a physical or virtual image or mural Students create a drawing or cari-Comic Creator, DFILM video, cature using a paper and pencil digital cameras or digital format Instructional Planning Activity Types Table 5 Conceptual divergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Possible Technologies Inspiration, PowerPoint, Word, Using teacher or student creImagination Cubed ated webs, students organize Develop a Knowledge Web information in a visual/spatial manner; written or digital format Word, Wikispaces or Google Students develop questions Docs (to track contributions from Generate Questions related to course material/ multiple authors) concepts Wikispaces (to track contribuStudents devise a metaphoritions), Inspiration cal representation of a course topic/idea Brief Description 105 Develop a Metaphor Table 6 Product-oriented divergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Produce an Artifact Build a Model Brief Description Students create a 3D or virtual artifact Students develop a written or digital mental model of a course concept/ process Students synthesize key elements of a topic in a physical or virtual exhibit Students synthesize course information in the form of a periodical; print-based or electronic Students develop a game, in paper or digital form, to help students learn content Using some combination of still images, motion video, music and narration students produce their own movies Inspiration, PowerPoint, InspireData Wikispaces, PowerPoint, Scrapblog, Bubbleshare Word, Letterpop, Scrapblog Possible Technologies Imaging tools Design an Exhibit Create a Newspaper/News Magazine Create a Game Word, Puzzlemaker, Imaging tools, Web design software Photostory, Moviemaker, iMovie Create a Film 106 Harris and Hofer Table 7 Participatory divergent knowledge expression activity Types Activity Type Possible Technologies PowerPoint, Photostory, MoviStudents share their understanding emaker, iMovie, Audacity with others; oral or multimedia apDo a Presentation proach; synchronous or asynchronous Moviemaker, iMovie, Audacity, Engage in Historical Role Students impersonate an historical digital camera Play figure; live, video-taped, or recorded Do a Performance Students develop a live or recorded Photostory, Moviemaker, performance (oral, music, drama, iMovie, Audacity etc.) Web, email, videoconferencing Students write government representatives or engage in some other form of civic action Brief Description Engage in Civic Action Combining Activity Types as helpful as providing taxonomies of learning activities may be, the true power of utilizing activity types in designing learning experiences for students is realized when combining individual activities into more complex lessons, projects and units. The breadth of a plan for students’ technology-integrated learning is reflected in the number of activity types it encompasses. Though activity types can be used alone, more types included in a single plan typically help students address more curriculum standards simultaneously and in more varied and engaging ways than when fewer activity types are combined. The parameters of different activity type combinations—which reflect the complexity, amount of structure, and types of learning planned—are what help teachers to select among them. Combining 1 – 2 activity types usually produces a class time-efficient, highly structured, and easily repeatable experience, comprised primarily of convergent learning activities. it is completed often in just one or two class periods. • Combining 2 – 3 activity types yields a class time-efficient, yet longer duration learning activity that is more flexibly structured, and is comprised often of more divergent learning activities. • Combining 3 – 5 activity types produces a medium-term, somewhat structured, both convergent and divergent exploration of curriculum-based content and process. • Combining 5 – 8 activity types forms a learning experience of variable length that is a somewhat structured, yet flexible, and usually mostly divergent exploration of content and process. • Combining 6 – 10 activity types creates a learning experience of rather flexible duration, structure, and content and process goals. it is the longest and most complex of these combinations, and therefore would be planned relatively infrequently for use in most classrooms. it should be noted here that in practice, the nature of instructional plans that are structured by activity type combinations of different sizes are typically distinguished more by the learning needs and preferences of the students they were designed to serve than the number of activity types used. We provide the information above only to help our readers to better understand this aspect of the activity types approach to instructional planning. • Instructional Planning Activity Types ExAmPLE UnIT 107 What does an instructional plan identified by its component activity types look like? an example created and used by local teachers with whom we have collaborated can illustrate an end result of the activity types planning process. in the Civil War Voice Wall project (Bray, russell & Hofer, 2006) teachers Julie Bray and darlene russell challenged their sixth grade history students to develop short documentary films about a person or key event from the u.s. Civil War. The purpose of the project was to engage students more deeply in their study of the Civil War, enabling them not only to learn key factual content, but also to understand the multiple perspectives of different people who lived through the war. The teachers agreed that having the students develop a story about their chosen person in narrative form (as opposed to using a standard report format) might be more engaging for the students, encouraging them to go beyond creating an “electronic encyclopedia entry.” To this end, throughout the research and writing phases, the teachers continually emphasized finding the “defining moment” for the chosen characters, challenging the students to work from that focus. The teachers divided the project into three phases: research, writing, and production. during the research phase, students had access to a range of print materials as well as selected Web sites that the teacher had bookmarked prior to beginning project work. The students collected appropriate images for their documentaries both by scanning pictures from books and via image searches online. They used a standard format and index cards to capture their research notes. during the writing phase, students created sections of the script (e.g. the opening; the defining moment, etc.) one at a time in their notebooks. The students took their notebooks home and received feedback on each section from their parents. during each class period devoted to project work, the teachers circulated and provided feedback on students’ writing. at the end of this phase, each student had developed a complete script for a film. during the production phase, the students paired their scripts with images to develop a paper-based storyboard for their films. in this process, they also identified any music, sound effects, titles, and transitions they wanted to incorporate in their films. once complete, they used the storyboards as the blueprint to develop their documentaries using Microsoft’s Moviemaker software. They used the scripts to record their narration and arranged the images and other elements into a complete ken Burns-style film. They then “screened” all of the films in class to prepare for their exam on the Civil War. The teachers combined eight different activity types to form this project, including reading text, viewing images, researching, answering questions, historical weaving, creating a diary, engaging in historical role play, and creating a film. The combination and sequencing of these activity types moves the project beyond a typical research report by incorporating historical weaving and role play to develop a documentary film. Both digital and nondigital tools and resources were used, based upon the practicalities of students’ equitable access both during class and at home. While many of these activities were assessed formatively (e.g. research; answer questions), the final documentary films provide rich, summative assessments of the nature and depth of students’ learning. ConCLUSIon Planning for students’ curriculum-based learning that integrates appropriate and pedagogically powerful use of the full range of educational technologies is challenging. Considerably detailed and deliberate planning decisions need to be made, based upon multiple decision points, and chosen wisely from among a full range of possible educational activities that incorporate technologies in powerful ways. unfortunately, many teachers wishing to incorporate educational technologies into curriculum-based learning and teaching begin with selecting the digital tools and resources that will be used. When instruction is planned in this way, it becomes what seymour Papert (1987) calls “technocentric”– focused upon the technologies being used, more than the students who are trying to use them to learn. Technocentric learning experiences rarely help students to meet curriculumbased content standards, because those standards did not serve as a primary planning focus. accompanying pedagogical decisions (including the design of the learning experience) often focus more upon use of the selected technologies than what is most appropriate for a particular group of students within a particular educational context. alternatively, if learning goals have been selected well, if pedagogical decisions have been made according to students’ instructional and contextual realities, and if activity types and assessment strategies have been selected to address those goals and realities, then choices of instructionally appropriate tools and resources to use in the learning experience being planned are more obvious and straightforward. This is true as long as the teacher doing the planning is familiar 108 Harris and Hofer with available tools’ instructional affordances and constraints, which is an aspect of technological pedagogical knowledge. as we hope has become apparent, the activity types approach to instructional planning and preparation is focused squarely upon students’ standards-based, curriculum-related learning processes and outcomes, rather than upon the technologies that can assist in their creation. The approach is designed to help teachers to plan effective, efficient, and engaging learning experiences for their students. The process is based upon a series of deliberate, balanced, and well-informed pedagogical choices, which, when taken together, can result in an instructionally effective plan for students’ learning that incorporates digital and non-digital tools and resources in appropriate ways. activity-based instructional planning strategies are not new. aligning learning activities with compatible educational technologies, and developing comprehensive, curriculum-keyed taxonomies of activity types that incorporate content, pedagogy, and technology knowledge, along with all of their intersections, is the unique contribution of this TPaCk development method. Like the patterns of teachers’ instructional planning processes, from which this method was derived and with which it is designed to assist, this approach to TPaCk development is a quintessentially pragmatic thought process. Why? as pragmatist philosophers have asserted, the primary function of thought is to guide action. 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Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. educational researcher, 15 (2), 4-14. Tubin, d., & edri, s. (2004). Teachers planning and implementing iCT-based practices. Planning and Changing, 35 (3&4), 181191. Wilson, s. M., shulman, L. s., & richert, a. e. (1987). ‘150 different ways’ of knowing: representations of knowledge in teaching. in J. Calderhead (ed.), exploring teachers’ thinking (pp. 104-124). London: Cassell educational Limited. org/examples/voicewall/ Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 109-116 As the World Spins, Technology Spins Faster: A Global Long Distance Education Program Daphne hobson Lehigh University, USA Violet a. Kulo Lehigh University, USA In 2000, the educational leadership program of a major private U.S. university developed the Office of International Programs, designed to serve international educators and administrators in leadership positions. In the beginning, courses were delivered via asynchronous methods then later on, synchronous methods were integrated. Interviews were conducted in 2003 and follow-up surveys were administered in 2006 and 2008 to examine students’ perceptions about international long distance learning, and the impact of the technologies used on their learning. Findings indicated that students were generally satisfied with their online learning experiences; however, they experienced some difficulties. While integrating both synchronous and asynchronous technologies in distance education may support different instructional purposes, the teacher brings it all together. From beijing to beirut, from baghdad to boston, people watched the 2008 summer olympics live. according to Friedman (2001) in The World is Flat, information travels instantly, connecting all of us into a global community. technology is changing our lives in terms of what we know, how we communicate and how we learn; our world is flattening. technology has also drastically impacted our learning communities. through distance education, schooling is being transformed. today, distance education is implemented worldwide at both the K-12 and higher education levels. Distance education expands the time and location boundaries of traditional education by offering opportunities for students who cannot travel to attend face-to-face classes (allen & seaman, 2003; owston, 1997). studies reveal that the number of online education courses is especially increasing in higher education institutions (allen & seaman, 2005; hanna, 1998; national Center for education statistics, 1998; Roberts, 1996; scarafiotti & Cleveland-innes, 2006). according to nicholson and sarker (2002), these institutions are creating programs and courses online to serve a student population that is older, less likely to attend school full time and accustomed to on-demand interactions in other facets of their lives. 110 Hobson and Kulo Background of the International Programs in 2000, the College of education of a major private u.s. university established the office of international programs (oip). this office was charged with connecting the college to the international world of K-12 schooling. initially, the institution stepped out, offering several degree programs through a two-way course delivery system: online and face-toface. this design decision emerged from the needs of the students who were working as educators and administrators in schools around the world. the course delivery model brought students to campus during the summers to attend classes face-to-face and to meet other students in the program. During the fall and spring academic year, students took courses online. When the program began the university’s technological capabilities were advanced, but limited for an international audience. at the same time, students were living in different countries with different technological capacities. both of these limitations made online course delivery challenging. after the first year it was decided that to be successful the online course delivery methods would need to improve. the heterogeneous student population included several differing cultural backgrounds and varying degrees of english language comprehension. students worked in different parts of the world with differing time zones. Multiple languages and cultures that included different holidays, different weekends and different family expectations created challenges for online course delivery methods. For instance, in saudi arabia they observe thursday and Friday as their weekend and holy days. it was difficult to communicate with saudi students who only had computer access at work. this limited communication times to three days: Monday, tuesday and Wednesday, given the u.s. workweek standard. in addition, another program working with native spanish speaking teachers who had limited english comprehension made long distance communication problematic. While all of the students were working professionals and, for the most part, employed in american international K-12 schools, their academic calendar and holiday time often differed from the u.s. all of these issues needed solutions in order to ensure success. eight years later, the student population grew from 10 students and 9 countries in 2000 to 250 students and 63 countries in 2008. During this period of growth in the student population and a coinciding boom in technological capability, the program dramatically changed. in order to correspond with the majority student work year timeline, the office of international programs altered course commencement and end dates and alert faculty of religious holidays in order to ensure a culturally sensitive course design. students with limited english comprehension may participate in online writing tutorials. on the technical side, the program now delivers lectures with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (archived) methods. synchronous classes are delivered via elluminate Live!® and skype™. asynchronous classes are delivered via the blackboard content management system. two years ago, the university joined itunes university (itunes u) and now podcasts many of the courses. in order to ensure technological support, the university has designated an instructional technology team to maintain currency with new technologies and train faculty in the use of innovative methods. brahler, n. s., and Johnson (1999) asserted that in spite of the effort and resources colleges and universities spend on distance education delivery methods to meet the diverse needs of learners, there still lacks a comprehensive understanding of which factors influence successful online student learning. For the office of international programs, this statement rings true when considering the complexity of the international component. allen and seaman (2004) contend that with the increase in number of online education courses, attention to student satisfaction is more important than ever. PurPoSE oF ThE STuDy the purpose of this study is to examine student learning via online course delivery methods. the study also examines the impact of new technologies on student learning, as they were introduced with the program’s evolution over time. this study seeks to answer two questions: first, “What are students’ perceptions about international long distance learning?” and second, “how do the technologies used for online course delivery impact student learning?” this is a mixed methods study employing both qualitative (content analysis) and quantitative (descriptive statistical analysis) methodologies conducted over six years. patton (1990) defines content analysis as the process of identifying, coding and categorizing the primary patterns in the data (see also Maxwell, 1996; Miles & huberman, 1994). We use descriptive statistics to summarize and describe the data (ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 1990). 111 As the World Spins, Technology Spins Faster in 2003, the on-campus residential summer session enrolled 15 students. all 15 students participated in focus group interviews. three years later a follow-up online survey was administered to triangulate the existing data, due to the advancement of technologies and the growth of the program. We administered the online survey to all 196 students identified as actively enrolled in the program. one hundred and fourteen students responded to the online survey. thirty-eight students reported they had not yet taken online courses. therefore, only 76 responses were usable. in 2008, we administered the paper-and-pencil survey to all 25 students who were taking on-campus residential summer courses. the interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. two researchers independently read those transcriptions and identified emerging themes. the data from the surveys were then analyzed. Findings Interviews the analysis of the interview transcriptions revealed five common themes, which are learning styles, technology, time, learning materials and social interaction. each of these themes is elaborated below. students spoke most frequently about their preferred learning styles vis-à-vis online learning. Most of the responses revealed that students prefer a visual learning style. For instance, one student said, “i tend to be a visual learner.” another student said, “i’m a visual learner.” a third student said, “i’d say i am a visual learner, but i also need social interaction which helps me process the information.” another student stated, “i have intense interaction with visual and multiple, different stimuli.” on the other hand, there were also students who indicated that they were not visual learners. one student claimed that he was a kinesthetic learner, saying, “i have to be involved in some sort of project or activity.” another student said, “it’s much easier to be a self-learner.” the most interesting response about learning styles was in regards to student interaction and sharing. a student from saudi arabia said, “that’s what i need, i need human interaction.” another student said, “i prefer some type of interaction …where i can get some feedback.” a third student said, “i definitely like to have other people’s input to begin with; the way people perceive things are important to me.” the second topic students discussed issues about the technologies used and their own learning. Most students were generally satisfied with the technologies used in delivering the courses. one student said, “there were three different technologies and i appreciate the fact that the university was trying to find modalities that work for people.” however, some students experienced technical difficulties. Most students living and working in emerging nations often had difficulties accessing learning materials and participating in synchronous lessons. one student said, “i couldn’t have access to the online conversations and documents because of technical difficulties.” another said, “personally i had a hard time downloading some pDFs … if you don’t have enough bandwidth it really takes a long time.” Just like any other full-time working professional taking classes, students in the international programs are hard pressed for time. a third issue which students discussed was time. since students live in different countries with different time zones, synchronous classes were held at a time that was convenient for most students but not all. Most students indicated that they liked asynchronous classes because they could take them at their own time. one student said, “asynchronous is often easier because not only are we on different time zones, but we all have very busy schedules.” another student said, “Yes the time zone difference is a problem too.” Regarding the synchronous classes, one student said: “it’s like finding times when it is convenient. My two choices were three to four, which is impossible, three to four you know right when school is getting out is not a time when i can get on. and the other, eleven to twelve at night, and it was usually on a tuesday which was the day i have a board meeting and so i have to go to a board meeting and then come home and wait to be online and try to stay awake and wait for my turn and it was tough.” the next theme was derived from responses that mentioned learning materials. students preferred learning via asynchronous methods rather than synchronous methods. the asynchronous methods allowed them to access learning materials at their own pace and at a time that was convenient to them. they could also review the archived learning materials. one student said, “archived was portable; the CD did not need internet.” another student added, “the other thing i like … was that if i didn’t understand something i had the CD there that i could sit and review again. a third student said, “i liked the powerpoint’s that were on blackboard with the notes that you could print off alongside, i thought that was fantastic.” social interaction was the last theme, which emerged from the interviews. in traditional face-to-face classrooms, teachers incorporate practices such as clarifying learners’ expectations, facilitating activities, elaborating concepts, motivating the learner, scaffolding, knowledge-building and providing timely and appropriate feedback (Frizell & hübsher, 2002; hirumi, 2002; Reeves & Reeves, 1997). these key interactions affect learner attitudes and performance. Due to Hobson and Kulo limited appropriate technologies, these interactions were relatively limited in the first few courses and most students did not feel connected to the instructor or their classmates. one student said, “no, you knew the people you knew and it was nice to know they were on the same minute you were but we didn’t know anybody else.” in one class, some students felt connected to their classmates when they did peer reviews of each other’s assignments. one student said, “the thing that i did think was interesting was when we had to exchange our tech plans with each other … the idea to critique somebody else’s tech plan i thought was valuable and you received a critique so i thought that element was very good.” other students felt connected to the instructor through email and the blackboard course management system. one student said, “i liked the forwarded emails that were posted on blackboard, it just made me feel like i was connected there even though it wasn’t a person they’re talking to me.” 112 online Survey For the likert scale items, we counted the number of students who selected each response. the results indicated that students were generally satisfied with their online learning experience. Fifty-seven students (75%) expressed satisfaction with online courses they had taken. only six students (7.9%) reported that they were very dissatisfied with online courses they had taken. thirteen students (17.1%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with online courses they had taken. Figure 1 shows the percentage of student responses to the individual online survey items. Figure 1. percentage of student Responses to the online survey items. in terms of accessing learning materials, students indicated they preferred online downloadable materials, then CDRoM’s and finally a hard copy mailing. Most students indicated they preferred having lessons delivered via both asynchronous and synchronous lectures and presentations. Most students also indicated that downloadable readings were the most helpful in learning course content, whereas group work was the least helpful in learning course content. We clustered the data from the open-ended question into three emerging themes. Technology one student wrote, “this was my first course online and i must state that it has been an incredible experience. at the beginning i was a bit anxious about technological issues but it all went smoothly.” one student articulated that technology bridged the distance between students. he wrote, “i have been impressed with the overall quality of the online courses. it has brought those of us who live in different parts of the world a little closer together.” students liked the fact that courses were delivered via a combination of synchronous and asynchronous technologies. one student wrote, “live classes with the professor every once in a while is effective.” another student wrote, “personally, i like when the class has at least a few live presentations/lectures. i like to have that connection with the professor and classmates.” some students living and working in emerging nations still experienced technical difficulties. one student wrote, “sometimes it is 113 As the World Spins, Technology Spins Faster difficult to tune in to the live presentations because of the hour but more than that, because the systems overseas are not always reliable.” Time since all students in the international program are full-time professionals, they are hard pressed for time. one student wrote, “i have been continuously satisfied with all of my online interactions with instructors and my peers. it is highly enjoyable to be able to do the work when i have the time available.” students indicated that synchronous classes and collaborating on group projects was a challenge because of time differences. one student wrote, “one major challenge of live online lectures is one of time zones.” another student wrote, “Group work is very difficult since students are in different time zones and have different levels of access to internet.” Instructor Just as is the case with face-to-face classes, students indicated that the instructor was a very important factor in their online learning experience. one student said, “For me the key has been whether the professor is actively involved in the class and provides timely feedback and clear guidelines.” another student wrote, “i just want to note that how connected i felt to the instructor and the course depended greatly on the instructor.” a third student wrote, “i appreciated how our instructor listened to the class comments throughout the course and adjusted the course accordingly.” last but not least, one student wrote: “the instructor makes all of the difference.” Paper-and-Pencil Survey For the likert scale items, we counted the number of students who selected each response. as was the case with the results from the online survey, students were satisfied with their learning experience. twenty-one students (84%) expressed satisfaction with online courses they had taken. only two students (8%) reported they were dissatisfied with online courses they had taken. two students (8%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the online courses they had taken. Figure 2 shows the percentage of student responses to the individual paper-and-pencil survey items. Figure 2. percentage of student Responses to the paper-and-pencil survey items. in terms of accessing learning materials, students indicated they preferred online downloadable materials, then CDRoM’s and finally a hard copy mailing. Most students indicated they most preferred having downloadable readings and they least preferred having synchronous online lectures and presentations. they also indicated that “itunes u” podcasts were the most helpful in learning course content, whereas synchronous online lectures and presentations were the Hobson and Kulo least helpful in learning course content. We clustered the data from the open-ended survey question into three emerging themes. 114 Technology Most students were satisfied with the technologies used in delivering online courses. one student wrote, “the extent to which technology has bridged the distance gap and made the professor more accessible and human has helped me enjoy courses more.” another student wrote, “the technology is easy to learn and easy to use.” a third student wrote, “the itunes lectures are great (with handouts).” however, internet connectivity is still an issue with the students living in emerging nations. one student wrote, “i found [that] living in a 3rd world country with limited internet access, it was very difficult to complete online classes.” Time students indicated that their distance learning experience was good because they could take classes at their own time. one student wrote, “the benefits of my distance learning experience is the convenience of time.” While that may be true with asynchronous classes, students indicated that synchronous classes were not always held at a convenient time. one student wrote, “time zone differences make elluminate unworkable.” another student wrote, “Group work was difficult because of time differences and the inability to meet.” Instructor like the findings from the previous two years, students indicated that the instructor makes a difference. one student wrote, “a lot depends on the teacher. if they are organized and comfortable with the technology the course is very valuable.” another student wrote, “Distance learning seems to depend greatly on the effectiveness of the teacher.” a third student wrote, “More contact with the instructors would be helpful so [that] i’d have feedback to guide my learning.” Discussion through our six-year research project we learned about international student learning, student engagement with online learning and the successes and limitations of an international program delivered through multiple technologies. in the three different data sets it was evident that students needed opportunities for interactive learning and constant feedback from other students and the instructor. bowden and Merritt (1995) suggest that those involved in adult learning should consider incorporating a participative style of information sharing. the synchronous class sizes need to be small enough to allow more student participation and frequent feedback from the instructor. though it sounds contradictory, we also found that international students preferred asynchronous course delivery methods due to the technical limitations and time differences. students indicated that they preferred self-paced classes available at convenient times. even though we continue to create classes using a variety of innovative technologies, it is apparent from our study that students prefer classes that utilize interactive activities and discussions and are easily accessible. of the asynchronous methods, students preferred “itunes u” podcasts, possibly because of their easy accessibility. “itunes u” is a free service from apple available to qualifying two- and four-year accredited, degree-granting, public or private colleges and universities in select countries. “itunes u” is fully accessible to students with different learning styles and disabilities. students may download the “itunes u” podcasts to their computers, Mp3s or ipods and listen to them at a convenient time offline. We also use elluminate Publish!™ to convert our elluminate Live!® recordings to standalone high-definition video podcasts that capture whiteboard content, shared applications, chat transcripts and all audio. With these standalone recordings, students may still experience the rich interactivity of an elluminate Live!® recording in its native format without being connected to the internet. As the World Spins, Technology Spins Faster Conclusion 115 From this research there are three essential recommendations to those institutions interested in pursuing long distance education across national borders. the essential message from students taking online courses is the need for reputable teaching. While one may desire to integrate every technological gizmo that is invented each year, teachers matter. as one student articulated: “the instructor makes all of the difference.” Regardless of whether the online classes are synchronous or asynchronous, instructors make learning work. Kinnaman (1993) asserts that far too much effort still goes into trying to make technology “teacher-proof,” yet technology possesses no inherent educational philosophy, nor can it independently participate in the art of teaching. therefore, the first recommendation is to offer continual professional development to educators in the “art of teaching,” including current knowledge about the theories of teaching and learning. instructors need to have an in-depth knowledge about student learning, engagement and motivation. Without an understanding of pedagogy and methodology for effective instruction, educators will continue to fall short in transferring course content and knowledge to their students. the second recommendation is to provide continual professional development in the use of online instructional technologies. park and bonk (2007) emphasize the need for instructors to have adequate knowledge and skill in the various instructional media available, as well as an awareness of the appropriate pedagogies, challenges and new roles for various types of synchronous and asynchronous environments. When instructors are well versed and have a good command of the teaching and learning tools available to them, they may then create vibrant long-distance courses, which in turn become interactive and dynamic. such online teaching and learning tools include, but are not limited to, blogs, podcasts, online discussion forums, wikis, social bookmarking, social networking and collaborative social change communities. the last recommendation is to focus on learner’s expressed needs. it is apparent from our study that students prefer small class sizes that utilize interactive learning, discussions and adequate feedback. students also like classes that are easily accessible, conveniently timed and self-paced. in order to ensure that your long-distance program is working well it is critical to survey and provide feedback to your students in order to understand what is working and which methods and tools students prefer. Change, innovation, global concerns and needs, and technological advances will continue the paradigm curricula shift in education in higher education as we move into the future. increasingly, students will need to be understood and heard as they are introduced to the new technologies of online learning. and both students and instructors will need to have adequate knowledge and skills in the various instructional media available, as well as an awareness of the appropriate pedagogies, limitations and new roles for various types of distance learning environments. For, in the end, as the world spins, knowledge and technology spin faster and students and teachers will need to be prepared with the tools for teaching and learning. references allen, i. a., & seaman, J. (2003). sizing the opportunity: the quality and extent of online education in the united states, 2002 and 2003. new York: alfred p. sloan Foundation. Retrieved February 16, 2007 from, allen, i. a., & seaman, J. 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(1996). the story of distance education: a practitioner’s perspective. Journal of the american society for information science, 47, 811-816. scarafiotti, C., & Cleveland-innes, M. (2006). the times they are a-changing. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 10(2), 33-44. v2n1_hanna.asp Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 117-124 The Digital Documentary as Historical Ground Wire: A Study of a University’s Education Department and Its Teacher Educators John J. Sweeder, haley FroShour, and alliSon hoFFman La Salle University, USA using videotaped faculty interviews intercut with historical still photographs gleaned from a university’s archives, three researchers created a 41-minute historical digital documentary designed to illuminate the major evolutionary changes that one private, urban, liberal arts university’s education department had undergone during its formative and developmental years. additionally, the authors investigated the efficacy and impact that this historical digital documentary had upon its department’s faculty and administrative staff who viewed and responded to it via a follow-up survey questionnaire. results suggest that the digital documentary effectively conveyed the history of the department in an informative, clear, accurate, well-edited, and balanced fashion, successfully revealing the types of changes that took place in the evolution of its teacher-education program, with particular emphasis upon the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. This research project addresses the following question: in what ways have the la Salle university education department, its faculty, and its programs evolved over the past few decades? Via videotaped individual faculty interviews combined with historical still photographs gleaned from the university archives, the authors created an exploratory historical digital documentary meant to illuminate major evolutionary changes that the la Salle university education department has undergone over the past decades. in addition, the authors investigated the efficacy of this historical digital documentary and its impact upon the teacher educators and departmental staff that viewed and responded to it via a follow-up survey. This study attempts to ascertain how and to what degree an institutional academic subculture – namely, la Salle university’s education department – is affected by its own digital story. it reveals to what extent a digital documentary can convey a department’s history and evolutionary, programmatic and administrative change; to what extent it can transmit a department’s overall sense of values and mission; to what extent its department members work collegially with one another; to what extent its faculty expresses its collective identity; in what manner the documentary can be used to promote departmental reform; and in what ways it can be used to inform other, similar academic cultures that exist beyond the department itself. in addition, this study seeks to discover the extent to which digital storytelling is presently being used by departmental faculty in the teaching and learning of its students. 118 Sweeder, Froshour, and Hoffman multimodal by design, historical digital documentaries provide audiences with opportunities to not only listen to stories and collect information about the personal sentiments of individual or institutional cultures, but also to see and experience history more directly instead of simply imagining it, for the combination of visual and verbal information conveys historical events in compelling ways that have particularly powerful, emotional effects upon audience learning (Blocher, 2008). additionally, digital documentaries, similar to case studies, have the potential to communicate holistic views of institutional cultures (yin, 1989), education departments for instance, by interviewing individuals who play important roles in the shaping of those cultures. Review of the Literature digital documentaries are becoming more prevalent in contemporary educational practices. Some scholars suggest that, in place of papers or other school projects (Bull, Bell, & hammond, 2008; hull & Katz, 2006; Salpeter, 2005), digital stories offer learners engaging opportunities to incorporate primary-source documents (Ferster, hammond, & Bull, 2006) with other forms of information to create personalized content, which enables students to effectively internalize learning and grasp content fully. not only do digital stories provide opportunities for traditional storytelling to take place, but they also do so “in a manner that more closely reflects the expectations of today’s media savvy world” (Blocher, 2008, p.892). By blending traditional oral storytelling, “a recorded interview of an individual or group of individuals,” (Butler, 2008, p.34) with a “palette of technical tools to weave personal tales using images, graphics, music, and sound mixed together,” new, innovative digital narratives can be formed (Salpeter, 2005, p.5) historical digital documentaries are particularly valuable in preserving an institutional culture because they provide educators and historians with new ways to represent, preserve, and transmit information across generations via a combination of audio, visual, and textual components. moreover, historical digital documentaries enable scholars to “analyze… vast amount[s] of information generated to synthesize artifacts that meaningfully support [a given] message” (Baggett, 2008, p.871). Bull, Bell, and hammond (2008) suggest that crucial aspects of creating historical digital narratives are “getting the facts right and thoughtfully integrating specific primary source images” that relate to the story as a whole (p.276). it is pivotal to remember that “a movie is about what’s on screen” (rawlings, 2007, p.38). Given this, additions of historical artifacts are essential aspects of digital documentaries. interviews that are “supported by cutaways of the things important to the interview” (p.39) not only enhance the professional quality of digital stories, but they also reinforce the messages of “talking heads” that usually form their bases. artifact cutaways are the visual “ground wires” (p.40) of documentaries that serve to provide links between the past and the present, comparing the new to the old (Sweeder & Bednar, 2006). additionally, artifact cutaways become important in making digital documentaries more coherent because they can serve as transitions among discrete segments of historical visual narratives. in sum, personal interviews interspersed with visual artifacts serve to bring history to life. when incorporated into digital documentaries, they enhance their “authentic voice and [make them] engaging for the audience” (ohler, 2006, p.45). digital documentaries function as effective tools for reminiscence and preservation, giving one opportunities to reflect upon events in order to assess their significance (Baggett, 2008). By looking back upon historical changes (as well as those who effected them) and transforming those events into digital documentaries, historical narratives can be efficiently recorded, preserved, and transmitted through generations. in addition, they help us organize experiences within memory, gain access to memories (Garrety & Schmidt, 2008), and aid us in retaining and comprehending new, perhaps difficult information (robin, 2006). Methods during the 2007-2008 academic year, three researchers – one university teacher educator, and two undergraduate secondary-education majors – conducted on-campus videotaped interviews of eleven faculty members of la Salle university’s education department, all professors of various ranks and tenures, both former and present, for this digital 119 The Digital Documentary as Historical Ground Wire documentary. The university teacher educator created a “Pre-interview Questionnaire,” which was designed to help focus and relax the subjects of this study, and prepare them for their individually-taped interviews. The two undergraduate student researchers conducted and taped each interview, which varied in length from five to 35 minutes, depending upon the disposition of interviewees themselves. after each interview was completed the undergraduate student researchers viewed each tape carefully and then created a word-for-word typewritten transcript of the event, noting the times each interviewee devoted to answering each question; those “time codes” served as temporal benchmarks which later assisted the researchers in the post-production, video-editing process. in addition, those transcripts, which totaled over 74 pages and 22,000 words, provided the researchers with a means for analyzing the content of the interviews more carefully; for helping them identify and locate additional, relevant historical photographs and artifacts, which could be gleaned from the la Salle university archives and subsequently videotaped and used as “cutaways” to enhance the visual appeal and stylistic continuity of the digital documentary (Bernard, 2007); and for helping them compress the more than two hours and 15 minutes of raw, unedited videotaped footage to a more manageable length. when all interviews and transcripts were completed, the researchers reflected carefully upon the common themes that emerged from them, as well as determined with greater precision what the main purposes of the final, edited digital documentary and accompanying research questions would be (i.e., The videotaped interviews, themselves, shaped the subsequent direction that this digital storytelling project took.). The researchers decided that the overall focus of the project would revolve around themes of historical change and mission in la Salle university’s education department, as well as the efficacy and impact that the digital documentary itself had upon its own faculty and departmental staff. immediately following a rough edit of each digitally-captured tape, a first draft was compiled that incorporated and combined each interview. The researchers viewed this edited version and carefully noted additional edits they deemed necessary. after the completion of the second draft, the researchers further determined other, additional edits in order to create a more compelling, tightly-focused third version. with a more refined product in hand, they then devised a list of possible artifacts to insert into the digital documentary, ones that might be contained in the university’s archives, in order to add richness, authenticity, up-tempo pacing, and visual appeal. with the help of the university’s archivist, the researchers located and videotaped several of artifacts they listed. Shortly thereafter, they set up a series of meetings with the producer of the university’s television station who agreed to help with some final insert editing, the addition of “lower thirds” (i.e., professional-looking graphics that identified by name each of the professors who were interviewed), the videotaping of the introduction, the final credits, and the addition of the “bumper music.” with the final version of the digital documentary completed, the university teacher educator created the study’s 14question, survey instrument which he and the two student researchers distributed to all education department members – faculty, field placement directors, and program directors – during the first departmental meeting of the 2008-2009 academic year. after viewing the documentary, all 18 surveys were completed and promptly returned within one week. Five of the 14 survey questions, numbers one, two, three, four, and six, employed likert-type items for soliciting opinions. (For example, Question 1 asked “To what extent did this documentary convey a sense of departmental history?” respondents were asked to circle one of the following: 1. To a significant degree. 2. To a good degree. 3. no opinion. 4. To a minimal degree. 5. To no degree.). additional space was also provided so that department members could comment further upon these questions if they so chose. The remaining nine open-ended survey questions required short essays. The researchers collated, compiled and analyzed data using content analysis (mason & Bramble, 1997) in order to determine the overall efficacy of the digital documentary. Results in answering question one, “To what extent did this documentary convey a sense of departmental history?” 14 out of 18 respondents (77.8%) said that the documentary conveyed a sense of departmental history “to a significant degree,” while the remaining four (22.2%) said it did so “to a good degree.” of the former group, some respondents wrote that the documentary “was comprehensive”; “clearly explained [the] development and expansion of [the] education program”; 120 Sweeder, Froshour, and Hoffman and “capture[d] the sense of the department history clearly and accurately.” of the latter group, who responded “to a good degree,” two respondents wrote that the “historical documentary really illustrated change in teacher education over the years…and suspect[ed] that the laSalle education department’s changes mirror[ed] changes in teacher education nationally over that period of time”; that the department’s “summer practicum experiences might have been addressed … to a greater extent”; and that the “sequence [was] not always clear.” Question two asked, “To what extent did this documentary convey a sense of departmental collegiality?” Six of the 18 respondents (33.3%) said that this topic was addressed “to a significant degree,” eight respondents (44.4%) said it was covered “to a good degree,” three respondents (16.7%) had “no opinion,” and one respondent (5.6%) said department collegiality was only addressed “to a minimal degree.” members of the first group noted that “several [interviewees] commented on how they worked together with various members of the department”; one respondent even “got the impression of a family.” members of the second group indicated that the documentary “show[ed] significant aspects of collegiality among individuals and groups, but also realistically indicate[d] variations among group dynamics”; that “there seem[ed] to be a sense of departmental collegiality when the various speakers spoke of the past, but not so much when talking about the present”; and that there was “ a general sense of collegiality… exhibited, [although] there was an implied tension between” two department programs. one person who chose “no opinion” did so because he said that verbal “references [to collegiality] were occasional” and that “to some degree, underlying tensions were revealed.” regarding the third question, “To what extent did this documentary convey a sense of change with respect to the education department’s faculty, programs, administration, and so on?” 11 of the 18 respondents (61.1%) said the department change was addressed “to a significant degree,” while the other seven (38.9%) said it was conveyed “to a good degree.” of the former group, some respondents wrote that the documentary conveyed the message that the education department’s “growth was obvious with the additional programs and certifications”; that it evolved from a once “rather unsophisticated setup in the 1950s to [a] rather complex amalgam of special, elementary, secondary, field work, and graduate level” set of experiences; and that the education department obviously has a “dynamic program…[with] ample evidence of rotating administrative responsibilities.” of the latter group of four who responded “to a good degree,” one wrote that “There seem[ed] to be a sense of change over the years 1971-1990, but i [did] not get a sense of much change since”; another wrote that “changes at the end of the 1990’s to [the present] were not [as] clearly presented.” in answering question four, “To what extent did this documentary transmit a sense of lasallian values and mission?” 14 respondents (77.8%) stated that the documentary did so “to a significant degree”; the remaining four (22.2%) said that it did so “to a good degree.” of the former group, some respondents wrote that the “mention of [the] Christian Brothers and social justice [was] frequent” and “comprehensively addressed”; that the sense of lasallian values was “highlighted beautifully throughout by so many in our department [as well as] by visual slides;” and that the mission conveyed “was a motif that ran through the history [from] the veterans to the newly-hired faculty.” of the latter group, one wrote that the transmission of lasallian values “seemed somewhat formulaic.” in replying to question five, “was there any information not conveyed in this documentary about which you would have liked (or expected) to have seen or heard?” a few respondents wrote that the “information was well selected” and that “the informational choices were very appropriate for the focus of the documentary”), while a few others wrote that they would have preferred to have heard additional viewpoints from a few other faculty members who were not videotaped (e.g., “Some faculty perspectives missing”). a few respondents also suggested the possibility of including interviews with former and/or current students (e.g., “how about adding some former and current students’ voices?”). another wrote that some of the faculty members who were not taped for this documentary represented “key features of [the] program” and that having their “perspective[s] would have been interesting.” Similarly, another respondent mentioned the lack of information dealing with the practical classroom experiences showing “the connection between field experiences and course content… [as well as] additional partnerships between [the] la Salle Teacher education program and schools” in the community. Finally, two respondents would have liked to have seen or heard about “changes in minority presence over the years” as well as “the current and future direction [of] the department.” in answering the sixth question, “in your view, was the information conveyed in this documentary accurate and balanced?,” 11 out of 17 respondents (64.8%) said that the documentary contained balanced and accurate information “to a 121 The Digital Documentary as Historical Ground Wire significant degree,” five respondents (29.4%) said the documentary did so “to a good degree,” and one (5.8%) said that it did so “to a minimal degree.” within that first group of 11 respondents, one wrote that the “contributions by different… faculty varied and, together, provided accurate and balanced information;” another respondent wrote that he “saw no disparity.” one member of the second group wrote, “some speakers [were] emphasized more than others…which made the [earlier] history stronger but contemporary [history] less strong.” The single respondent who said “to a minimal degree” wrote that she was “not sure what the focus was.” Question seven asked, “having watched this documentary, what are your views on incorporating similar kinds of digital storytelling into your own (or your students’) teaching and learning?” most education department faculty members who responded to this question viewed the use of digital storytelling in a most favorable light, writing that “it could be an excellent teaching tool”; and that “this technique [has] a rich potential in various disciplines, not just education.” others wrote that they “may consider [using] it” and would like to “see more attention [paid] to this strategy in practice.” a few claimed to have already utilized this method in their classrooms, yet stated that this digital documentary made them “more aware of what a powerful technique it is.” nevertheless, there were two respondents who expressed mixed views, one writing that he was “not sure how [he] would use it,” another adding that it “would not [be an] especially [good] fit for [him]” given the specific course he taught. in a similar vein, question eight asked, “have you ever used digital storytelling in your own classroom? if so, how? if not, would you be more inclined to do so having watched this documentary?” of the 18 respondents seven wrote that, although they have not yet delved into the world of digital storytelling, they would now be more compelled to incorporate it into their curricula, for reasons such as “the medium supports tapping into another set of talents, interests and presents to varied learners.” others, although they expressed interest, were not certain that this type of project would fit into their content area or style of teaching, or questioned whether or not it would be “the right tool for the job.” one respondent, for instance, was concerned about students having “some training on using such technology prior to [her] course.” Still three others claimed that they were beginning to or already using digital storytelling, in one form or another, in their “travel-study” courses and “field experiences.” Question nine asked, “what did you discover about la Salle’s education department as a result of watching this documentary? did you learn anything new? if so, explain.” of the 16 who responded to this question, 12 wrote that they gained more knowledge regarding the “early history” of the department (e.g., “i learned more about the early years”); its expansion over the years (e.g., “The size of the department has increased dramatically”); and new perspectives (e.g., “i learned more about specific individuals’ earlier roles and philosophies). The four other respondents thought that they had not learned much that was new, one writing that he “had a good handle on [the history] already.” another wrote that the digital documentary “confirmed, rather than enlightened” his views regarding the department’s past. and still another wrote that there was “some confusion over specific dates and other related earlier information,” citing an instance where he knew that a specific fact related by one of the interviewees in the documentary was inaccurate. Question 10 asked, “do you think or feel any differently about la Salle university’s education department now that you have viewed this documentary? if so, describe your reactions.” Five of the respondents answered this question affirmatively, conveying the sentiments of self-esteem (e.g., “i guess the pride experienced by the members of the dept. and their enthusiasm”); nostalgia (e.g., “i miss [working with] ‘the triumvirate’” of close colleagues); harmony (“i realize that we are more united in our appreciation of la Salle’s heritage than i imagined”; duty (e.g., “i feel a stronger sense of responsibility for the further development of the department”); and gratitude (“[i feel] much appreciation [for] the philosophy and the extent of the importance of teaching and the student”). The eight others who responded to this question stated that they felt little or no change in their thoughts or feelings; nevertheless, one of them wrote that “the documentary [was] a wonderful highlight about our program and key players in it.” Question 11 asked, “would other groups of individuals such as education majors, former graduates of our programs, prospective education majors, faculty members from other departments, university administrators, and/or the community at large benefit from viewing this documentary?” eight of the respondents gave an unqualified “yes” (e.g., “absolutely yes! This was and can be a great service to all as a perspective into the current department”), with others adding affirma- 122 Sweeder, Froshour, and Hoffman tively that this historical documentary would be “good for someone new in the department.” The remaining nine respondents either equivocated (e.g., “i am not sure. Some other departments might benefit… [or this project] could encourage them to produce a similar retrospective”) or qualified their answers according to the potential audiences this project was meant to serve. For instance, one respondent wrote: “Prospective education majors and applicants for department faculty positions might well benefit from viewing this documentary. i’m not sure about faculty members of other departments or the community at large. Perhaps the dean of arts and Sciences would find it beneficial.” Two other respondents wrote that although this documentary was beneficial a second, different documentary might be produced, one that “add[s] a narrator’s voice and present[s] the documentary around several main themes” in order, as another respondent said, “to show changes (curricular or otherwise) …over time.” in answering question 12, “might viewing this documentary help shed light upon, in any way, the department’s identity or clarify its collective voice?” the majority of faculty wrote that this documentary did do just that, “especially for those outside the department.” of the 15 department members who responded to this question, nine answered affirmatively. For instance, one respondent wrote, “yes, i think it helps clarify the department’s identity and mission. it’s easy to get caught up in disagreement and lose sight of the underlying agreement that unites us. This [documentary] gives articulation to that agreement and clarifies that identity.” The remaining six who responded, qualified their answers writing “not sure,” or “Perhaps in the right circumstance… [but] not sure what that is yet.” one of those six, however, wrote, “our voices are far from collective these days on any number of subjects. however, we all speak the same language with respect to mission and meeting student needs.” Question 13, “might this documentary be used, in any way, to promote departmental reform?” received a wider array of responses. Six of the 18 respondents answered in the affirmative (e.g., “i think it will help ground all of us as we are forced by the Pennsylvania department of education to revise completely the elementary/Special-education program”); eight others wrote that they, “didn’t know” or “were not sure”; three wrote, “perhaps,” adding, for example, “… faculty viewing it will better appreciate how we got where we are today, how much has been accomplished along the way, and what else is possible if we keep at it.” The one remaining respondent wrote, “in the ideal world, yes [but] here no.” The final question of the survey asked: “Should this documentary be shared with a broader audience, for example, by being broadcasted on the la Salle 56 TV channel, streamed in short segments over the internet via the la Salle university portal, and/or incorporated into scholarly on-line journals such as Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education?” of the 18 respondents, nine answered without any reservation (e.g., “yes, this documentary is an excellent model for inspiring education of others to realize the potential oral histories in capturing deeper values and beliefs embedded in institutions”; or “yes – to all. i feel it shows a great sense of pride and growth”). Six respondents wrote that the documentary would be suitable for some audiences listed, but not others (e.g., “to potential education majors”; or “not to the general public [for] it would not be meaningful. in professional venues, yes”; others in this same subgroup wrote that it might be more effective if it were to be viewed in short segments only, rather than in its entirety. Three other respondents simply replied, “not sure.” Discussion The results of this study suggest that this digital documentary was very effective in conveying the history of the la Salle university education department, its faculty, and its programs, revealing how each had evolved over the past few decades. in the view of the survey respondents, this project comprehensively, clearly, and accurately illuminated changes in teacher education at la Salle over the years, and also communicated a strong sense of complexity and dynamic flexibility with respect to programmatic growth, faculty size, and rotating administrative responsibilities. especially effective was the documentary’s conveyance of the department’s history during the decades of 1970s through the 1990s, suggesting that additional digital video documentation of the more recent, 21st-Century departmental changes might further enhance its efficacy through the inclusion of additional interviews with newer, more recently-hired departmental faculty and staff. Perhaps this documentary’s greatest achievement was the degree to which it successfully transmitted the department’s overall sense of lasallian values and mission. The motifs of the Christian Brothers’ history and influence com- 123 The Digital Documentary as Historical Ground Wire bined with the concomitant moral sentiment of social justice was comprehensively addressed and highlighted throughout the documentary, reinforcing the view that the education department faculty imbued their curricula and student/teacher interactions with an undergirding philosophy of commitment to the “other.” This documentary further revealed that the education department faculty and staff worked collegially with one another, while realistically conveying the fact that, at particular moments during the department’s history, smaller sub-groups of faculty worked especially well with one another, and that, although underlying or implied tensions among faculty who work in different programs do occasionally arise, potent faculty camaraderie exists and will likely continue to do so. To a lesser extent, this documentary revealed that among the faculty and staff there is a collective voice and common identity within the department: the interviewees “all speak the same language.” The results of this study imply that this digital documentary may help promote future, departmental reform by serving as a metaphorical “ground wire” for faculty members who are involved with state-mandated program revision, inspiring them by reminding them of past innovative, programmatic and scholarly accomplishments such as the creation of a combined elementary/special education certification program during the 1980s, as well as the secondary-education program during the 1990s and early 21st Century, which became thoroughly infused with character education and educational technology (ryan, Sweeder, & Bednar, 2002). This digital documentary has the potential to inform and educate individuals (such as new students or new faculty hires) as well as other, more distant academic cultures that exist beyond the department itself, and serve as a source of pride and a model for growth while inspiring the education of others through the sharing of professional values, which are conveyed through its multimodal digital stories. This documentary can be viewed online – either in brief, piecemeal, streamed segments or in its entirety -- through the website resource i-Tunes U (see References Baggett, P. V. (2008). national writing project teacher consultants explore digital storytelling [electronic version]. Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Chesapeake, Va: association for the advancement of Computing in education, 2008, 871-874. Bernard, S. C. (2007). Documentary storytelling (2nd ed.). amsterdam: Focal Press. Blocher, J. m. (2008). digital storytelling and reflective assessment [electronic version]. Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Chesapeake, Va: association for the advancement of Computing in education, 2008, 892-899. Bull, G., Bell, l., & hammond, T. (2008). advancing TPCK through collaborations across educational associations. in aaCTe Committee on innovation and Technology (eds.), Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators (pp. 273-287). new york: Routledge. Butler, r.P. (2008). oral history as educational technology research. TechTrends, 52(4), 24-41. Ferster, B., hammond, T., & Bull, G. (2006). Primary access: Creating digital documentaries in the social studies classroom. Social Education, 70(3), 147-150. Garrety, C. & Schmidt, d. a. (2008). The evolution of digital storytelling: From enhanced oral tradition to genres for education [electronic version]. 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(eds.), Proceedings of Society for information Technology and Teacher education international Conference, 2006, 709-716. Chesapeake, Va: association for the advancement of Computing in education. ryan, F., Sweeder, J., & Bednar, m. r. (2002) Drowning in the clear pool: Cultural narcissism, technology and character education. new york: Peter lang. 124 Sweeder, Froshour, and Hoffman Salpeter, J. (2005). Telling tales with technology: digital storytelling in a new twist on the ancient art of the oral narrative, Technology & Learning, 25(7), 18. Sweeder, J. & Bednar, m. (2006). a baby-boomer’s digital story: Creating a primary-source document [electronic Version]. in C. Crawford et al. (eds.), Proceedings of Society for information Technology and Teacher education international Conference, 2006, 732-736. Chesapeake, Va: association for the advancement of Computing in education. yin, r. (1989). Case study research: Design and methods. Applied social research methods series. (Vol. 5). 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Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 125-132 Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning as a Learning Management System Aliye KArAbulut, DAve brAet, Denise linDstrom, AnD DAle s. nieDerhAuser Iowa State University, USA recent web-based technology developments have spawned a host of tools supporting communication, collaboration, and socialization in our information-dependent world. even though a generation of “digital natives” is now entering the teaching workforce, research suggests that they are as ill prepared to use technology for teaching and learning as their “digital immigrant” predecessors (Cameron, 2005; Kvavik, Caruso & morgan, 2004; Weiss, hanson-baldauf, 2008). based on the idea that social networking environments can be used to organize and extend classroom activities, providing an opportunity for pre-service teachers to begin to integrate their everyday real-world uses of communication technologies into their pedagogical practices, we investigated student online interactions while using ning (a social networking site) as a learning management tool. results indicated that use of ning provided opportunities for community building by means of features that allow personalization, socialization, communication among class members, as well as organization of the classroom by allowing a convenient access to assignments, readings and resources. students reflected on these features as possible uses of the ning in their future high school classrooms. recent web-based technology developments have spawned a host of tools aimed at supporting communication, collaboration, and socialization in our increasingly information-dependent connected world. We now have free access to real-time streaming videoconferencing (e.g., skype, yahoo messenger, netmeeting, etc.) that enables us to communicate with others using both audio and visual channels, work collaboratively on projects through shared online workspaces (e.g., GoogleDocs, Wikis), and socialize virtually using social networking sites (sns) (e.g., Facebook, myspace, second life). these technologies are used routinely in the 21st century workplace where globalization has resulted in knowledge and resources being distributed within and between organizations (Gee, 2000). today’s students, represent the first generations to grow up with these technologies. Computer games, instant messaging, online networking, and the internet are all integral parts of their daily lives. however, in schools, which are ostensibly preparing students to live and work in the 21st century global society, use of these technologies have been limited, or, in some cases, not allowed at all. According to a national school boards Foundation report (2007) eight in ten school districts had rules against online chatting and instant messaging. more than six in ten prohibited participation in online bulletin boards or blogs, and prohibited students from sending or receiving email during school hours. Further, half of the schools in the study specifically prohibited any use of snss in school. this is unfortunate because researchers have suggested that participation in snss can foster the development of the 21st century literacies valued in the world outside of schools (Green & hannon, 2007). 126 Karabulut, Braet, Lindstrom, and Niederhauser this trend toward limiting student access to modern communications technologies continues and strengthens as the us Congress has recently proposed legislation to ban youth from accessing snss in all public schools and libraries (h.r. 5319, 2006; s. 49, 2007). using these kinds of technology tools appears to be a determining factor in whether children obtain the literacy practices they will need if they are going to participate in a technology-rich global society (Facer, Furlong, Furlong, & sutherland, 2003). unless teachers learn to effectively integrate these technologies into their teaching practices, schools are in danger of contributing to the creation of a new generation of illiterates especially among those children who do not have access to computers outside of school. Preparing teachers to integrate technology into teaching has been consistently emphasized in policies and reports over the last two decades (Culp, honey, & mandinach, 2005; Groth, Dunlap, & Kidd, 2007). even though a generation of “digital natives” is now entering the teaching workforce, research suggests that they are just as ill prepared to use technology for teaching and learning as their “digital immigrant” predecessors (Cameron, 2005; Kvavik, Caruso & morgan, 2004; Weiss, hanson-baldauf, 2008). Despite using snss and other web 2.0 applications in their daily lives, current and future pre-service teachers will need the support of the government, and their local administrators, to allow them to teach their students to use current communication technologies in responsible ways, and explicit instruction on how to use these tools to create learning environments that promote 21st century skills. sns environments can be used to organize and extend classroom activities, providing an opportunity for pre-service teachers to begin to integrate their everyday real-world uses of communication technologies into their pedagogical practices. however, most schools have adopted course management systems (Cmss) like WebCt, moodle and blackboard that are specifically designed for educational use (lane, 2008). unfortunately, Cms use is often characterized as inflexible and overly structured (morgan, 2003). these systems were designed to replicate traditional face-to-face schooling exchanges, with information flowing from teacher to students, and, although some features were designed to promote collaboration among students, these features are rarely used (morgan, 2003). While faculty use of Cms has been increasing rapidly, much of this increased use has involved uploading lectures, PowerPoint slides, notes, and grades. Faculty members have been much slower to adopt the use of more complex interactive components like discussion boards and chat features (lane, 2008). the rigid, predetermined pedagogical structure of these tools limits the ways that instructors design materials that address individual needs of specific students, and limits instructional creativity and use of varied pedagogical approaches—especially for faculty who are just beginning to explore the use of these tools. the result is that students rarely log on to a Cms unless they need some information that is stored there, or have a specific task or assignment to complete. in contrast, students voluntarily spend considerable amounts of their time on snss like myspace and Facebook (a recent report indicated that 96.7% of over 600 study participants regularly used social network websites, benson, 2008). the question for educators is: how can we harness the power of snss to engage and motivate students in ways that Cmss, to date, have not? in the present study we examined student reactions to the use of a sns to organize course content and activity in an introductory instructional technology course. MEthod Participants Participants were drawn from pre-service teachers in an undergraduate introductory instructional technology course at a large midwestern university. students were seeking secondary teaching certification and represented a variety of content areas (see table 1) with 9% freshmen, 42% sophomores, 36% juniors, and 13% seniors. of 84 enrolled in the course, data were collected from the 76 who were present on the day the open-ended writing prompts for this study were administered during a regular lab session. Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning table 1 Participants arrayed by content area, level and gender Content Areas Social Studies/History Math Science Kinesiology Agricultural Education Family and Consumer Sciences Language Arts Foreign Language /ESL Art Education Total (76) 5 2 14 1 18 14 13 4 6 1 Freshmen M 2 2 1 1 2 4 4 1 3 4 3 5 1 F Sophmores M 4 F 2 4 5 3 Junior M F 2 1 1 2 1 2 4 2 2 1 1 1 Senior M 2 F 1 127 Context We used ning social networking software (see to disseminate information (assignments, course readings, syllabus) and promote collaboration among students in an introductory instructional technology course for preservice teachers. students met for two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab in a face-to-face setting, with the sns serving as a tool to expand the boundaries of time and place (Wade, niederhauser, Cannon & long, 2001). topics included media and information literacy, video production, equity issues, copyright, technology integration, and adaptive technologies. the use of an sns also facilitated constructivist pedagogical principles that emphasize the collaborative and social nature of learning as students posted drafts of all assignments for peer evaluation before submitting them for credit and were encouraged to read and respond to other students reflections on readings and assignments as they worked on their own. ning is an online sns that allows individuals to create their own social networks. it contains modules for blog posts, discussion forums, sharing photos and videos, and chat all of which are important communication tools for 21st century digital citizens (helfant, 2007). ning allows the network creator to control who can join and access information in a given social network and change the features and underlying logic that govern its use (bianchini, 2008). it also offers customizable templates that allow network members to personalize their own pages by tweaking the appearance and layout of personal pages without affecting the content provided by the instructor. the ning site has been used by educators for professional development and information exchange, as well as in K-16 classrooms. ning in education ( has provided opportunities for educators to share ideas and support for technical and pedagogical issues. ning also hosts a site for educators interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies (hargadon, 2009). data Sources Data sources included artifacts from student work on the ning site (design of personal pages, assignments, discussions, wall postings, etc.) and student responses to open-ended questions about the benefits and challenges of using an sns as a learning management tool. Questions included: 1) What did you like best about using ning for Ci 202? 2) What was the biggest problem you encountered while using ning in Ci 202? 3) What are some concerns you have about using social networking sites (like ning) in your future high school classroom? 4) how might you use ning for your future high school classes? 128 Karabulut, Braet, Lindstrom, and Niederhauser Procedures students used the ning website to complete course activities during the semester. use of ning included functions typically accomplished using a Cms (providing online access to syllabus, schedule, resources, etc.), as well as allowing students a space to share their work (e.g., videos, graphic design projects, papers, etc.) by posting assignments on their personal ning pages, engaging in discussions on podcasts and readings, and engaging in peer review activities with other students in the class. During the last week of the course students were asked to respond to a GoogleDocs-based online survey, which contained the open-ended writing prompts listed above during a regular lab session. identifying information was removed and responses were compiled to create the dataset. data Analysis We uploaded the student responses to the qualitative data analysis software, transana, to code for recurrence of emergent themes. We followed an iterative coding procedure as we read through a subset of responses, grouped responses into rough categories, then went through cycles of using the categories to code a new subset of responses and refining categories. During this process we developed decision rules that were used to guide the analysis process. in our final coding, we double coded 20% of the responses, equally distributed among the three coders. inter-coder agreement was 81%. We then looked within each category to examine how the themes played out among these students. Results and discussion in the next section, we present findings on how using an sns to manage student learning might provide opportunities to expand 21st Century skills (e.g. communication, collaboration, and socialization) that our increasingly information-dependent and connected world requires. Community Building the ning site provided opportunities for students to build a community, which allowed them to get to know each other outside the class. they could personalize their pages, upload photos and videos which might, or might not, be related to class work, leave comments for their classmates, communicate and collaborate with each other by means of the communication tools embedded within the site. Allowing students to personalize their pages by changing colors, images, and font types, helped students establish an online presence and assume responsibility for the class and the website as one student pointed out: “i liked the flexibility in using ning. We were able to create a profile with some information about us and it made it more personal.” the pictures they put on their profiles tended to be personal photos that reflected social identities. many students included pictures with family members, children, and significant other, which provided a chance for class members to get to know about each other outside the classroom environment. it also helped students socialize by commenting on each other’s pictures, assignments and blog postings. According to one student: “What i liked most about ning is that you can talk to other students and post pictures of you and your friends, it’s just pretty much like Facebook.” the ning site also eased the process of student-to-student communication, as well as instructor-student communication, by means of “wall” comments and an internal email system that allowed them to send messages directly to another students’ preferred e-mail address. students were able to form their own groups, use the chat feature to work on collaborative projects, and leave messages for each other. thirty-five instances specifically referred to the convenient and easy way for students to communicate with their classmates and instructors. As one student pointed out, “it was nice to have everyone in the class on a single website so we didn’t need to search for e-mail addresses.” Another student commented: i liked the community feeling that ning provided. it was great to be able to read about my fellow classmates, and be able to see when they were online for instant messaging. i also felt that my tA was more accessible with the ning website. When i sent him a message, he got back to me very quickly. Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning 129 students posted class assignments as blogs, or replies to forum discussions, which everyone in the class could see. this provided an authentic audience beyond the course instructor—who typically serves as the audience for academic work. learning became more meaningful as students commented that they liked the way they could see what others had done, and get peer feedback to improve their work. seven instances highlighted that students liked this concept of open access assignment as it provided an opportunity for them to see their classmates’ ideas, as well as being able to compare their work to check whether they were on the right track. As one student commented: it was great being able to view my peers’ thoughts and reactions to my own. i felt that ning provided a place i could go to compare my opinions to others and that really confirmed to me that i was on the right track. overall, one student’s response summarized the affordances provided by the ning site in terms of building a community for class, “i like that the website uses the concept of online community to foster learning.” organization and Access All class information (e.g. readings, resources, activities, and assignments) was available on the ning site, providing convenient internet access for students to any information they need regardless of where they were and what time it was, as well as being able to upload different formats of assignments (e.g. videos, blogs, documents, and forum discussions. Fifty-five comments indicated that students found the ning site easy and convenient to access materials and submit assignments. the following student response summarizes these affordances provided by the ning site that was valued by the majority of students: the ning site was very helpful when doing homework because instead of having to print out everything for each activity we had to do and worrying about loosing the paper, we could just go on to the ning site, and get the information. it was also helpful when handing in homework because were just able to go and post in on the website instead of having to hand it in class, which also created less confusion. it was also very helpful because you gave us lots of resources to look at that would help us with anything we needed to look up. Another advantage of using an sns as a learning system was that students could archive the work they had done throughout the semester, and refer back to see progress, which was evident from one student’s response, “i loved being able to go back and look at past lab activities and seeing everything that we did in class.” the students’ work on ning will remain available indefinitely. this means that classmates can stay in contact with each other as they continue in their university coursework and join the teaching profession. Further, the ning site serves as an online portfolio of their own and classmate’s work allowing students to re-visit the site to find ideas, resources, materials and projects to use in their own classrooms. Although most of the students found the site easy to navigate, there were eight instances where students found site navigation confusing: the other thing i didn’t like was how the discussions, assignments and readings were set up. i wish i could have been able to just see what was under each of these categories so i didn’t waste time looking through all of them looking for one thing. this may have resulted from a technical issue rather than an organizational one. Although the ning site allows the creator/administrator to customize their networks, it does not allow for a full manipulation. For instance, we had to put our materials under the forum tab, but we were unable to change the name forum to another name, which might have been confusing for some students. however, we continue to refine our use of ning to meet our needs, and with a little planning, reflection, revision, and new technical updates by the site we continue to work on creating a site that is fairly intuitive for our students. Another concern, seen in nineteen responses, was that it took a while for them to figure out how the site was structured, and where to go to find the materials they needed. however, they indicated that it did not take too long to get used 130 Karabulut, Braet, Lindstrom, and Niederhauser to because it was similar to familiar social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, myspace). As one student said, “new technology always takes time to get a handle on.” students also mentioned some technical affordances and limitations of ning. some advantages included being able to easily upload different types of documents (e.g. videos, images, PPt, and etc.), and being faster than Cmss in terms of downloading/uploading documents and site navigation. however, a few students mentioned that it was slow at times uploading videos. this may be because of bandwidth speeds with a home internet connection. two technical problems emerged when we asked students what they did not like about the ning site. the first was that they had to login twice, once to log in to ning, then again to log in to the class network. the second problem dealt with needing to use multiple course tools because of our trials for finding alternative ways to include features that are not built in the site, specifically grades. As the ning site is not specifically designed for classroom use, it does not have a grade book feature, so we had to utilize another web-based technology, Google Docs, to provide access to updated grades. so, in addition to a ning account students were required to have a Google Docs account to check grades, which was an inconvenience. based on student comments, we have since found a way to integrate GoogleDocs grades directly into the ning site by use of html embed codes. Possible Future Use of Ning by Pre-service teachers Despite using snss and other web 2.0 applications in their daily lives, current and future pre-service teachers will need the support of the government, and their local administrators, to allow them to teach their students to use current communication technologies in responsible ways, and explicit instruction on how to use these tools to create learning environments that promote 21st century skills. thus, our choice for the ning site as a course management tool was twofold. While it helped us organize our own class, we also modeled how teachers could utilize free resources on the internet, and repurpose them for their class use. to examine this, we asked participants about their concerns about using an sns for educational purposes, and how they would use it in their future classrooms. Concerns the most common concern, raised in thirty-eight responses was the possibility that students might be led off-task because of the community aspect of the site by chit-chatting with each other through built-in communication tools (e.g. chat, wall comments, and e-mail). this concern of building a learning community would not be considered a problem if students do it outside the class. however, with simple site monitoring by the teacher, which is similar to monitoring classroom chit-chat, this concern can be alleviated. inappropriate use of the site for disturbing each other, posting inappropriate items and information was another important concern raised by our students. one student said, “it could be used as a tool for student to student harassment, with kids bullying each other through messages and inappropriate comments on assignments, etc.” this is a plausible concern that students have because they are unaware of the managing tools that ning offers to the site administrator. if the administrator wishes, they can decide that all posts (e.g. videos, photos, messages, comments, etc.) must be approved by them or choose what must be approved by them before it is actually posted. this also relates to another problem addressed by students about how secure the sites were. Again, the administrator has the ability to manage and control who can be a member of the network (e.g. public or private). in regards to text posted on the site, again the teacher might have to be the one to monitor what is happening on the site. they should be actively involved in it rather than letting students do whatever they want to do there. Another concern was the possibility of students’ off-task behavior just because they were working in a computer lab. they could be browsing on the internet instead of doing their class work. this concern is very reasonable and with any class that uses computers and the internet, proper monitoring of student use will always be required. some of the pedagogical challenges raised by the students, can be linked to the benefits mentioned earlier. Plagiarism, mentioned in four responses, for instance, might become a more pervasive problem because any class member can easily access student assignments. if we feel this may be an issue of concern for an assignment we will have our students submit it by email or hard copy. Another way of a teacher addressing this would be to incorporate this into their curriculum by using it as an opportunity to address intellectual property issues and help their students begin to understand this increasingly important issue. Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning Possible Future Use 131 As stated earlier, our purpose was to have students think about how they can use available resources to foster meaningful learning in their future classroom, as well as providing models for them by using an internet tools in our teacher education class. in our open-ended writing prompts, we asked them how they would use a sns (e.g. ning) in their classrooms. thirteen students specifically indicated that they would use it just like we did in our class. this implied that they would use it for building a learning community (e.g. comments, blog posts, discussion forums etc.) and organizing their classrooms (posting assignments, readings, resources, and etc.). the following quote implied that students got some ideas from us, but at the same time they reflected on what would be good or bad for their high school students: i think it could be used very similarly to this class. it’d be fun to encourage students to personalize their homepage and start discussion topics. this is a great medium to turn in videos and photos so a teacher can view it anytime. it is a safe place to put up video presentations rather than you tube or something. the same two categories, community building and organization, emerged in what students liked about ning and seemed to be the main ways that they would use an sns in their future classrooms. thirty-four instances referred to the use of the ning site as a community building tool by means of group discussion forums, communicating outside the class, and collaborative activities. For instance, one student pointed out, “For a writing class, it would be neat to have the students upload their assignments so that they can be peer edited by their peers.” examples that show students’ reflections and expansions on our use of the ning site indicated that we could at least have them think about possibilities that free-based networking systems would provide for education. students also commented that using an sns in their future classroom might help them ease out-of-class communication, and they could get to know their students better: i think it would allow me to have a closer relationship with my students. if they were to have a problem that maybe they did not feel comfortable addressing to my face, then they could contact me on ning. in regards to organizational features, in forty-seven instances, students mentioned that they would use this kind of a website for posting assignments, syllabus, resources and having students turn in their assignments online so that they could move forward to a paperless classroom. they especially found it convenient as it provided accessibility almost anywhere and time, as one student pointed: “i will most likely post the syllabus as well as homework assignments so students can check it anytime they want.” they thought that it could be specifically helpful for students who missed the class, as one student pointed out: We could use ning so that students always have access to their upcoming assignments or grades. most notably, in high school, i think, it is nice for students who miss class that way the information can still be there and they won’t be as hard to get caught up! As can be seen in the difference between the number of instances that refer to community building and organizational purposes, most of our pre-service teachers still consider these kinds of tools as repository places that they can submit syllabi, assignments, and resources rather than as a tool that can foster communication, collaboration and critical thinking, which are essential skills in 21st Century. What this entails for us, as teacher educators, is that we need to be more explicit about our purpose for technology integration in order to help students become more open minded about what they can do with available resources. Conclusion in conclusion, it appears that snss can provide opportunities for participants in educational settings to share information within a dynamic network by enabling searching, information sharing, communication of interests, and shared collaborative activity among community members (benson, 2009). We were able to create an informal learning community that allowed us to expand the boundaries of the classroom—as one student put it, it is “a classroom outside of the classroom.” social networking sites can be utilized for educational purposes, and, rather than banning their use in schools, educators should be exploring ways to help our students learn to use them appropriately. 132 Karabulut, Braet, Lindstrom, and Niederhauser References benson, v. (2008). is the digital generation ready for web 2.0-based learning. in lytras, miltiadis D.; Damiani, ernesto; ordóñez de Pablos, Patricia (eds.), the open Knowledge society. A Computer science and information systems manifesto benson, v. (2009). embedding web 2.0 strategies in learning and teaching. in lytras, miltiadis D.; Damiani, ernesto; ordóñez de Pablos, Patricia (eds.), Web 2.0: the business model (pp. 237-248). springer us. bianchini, G. (2008). ning: about our company. retrieved January 16, 2009, from Cameron, D. 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(2001). electronic discussions in an issues course: expanding the boundaries of the classroom. Journal of Computing in teacher education, 17( 3), 4-9. Weiss, m. & hanson-baldauf, D. (2008). e-mail in academia: expectations, use, and instructional impact. eDuCAuse Quarterly, 31(1), 42-50. ekf0302.pdf Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 133-141 Modeling Gone Virtual: What Teachers ‘See’ is What Students Get Kathryn Kennedy and Cathy Cavanaugh University of Florida, USA this paper discusses the results of a qualitative research study that took place in a large virtual school (vS) in the Southeastern united States. the purpose of the research was to explore behavior modeling and its role in vSs. eleven participants took part in this study including two administrators, four experienced teachers, four recently-hired teachers, and one pre-service teacher. each participant engaged in one, 30 to 60 minute-long, semi-structured interview. Interviews were then coded and analyzed using domain analysis (hatch 2002). results show how vS administration and staff model desired behaviors; their behaviors are then learned and exhibited by the vS teachers; and finally, the students benefit from the behaviors in regard to effective and efficient communication, student-centered and relevant individualization, and timely, sincere support. Implications for practice in both professional development and teacher education are shared as well as future suggestions for research. Of the many cues that influence behavior, at any point in time, none is more common than the actions of others (Bandura 1986 p. 206). the purpose of this study was to explore behavior modeling and its role in virtual schools (vS). vSs have been in existence for the past twenty-three years (greenway & vanourek 2006). although the research literature in this area is growing at an exponential rate, it is still in its infancy. Because of this, the literature on the use of behavior modeling in vSs is limited; thus, research and information referenced to situate this study was originally used to describe traditional schools. Modeling is a concept found in social cognitive theory, a theory introduced by albert Bandura (1977). evolving out of behaviorist perspective, social cognitive theory emphasizes how learning can be achieved by watching others; in addition to modeling, social cognitive theory includes other concepts such as observational learning and imitation (Ormrod 2008). according to Sarason and Sarason (1974), “the person whose behavior is observed and imitated is the model” (p. 6). For modeling to be effective, the model needs to meet the following criteria: (1) “the model must be competent”; (2) “the model must have prestige and power”; and (3) “the model’s behavior must be relevant to the observer’s situation” (Ormrod 2008 p. 128). In any school, administrators have a chance to be models for teachers, especially when administrators possess the criteria mentioned above. the third criterion is especially important because administrators were teachers before they became administrators, so they have the potential and ability to empathize with teachers and model 134 Kennedy and Cavanaugh the behavior in such a way as to make a personal connection in a manner that teachers can emulate. unfortunately, not all administrators are able to do this, often due to the fact that administrators are pulled in different directions by multiple school stakeholders; therefore, administrators may model behaviors that should not be imitated. the responsibility then falls on the teacher to distinguish between what behaviors should and should not be imitated (Striefel 1998). nonetheless, administrators have a responsibility to their teachers and students. ultimately, the goal of any school is to provide the best education to each and every one of its students. In addition to the model criteria mentioned above, four conditions need to be present for modeling to be effective, including attention, retention, motor reproduction, and motivation (Ormrod 2008). In essence, the learner “must observe what the model is doing, remember what the model did, do what the model has done, and later when the appropriate time comes, want to use what they have learned” (decker & nathan 1985 p. 4). In the virtual environment, how is behavior modeled? due to the distributed nature of many vSs, models’ behaviors may or may not be physically seen. Instead, behavior is modeled through communication with learners. this communication may come in the form of verbal instructions or it may be the model’s general interaction behaviors with learners. to establish guidelines for vSs, the International association for K-12 Online Learning (inaCOL) published their Standards for Quality Online Teaching (2008). these standards were informed by a range of best practices and research sources. Within the inaCOL standards, communication, support and individualization are stressed as essential in the vS’s success in creating an effective learning environment for students. For example, regarding communication, one of the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching (2008) requires online teachers provide tailored, encouraging feedback to each student. In addition to communication, support is emphasized in the following two inaCOL standards (2008): (1) the teacher “builds and maintains a community of learners by creating a relationship of trust, demonstrating effective facilitation skills, establishing consistent and reliable expectations, and supporting and encouraging independence and creativity” (p. 4); and (2) the teacher “demonstrates an understanding of the perspective of the online student through appropriate responsiveness and a supportive attitude toward students” (p. 7). and finally, individualization is highlighted in the inaCOL Standard (2008) that states the teacher must “provide[s] evidence of effective learning strategies that worked for the individual student and detail[s] specific changes in future instruction based upon assessment results and research study (data-driven and research-based)” (p. 9). the inaCOL standards provide evidence of the vital role of communication, support and individualization in vSs. a majority of teachers who arrive at vSs lack the preparation to meet those standards, so the responsibility of training those teachers falls to professional development. Ideally, teacher education programs could fulfill that role. Methods the theoretical framework used for this study was constructivism (denzin & Lincoln 2005); it was used because of its subjective nature and its tendency to promote the active construction of knowledge (guba & Lincoln 2005). Moreover, von glasersfeld explained that reality is not only an overall nor singularly personal experience; instead, reality is a “network of things and relationships that we rely on in living, and on which, we believe, others rely on, too” (1995, p.7). So the experience of reality in regard to constructivism is a collective notion. Knowledge is constructed via one’s interactions with the environment. Knowledge, to a constructivist, is never separate from the knower; it is the knower’s perceptions of his or her experiences, a creation of his/her own reality. In this study, the participants, in their personal commentaries, shared similar experiences as one another. each person’s own perceptions are their respective realities. For the purposes of this study, the constructivist framework allowed the interviewees to construct their own interpretation of their knowledge dependent on their perceptions about vSs (hatch 2002). In particular, the study explored the use of behavior modeling in vSs. the following sections describe the methods used in the study, including the sample and the collection, analysis and validation of the data. Sample the participants in this study were selected using criterion sampling, in which all participants were chosen by matching a set criteria (Patton 2002). there were eleven participants. all except one works at the vS. John and Megan were administrators who oversee hiring decisions. Susan, denise, rhonda and Sara were experienced teachers who served on 135 Modeling Gone Virtual search committees to hire new vS teachers. Susan and denise taught business courses, while rhonda and Sara taught social studies and foreign language, respectively. Linda, nancy, amber and ginny were recent vS teacher hires who experienced the school’s interview process. Linda, amber and ginny all taught science-related courses, while nancy taught language arts. the last participant, elizabeth, was a pre-service teacher who was interested in pursuing a career as a vS teacher and particularly wanted to teach high school-level mathematics courses. the names of the participants have been changed to protect their identity. the study participants were secured by way of the vS study coordinator who used the study’s sampling criteria to recruit participants within the school. each participant was asked to participate in one, 30 to 60 minute-long, interview. Participants signed an informed consent form prior to the interview process. Data Collection, Analysis, and Validation Interviews were conducted over the phone. they were recorded using a digital recorder and then transcribed. the interviews consisted of an explanation of the study and then eight questions for each participant to answer and discuss. the Interview guides for all four categories of interviewees went through a pilot process with fellow researchers in order to ensure that the questions were understandable and able to engage interviewees enough to gain ample information for analysis. the interview was semi-structured, which allowed the interviewer the flexibility to clarify questions for the interviewee and to probe the interviewee to investigate more deeply into a topic (Mason 2002, Kvale 1996). all of the interviews were transcribed within 24 hours of being conducted. the interviews were then reviewed a second time to ensure the transcriptions were accurate, including pauses and emphases where applicable. then, open codes were assigned to each of the interviews by using meaning-units as points of separation. domain analysis was used as the analysis method (hatch 2002). domain analysis allowed the researchers to “make sense of the situation without imposing preexisting expectations on the research setting” (Patton 1980 p. 40). the overall point of domain analysis is working from the specific to the general and provided researchers a way to identify common themes across the interviews. Constructivism relies on trust and authenticity for validation of its research process (denzin & Lincoln 2005). researchers’ preconceptions and effect on the research setting both are considered issues in the realm of qualitative research and its authenticity. to ensure credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability, the researchers in this study used member checks, feedback, and discrepant/negative instance scans, all of the processes of which are explained in table 1 below: Table 1 authenticity Strategies used Authenticity Strategy Member check Definition/Process After data were collected, analyzed, and conclusions were written, the researchers asked the interviewees to review the findings. This allowed the researchers to ensure the interviewees were staying true to their experiences (Guba & Lincoln 1989, Miles & Huberman 1994). After this paper was written, the researchers asked a few colleagues to read it to see if they saw any blatant biases, logistical and/or methodological flaws, or any other validity issues (Maxwell 1998). While the researchers were creating domains, they wanted to make sure that they could find no discrepant/negative instances that counteracted the domains. If there were instances of this, the researchers made note of any instances rather than removing them from the findings (Miles & Huberman 1994). Feedback Scan for discrepant/ negative instances 136 Kennedy and Cavanaugh Results and Discussion the following two figures depict elements of the context for the results of this study: Administrators model A small group of administrators manage a large group of teachers who are responsible for providing education to the desired behavior Teachers experience the benefits of that behavior and apply it in their classroom Student benefits entire student body. Figure 1: School Management Figure 2: Behavior Modeling as shown in Figure 1, the vS used in this study has a management model consisting of a small group of administrators managing a large group of teachers who are responsible for providing education to the entire student body. the focus here is a top-down approach to school management to benefit the entire population of students. In Figure 2, the focus remains on administrators; however, in this model, the administrators are modeling the desired behaviors that they want teachers to both experience and then apply to their classrooms, which will benefit each individual student. For the vS that was the setting of this study, a customer service business model was key to their success in attaining this goal. the interview data do not provide evidence of a direct link between adopting a business model and the success of the vS; however, the authors do believe that further research surrounding this idea would result in positive evidence. the modeling done by administrators in this study resulted in teachers providing the same level of communication, support and individualization to their students. the analysis of the interviews revealed these three domains communication, support and individualization – each of which is discussed below in conjunction with key quotes from the interviews. Communication Communication is necessary for the success of any vS. Megan and John, the two administrators in this study, gave examples of how they and other vS administrators and staff, model the importance of communication to their teachers. according to John, it starts as soon as they are hired. John says, “they [the new teachers] come through a training where they hear from trainers, mentors, administrators, hr staff, support people, tech folks, again to help them through all of that, that learning process…first and foremost [the teachers’ responsibility] is to reach out and communicate.” In this quote, John explains how all of the stakeholders focus on communicating with teachers about what they need to be successful. Megan emphasizes that administrators need to communicate with teachers, especially in vSs, where change happens on a daily basis: “[In some schools] the leaders know it [that change is coming] and they practice it but the teachers think, ‘Well, they just keep changing things.’” In the vS, Megan and other administrators always communicate with their teachers; they strive to model the level of communication they expect their teachers to provide students. the teachers, recently-hired and experienced, found the administration to be exemplary at communicating, and magnified their efforts by providing the same level of communication to their students. relevant quotes documenting this are shared in table 2 below. as can be seen from the quotes above, the vS teachers exhibit effective and efficient communication skills. Susan and nancy express that they are dedicated to providing feedback because it is necessary to either keep their students motivated or to get the students who aren’t motivated to accomplish something. amber, in a similar fashion, makes sure to provide positive communication to her students through their assignment feedback. Linda and denise stress the impor- 137 Modeling Gone Virtual tance of personalizing the communication with each student and fostering a relationship with students in order to meet their needs. Table 2 teacher quotes regarding communication with students * eXP = experienced teacher; neW = newly-hired teacher Teacher Susan (EXP)* Quote “I usually like to have mine [grading/feedback on assignments] done more quickly [VS has a 48-hour turnaround time expected for teachers to provide feedback to students.] than that just because sometimes students will wait to see how they did on one assignment before they do the next one, so I find that if you get it back to them more quickly, they’re willing to go on then more quickly.” “Everything is positively reinforced…you always have to give positive feedback even if the question is wrong, you say something positive first.” “It’s about developing a relationship with students, and figuring out okay, I can’t hold up my model, but maybe I can find something on TeacherTube that will give them [the student] an idea of how to better understand this concept. Giving them something familiar so that they can see how something plays out.” “They [students] are constantly coming in and going out, so it’s all about differentiated instruction, dependent on when they start and when they stop. We have a lot of personal communication with each and every student because no one is really on the same pace.” “I send them [students] postcards to say, ‘Great job, I love your work!’ And I will send my students who are behind pace an empty email box picture that says, ‘My mailbox misses your work.’ Or I have one that says, ‘I believe in you, I believe you can finish this course. Give me a call, I want to support you.’” Amber (NEW) Linda (NEW) Denise (EXP) Nancy (NEW) Support Support is essential for all stakeholders involved in a vS. the administrators at the vS take pride in the support they give to their teachers. the vS in this study offers a great deal of professional development and mentoring opportunities to their teachers. the professional development at the vS engages the teachers. John said, “We want to engage people, teach people how to engage students in learning.” For the administrators, the key is to engage the teachers in both their professional development and mentoring opportunities so the teachers will realize this level of engaging support and give that same level of support to their students. Megan adds, “We also encourage our teachers to attend the annual content area conference in the state. and then teachers are always encouraged to attend other conferences based on what their leadership goals are…[and also] to be a thought leader and share ideas with other teachers…[and to] apply” what they learned to their students. In this quote, Megan expresses the support that administration offers to the vS teachers by way of encouraging teachers to pursue their professional goals. the experienced teachers also expressed a dedication to supporting the new teachers. Sara says, “We are available to them [the newly-hired teachers] with whatever they need.” 138 Kennedy and Cavanaugh accordingly, the teachers show this same level of support to their students. relevant quotes demonstrating this are shared in table 3 below. these quotes convey the teachers’ dedication to supporting their students with whatever needs arise in a timely and sincere manner. Both Susan and ginny are passionate about their role as cheerleaders for each of their students, offering support to them each step of the way. amber also considers how best to support students by always asking herself what she can do to help each student be the best that he/she can be. Linda looks at her devotion to communicating with students in regard to her availability at anytime to help a student who is frustrated. the vS teachers, according to rhonda, are there to “cultivate” or to help students develop individually, which leads to the next essential for vSs, and that is “individualization.” Table 3 teacher quotes regarding support for students Teacher Susan (EXP) Quote “You have to actually have to counsel students, and almost be sort of like a cheerleader for them, especially if they are ready to give up, you have to, you know, cheer them on like, you know, ‘Oh no, you can’t give up, let’s try to work this out. We can think of some ways that you can do this.” Rhonda (EXP) Amber (NEW) “You have to do things to encourage students to progress…we kind of have to cultivate the students.” “What would I do for students to make sure they’re successful?” “You have to do a lot of motivational speaking and a lot of cheerleading and encouragement from afar…the student is the customer, and if I can connect with them on a personal level, they’ll be more responsive with me.” “We are available 7 days a week between 8am and 8pm students can contact me…the sooner that I can solve a frustration or help a student figure a problem, the better off we’ll be…so you just give them the support that they need, whatever that may be.” Ginny (NEW) Linda (NEW) Individualization Individualization is key in a vS. the administrators, according to Megan and John, stress the need for teachers to individualize instruction to address each student’s needs. In the same regard, administrators model this individualization of instruction by asking the teachers to create their own form of individual education plan (IeP) by creating Professional development goals (Pdg). this allows the teacher to see the benefits of individualized attention and curriculum that meet their needs as a teacher. John also highlights that teachers, like their students, should be aiming for mastery level. administrators, like John, teach teachers that a “student is the driving decision behind every decision we make, and we teach our teachers to make those kinds of decisions so that they move from being good teachers to great teachers.” Students’ individual needs are the driving force of the school, and the administrators model that to their teachers by providing them with the chance to create their own IeP through their Pdgs. Sara, an experienced teacher, expressed how learner-centric the vS professional development (Pd) system is: “We also have [Pd] sessions that are scheduled periodi- 139 Modeling Gone Virtual cally, new technologies, how to create tutorials, things that teachers can pick and choose from, things that they want to use, most of them are scheduled at different times, so if you can’t do it this month, you can do it next month.” denise, another experienced teacher, adds, “they [the vS administration] have professional development going on all day everyday, so you can pick and choose which ones meet your needs.” In turn, the teachers offer that same level of individualization to their students. relevant quotes documenting this are shared in table 4 below. the teachers’ quotes above communicate how important student-centered and relevant individualization of instruction are to students. McCombs and vakili (2005) emphasize a need for a learner-centered framework in e-learning and the importance of teachers to find “strategies that acknowledge individual differences and the diversity of learner needs, abilities, and interests” (p. 1595). these teachers are fully invested in the success of their students. rhonda acknowledges each student is different, and some students are more advanced than others. according to Linda, this is why there is no other way to teach than to teach by individualizing each student’s education plan. to individualize, Sara stresses the need for teachers to determine the “’why’ behind every student.” In addition, elizabeth insists that not all students learn the same, so individualization is key to making sure each student is provided instruction in the way in which he/she learns best. Table 4 teacher quotes regarding individualization of instruction for students Teacher Sara (EXP) Quote “We individualize a lot more [in the VS as compared to traditional schools] but we have to know the ‘why’ behind every student.” “There’s a lot of, although I hate to use the term, ‘hand-holding,’ but definitely we have some students who need more assistance than others.” “There is no other way to teach other than individually. I mean I can have a lesson plan, but I still have to modify it for each student whether it’s saying it twice to you or drawing a picture for somebody else.” “You have to know how to help the students that don’t learn well enough by the way the lesson is set up now. You need to know how to individualize for the students.” Rhonda (EXP) Linda (NEW) Elizabeth (PRE) Implications for Further Research and Practice the results mentioned here are neither inclusive nor definitive. Because this is a qualitative study, results cannot be generalized. Moreover, the results are descriptive of one vS and are, therefore, not causal. however, the information contained in the results is useful because it shows how one vS has benefited by using a business model approach, characterized by administrators who model quality customer service and provide that customer service to their teachers who 140 Kennedy and Cavanaugh in turn do the same for the students of the vS. as mentioned before, this study does not directly link the school’s use of a business model to its success; the authors do see this as potential for further research. this idea of a customer service model within an education system has strong implications for teacher education programs. In order to help new teachers understand the idea of quality customer service, business models should be taught and incorporated into teacher education program curricula. due to the compulsory nature of K-12 education, a customer service approach has never been a common option. however, because of expanded school choice and the consumer approach to K-12 education that has been supported and fostered by the Internet, a space where students can compare education options, teachers and school leaders need to think about themselves as being part of an education marketplace. In this education marketplace, parents value the service that they and their children get more now than in past generations. this education marketplace is thriving in schools, and teacher education programs need to catch up and remind themselves of who their customers are. ultimately, their customers are the K-12 learners whom their pre-service teachers are going to be teaching. In teacher education programs, this customer service model can be employed in all courses; faculty can model through his/her feedback and communication with their pre-service teachers. administrators and soon-to-be administrators should be exposed to this same customer service notion by way of professional development opportunities or through their educational administration and policy or educational leadership courses. teacher education programs and educational leadership programs alike can also offer their students a chance to discover through their internship opportunities ways in which to better serve families. Further research is needed to determine if modeling plays a role in a teacher’s motivation to pursue leadership opportunities. does modeling play a role in the development of future teacher mentors and administrators? research has shown how people choose careers and in some cases forecast their own success by using models (Lockwood & Kunda 1997; Kagan 1992). When it comes to teacher leadership and educational leadership, teachers, when exposed to an effective model over time, will consider a leadership path and evaluate the fit of that path for themselves, increasing their likelihood to follow that path in the future. another line of research stemming from this study is the need to understand the perception of students in the situation outlined in this study, as they are the ones experiencing the outcomes of the teachers’ behavior. Overall, the success of the vS (and any school) is dependent on the ability of the system to work as a whole rather than in separate layers in a hierarchy. as Linda said, “you [the teacher] play an integral part, how can we [the administration] support you, how can we [the administration] make you successful, because ultimately that’s our bottom line. If you [the teacher] make me [the administrator] successful, I [the administrator] make you [the teacher] successful. It’s more of a circular relationship.” In virtual education, this integrated relationship could be equated to the systems approach, where each component of a system (school) is inter-related and interdependent. this could be an ideal approach to be considered by all schools, not just the virtual ones. References Bandura, a. (1977). Social learning theory. englewood Cliffs, nJ: Prentice hall. Bandura, a. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. englewood Cliffs, nJ: Prentice hall. decker, P.J., & nathan, B.r. (1985). Behavior modeling training: Principles and applications. new york, ny: Praeger. denzin, n. K., & Lincoln, y. S. (2005). Part II. Paradigms and perspectives in contention. In n. K. denzin & y. S. Lincoln (eds.), the Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp.183-190). thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. greenway, r., & vanourek, g. (2006). the virtual revolution. education next, 6 (2). retrieved august 1, 2008, from http:// guba, e. g., & Lincoln, y. S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. newbury Park, Ca: Sage. guba, e. g., & Lincoln, y. S. (2005). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In n. K. denzin & y. S. Lincoln (eds.), the Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 191-215). thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. hatch, J. a. (2002). doing qualitative research in education settings. albany, ny: State university of new york Press. International association for K-12 Online Learning (inaCOL). (2008). national Standards for Quality Online teaching. retrieved October 10, 2008, from Kagan, d.M. (1992). Professional growth among pre-service and beginning teachers. review of educational research, 62 (2), 129-169. Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing. thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. Lockwood, P., & Kunda, Z. (1997). Superstars and me: Predicting the impact of role models on the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73 (1), 91-103. 3210506.html Modeling Gone Virtual 141 Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative researching (2nd ed.). London: Sage. Maxwell, J. a. (1998). designing a qualitative study. In L. Bickman & d.J. rog (eds.), handbook of applied social research methods, (pp. 69-100). thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. McCombs, B. & vakili, d. (2005). a Learner-Centered Framework for e-Learning. teachers College record, 107 (8), 15821600. retrieved January 19, 2009, from Miles, M. B., & huberman, a. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. Ormrod, J.e. (2008). human Learning (5th ed.). upper Saddle river, nJ: Pearson. Patton, M. Q. (1980). Qualitative evaluation methods. Beverly hills, Ca: Sage. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. Sarason, I.g., & Sarason, B.r. (1974). Constructive classroom behavior: a teacher’s guide to modeling and role-playing techniques. new york, ny: Behavioral Publications. Striefel, S. (1998). how to teach through modeling and imitation (2nd ed.). austin, tX: PrO-ed. von glasersfeld, e. (1995). a constructivist approach to teaching. In L. Steffe & J. gale (eds.), Constructivism in education, (pp. 3-16). new Jersey: Lawrence erlbaum associates, Inc. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 143-149 Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST): Successful Methodologies for STEM Implementation and Influencing Teacher Practice Ruth KeRmish-Allen, shey ConoveR, And hope RowAn Island Institute, USA Bill nAve Program Evaluation Consultant, USA Rural school systems throughout the nation are looking for ways to access and use technology in a way that will be meaningful for their students. the Community for Rural education, stewardship, and technology (CRest) project, funded by the national science Foundation’s itest program, has developed and tested a model methodology to meet this need. CRest creates a non-hierarchal community of learners that uses integrated technologies to find creative solutions to local stewardship issues of relevance to students and their communities. this paper will discuss the methodology CRest has created to empower the student, educator, and community member through the integrated use of Gis/Gps, web design, and ethnography (digital storytelling) to create place-based educational experiences that can be woven into a standards-based curriculum. in addition, this paper will present and analyze two case studies at participating schools showing implementation strategies for success and its impact on teacher practice. students in the 21st century, the “millennial Generation,” are continuously wired to each other and the world. they want to learn with technology, with one another, online, in their own time, in their own place, and doing things that matter (lemke and Fadel, 2006). throughout their entire lives students have been surrounded by the tools of the digital age. prensky refers to the students of today as “digital natives” and their teachers as “digital immigrants”. (prensky, 2001) if these populations don’t work together collectively a great deal of learning opportunities can get lost in the translation. even if a teacher, or “digital immigrant” gains new content knowledge in 21st century skills that they would like to integrate into their curriculum, they are unlikely to use those new skills unless it is consistent with their existing pedagogical beliefs, teaching practice, and they can easily see the application of those skills in meeting existing curricular benchmarks. (ertmer, 2005; mishra and Koehler, 2006) teachers must be active participants and designers of curriculum in order to achieve sustainable technology project implementation success. (mishra and Koehler, 2006) today’s students’ worldview, their thirst for connectivity, a passion for their place, and the desire to enable dialogue between the “natives” and the “immigrants” has inspired the development of the Community for Rural education, stew- 144 Kermish-Allen, Conover, Rowan, and Nave ardship, and technology (CRest): a five-year Comprehensive project for students and teachers that currently provides 150 participants (55 teachers and 95 students) from maine’s island and remote coastal communities with intensive information technology (it) training and it/stem career path development. CRest focuses on delivering database development, Geographic information system (Gis) mapping, web design and ethnographic research skills in an interdisciplinary approach that reconnects students to their communities and provides insight into applicable it and stem careers through local service-learning projects. The CREST Methodology through qualitative and quantitative evaluations it has been determined that the strategies employed by CRest have been extremely successful in influencing teacher practice. By the end of the third year, 72% of CRest teachers report that CRest technologies have become a regular part of their instruction (nave, 2008). that is, these teachers do not view the technologies as strategies to be reserved for special occasions, nor do they view the technologies as instructional “add-ons.” one middle school teacher said it this way: “CRest has helped me teach the way i have always wanted to teach” (nave, 2008). what are the core concepts and methods of the project that lead to its success in influencing teacher practice? how can other stem programs benefit from these findings? CRest has designed a successful model methodology, which entails weaving the core concepts of 1) sustainable learning Communities (slCs); 2) integrated technologies; and 3) place-based education into a highly effective pedagogy that addresses the stem education needs of rural underserved communities. this paper will discuss CRest’s model methodology and its impact on teacher practice, as well as highlight case studies showing implementation strategies for success. Building a Community of Learners CRest uses a unique professional development model that creates a non-hierarchal learning community amongst students and teachers alike. this approach, called sustainable learning Communities (slCs), offers the field of teacher education some successful new strategies in how to help teachers incorporate technology concepts into their curricula. when CRest began 3 years ago, each participating school established a slC comprised of at least 5 students and 4 teachers. members of each school slC team act as the pioneers for implementing CRest technologies in the classroom, by attending intensive training through summer institutes and creating a plan for curriculum integration throughout the school year. the slC structure has catalyzed the kind of support network that research has found necessary to sustain technology implementation and practice. slCs are based on senge’s premise that, when people continually expand their capabilities to understand complex concepts, clarify their visions and improve shared mental models by engaging in different tasks, acquiring different kinds of expertise, experiencing and expressing different forms of leadership, confronting uncomfortable organizational truths, and searching together for shared solutions, a diverse learning group emerges that values each member, regardless of age, as a valuable resource (senge, 1994; hargreaves, 1994). this slC structure takes to heart mitchell and sackney’s observation that, within a learning community, the learning of the teachers is every bit as important as the learning of the children, and that a learning community consists of a group of people who take an active, reflective, collaborative, learning-oriented and growth-promoting approach toward both the hidden dynamics and the problems of teaching and learning. (mitchell and sackney, 2000) during CRest summer institutes, project staff facilitates activities designed and structured to promote participant interaction on a peer-to peer level: teachers become students and students become teachers. this design principle embodies senge’s findings for the need to see the “learning organization” approach to education as more than just talking and working in groups, but instead a process that involves everyone in expressing their aspirations, building their awareness, and developing their capabilities together. (senge, 2000) through the creation of this non-hierarchal learning environment, the enhanced sense of “buy-in” to the learning process and the increased level of student empowerment, lead to a shift in interpersonal dynamics as teachers discover the wealth of knowledge and resources that their students bring to the table. this methodology is unique from many other similar projects in that, teachers and students learn the same material together at the same time. there is no opportunity for teachers to learn the technology, create a curriculum, and then test it out on students next week. All members of the slC are teachers and learners at the same time. Based on observations 145 Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST) and implementation success rates, slCs are an integral facet of supporting sustainable it integration into school curricula and teacher practice. the slC provides a support network in each participant’s school that provides tech support, curriculum development support, and expectations from colleagues provide the momentum to keep initiatives moving and to provide greater chances of long-term implementation success. Integrated Technologies Gis mapping, website development and digital ethnography, all require the acquisition and enhancement of database management skills. the result is an integration of database management competencies – the foundation of it careers – with the capacity for creative inquiry. For example, by blending traditional ethnography methodologies with digital tools and programmatic elements, CRest participants can weave together creativity and technology into a richer, more descriptive synthesis comprised of self-reporting and participant observation within a hypertext or hypermedia environment. the common thread in database management for each of these technologies is having participants think through the information they will be storing, and how to logically organize that information for easy retrieval and meaningful analysis. they become, in essence, project managers who can capture the past, interpret current realities, and inform strategies that will affect their community’s future. this design principle embodies lemke and Fadel’s work that technology is “an enabling force behind globalization, knowledge work, and entrepreneurship, and thus students must understand the role it plays in transforming political, social, cultural, civic, and economic systems around the world” (lemke and Fadel, 2006). the combination of Gis, website development, and digital ethnography are complimentary technologies for gathering, storing, and analyzing local data throughout an interdisciplinary curriculum. CRest strategies for technology integration involve a multi-faceted technology training approach which begins with weeklong intensive training during the summer, which is reinforced through on-site technology trainings during the school year, and ongoing digital access to CRest staff for technology support needs. summer technology trainings are augmented by slC planning time, providing opportunities for teams of teachers and students to develop plans for technology curriculum integration. this model reflects the findings of mize and Gibbons that a school must have a clear vision of integration strategies to effectively implement computer technology in the teaching environment. (mize and Gibbons, 2000) Place-Based Education CRest employs the use of place-based education strategies that provide youth and adults, teachers and students with opportunities to connect with their communities and public lands through hands-on, real-world learning experiences on community-based projects. At the project’s core are the assumptions that: 1) schools and young people are among our most important community resources; 2) CRest’s place-based education projects must begin locally (they are not prepackaged); and 3) all project results must answer questions that are relevant to that community. A place-based education program, such as CRest, enables rural communities to meet needs and solve problems by utilizing the total community environment and its human resources (young, 1980). By fostering the growth of partnerships between schools and communities, place-based education works simultaneously to boost student achievement and improve a community’s environmental quality and social and economic vitality. (powers, 2004) students truly do get excited about making a difference, especially when they can see the impact they are making around them every day. when community elders, or fisherman come up to students and say, “hey, tell me more about this project you are working on and how can i help?” students will dive in and get their hands dirty. CRest uses placebased education as the motivator to keep students and teachers interested even when challenges and road-blocks occur. teachers and students become technology resources within their community, enabling students to experience first-hand community leadership and gain a larger world-view. 146 Kermish-Allen, Conover, Rowan, and Nave Case Studies the following section presents case studies from two CRest schools including a list of major projects, the evolution of the CRest project at each site, and the major factors supporting their success. Deer Isle Stonington Schools the deer isle stonington school district includes one K-8 elementary school (240 students) and one high school (182 students). the district began the CRest project with one joint slC between both schools, but grew to include two separate slCs at each school. deer isle stonington slC projects and accomplishments include: 1. deer isle Boys: students conducted research on two America’s Cup crews from 1895 and 1899 that were comprised entirely of sailors from deer isle, to determine their lineage and to tell their stories. Aspects of this project have included using Gps to map out the sailors’ gravesites; conducting interviews; transcribing and indexing historical interviews with crew members; boat model construction; researching historical records; traveling to valencia, spain for the America’s Cup Race, the new york yacht Club, mystic seaport in Connecticut, and the herreshoff museum in Rhode island to conduct research. work on this project occurs primarily through a class created specifically to teach and increase use of the CRest technologies, and has involved a high degree of collaboration with community organizations. lobster habitat: students partnered with the penobscot east Resource Center lobster hatchery director, ted Ames (2005 macArthur Fellow) to provide Gis services. students created Gis layers describing lobster habitat characteristics based on fisherman interviews; conducted spatial analysis of the survival rates of lobster larvae in a ‘lobster condo’, a device created by the hatchery which incubates the larvae prior to release into the ocean. island ABC book: the middle school used Gps, Gis and digital photography to create a book of important places on the island, one for each letter of the alphabet. Community history: the middle school conducted interviews and created movies about elders in their community and what it was like to live on their island 50 and more years ago. 2. 3. 4. the slC members in this district include an english teacher, a technology teacher, a marine trades teacher, history teacher, gifted and talented teacher, and a middle school teacher. the teachers in this slC describe this experience as simultaneously the most challenging, easiest, hardest, most chaotic, most satisfying, teaching experience they’ve had in their careers. in sum, said one, “we’re a true learning community” (nave, 2008). the english teacher is a very organized and methodical teacher, but for this class she’s learned to be a facilitator rather than the person in total control of the learning situation. the marine trades teacher is used to having all the answers, being the keeper of knowledge, and he’s learned to “live with the chaos” and not be the one with all the answers. the technology teacher describes watching in amazement as she and the other two teachers have learned to play off each other’s strengths and work as a group in problem solving. “no one person can manage all these projects, there is so much going on. this is much less stressful than teaching alone” (nave, 2008). several factors support the success of the CRest work in the deer isle stonington schools. the students and teachers truly are a non-hierarchical learning community, a process that began with their first experience at CRest summer training in 2006. After that experience, the teachers and the students were willing to try some new things in their classes and outside of class. the school’s administration and the school board support the work, and the community members who know about it are extremely supportive as well. each of the teachers have been successful in not only integrating CRest and the technologies into a fully credited CRest class, but they have also integrated CRest technologies into existing standards based curriculum in their individual classes. North Haven Community School north haven is a small (70 students) K-12 island school that has engaged virtually all of its students in some aspect of the CRest technologies, through integration in high school electives, and core classes. technology integration in 147 Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST) north haven Community school has yielded the following projects: 1. Clamming on north haven: the middle school special education students joined the middle school science teacher as equal partners as they designed and implemented a way to document the clam populations at specific island sites. working the way “real scientists” work, they planned a sampling strategy, tried it in field, and modified the plan as necessary. they mapped historic clam locations and populations, including field studies on site, plotting locations with Gps, gathering data, and map creation to display the data and findings. other products include films on interviews with clammers and a website to publicize the information. the goal is to work with the state to reopen some of currently closed clam flats. this work was completed partially through a Computer class and a class created specifically to further the CRest work and use of the CRest technologies. 2. ethnography: students and teachers have begun to regularly use ethnography and its associated technologies across the curriculum throughout all different grade levels, on a wide variety of topics and projects, such as local native American issues; jobs on north haven; and interviews with Franco-Americans, wwii, Korea, and vietnam veterans. the special education teacher reports that this project has engaged her students’ interest more deeply and for a much longer period of time than has any other sort of lesson she’s used with her students. she attributes her students’ engagement to the fact that they have family members in the clamming business, and that they are doing real science work in equal partnership with the other students (nave, 2008). teachers began to see how invested students were in this type of work, therefore they wanted to find new ways to use what CRest brings to their school. many teachers throughout the school that did not initially show interest in CRest began to ask how they could get involved. By the end of the 2007-2008 school year teachers at every level in the school were involved in using CRest technologies in their classes. several factors seem related to north haven’s ongoing success. the teachers who attended CRest summer institutes each year freely shared their technology skills with the other teachers in the school, including co-teaching and in other ways providing examples of how these technologies can be integrated into ongoing instruction. the school’s principal fully supports this creativity among the faculty, and this support is likely the result of a long-standing relationship between the island community and its schools with the island institute, the sponsoring institution for the CRest project (nave, 2008). Findings in order to achieve the type of stem program implementation and teacher change exemplified in the case studies above there were a number of strategies employed to provide support and guidance to teachers and students in a collegial atmosphere geared to meet each teams’ needs. this section of the paper will provide the reader with a set of implementation strategies and challenges to address that reflect the CRest experience and model methodology. Affecting Teacher Practice one of the most exciting findings that has emerged from the analysis of teacher interview, self reporting, and observation data was that CRest teachers transformed their practice: 72% regularly incorporate CRest technologies into the normal flow of their instruction, 25% use CRest technologies for specific projects in their classroom (but not regularly), and only 3% do not use CRest technologies at all. those schools in which the CRest teachers integrated one or more of the CRest technologies into their normal flow of instruction were schools that were relatively more successful in engaging larger numbers of students in place-based projects that use the technologies. this finding led to the CRest leadership team to emphasize the importance of teachers using the technologies and place-based learning in their classes to enhance existing curricula as well as use for their overarching CRest team projects. this approach broadened the teacher perspective on how to incorporate technology into the classroom, increased the comfort level, and led to generating new ideas for many different ways to use CRest methods throughout the entire curriculum. 148 Kermish-Allen, Conover, Rowan, and Nave the critical elements to impacting this teacher change are 1) continuing integrated technology training and support mechanisms delivered throughout the summer and reinforced during the school year, 2) developing strong slC school teams to support project implementation in the classroom forming a community of learners, and 3) placing the CRest training and implementation within the place-based education context to create a highly effective pedagogy that addresses the stem education needs of rural communities. By increasing teacher comfort in implementing technology on a day-to-day basis, and connecting with community through authentic learning experiences, the CRest project will have sustainable and lasting impacts on stem and it teaching and learning in maine’s rural communities. School-wide Project Implementation in addition to effecting teacher practice, a goal of the CRest program was to find strategies that promote successful school-wide stem program implementation. Based on evaluation and observation, 7 or the original 11 schools were more successful in engaging students, teachers, and the community in ways that deepened the students’ connections to the community and enhanced the community’s appreciation for the students’ projects. in these cases, teachers and students forged relationships with local organizations and professionals to enhance emerging CRest projects throughout the school, teachers had an increased comfort level in using and integrating CRest technologies into their classes, and faculty members not originally interested in participating in the project began asking colleagues how they could get involved. what factors seem to be associated with the more successful CRest schools, and what factors seem to be associated with the less successful CRest schools? the table below points out the factors associated with successful implementation strategies and advises the reader on situations to watch out for that could challenge implementation in schools. Table 1 summary of implementation strategies employed and challenges the CRest program encountered SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES Active support from school administration Use of ethnographic research methods as a motivator Robust collaboration between teacher SLC team members Focusing on timeline and goals created at the summer institute Using SLC meetings as a time to debrief, define goals and responsibilities Using CREST technologies in existing curricula in addition to the “project” Frequent CREST staff site visits to each school site to assess progress Provide each school with targeted technology trainings to meet their needs CHALLENGES TO SUCCESS Lack of proactive support from school administration Loss of student and teacher SLC members Inactive SLC team members No opportunities to meet as a SLC team Technical problems Attempting to implement CREST as an after-school club When school sites only tell the good stories and do not address challenges Geographic distance and isolation Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST) Conclusions 149 integrating technology in the classroom often requires overcoming challenges, both technical and curricular. Central to the success of implementing CRest at each school and effecting teacher change is adequate technology training and infrastructure, administrative support, and lasting community connections. the CRest model finds that building a strong community of learners (through slCs) provides a school-wide network for ongoing technical support and acts as a cohesive team to move forward the common goal of technology curriculum integration. these findings and methods offer supported best practices to inform those who seek ways to engage teachers and students using technology and place-based learning in other rural communities. References ertmer, p.A. (2005). teacher pedagogical beliefs: the final frontier in our quest for technology integration. educational technology, Research and development, 53(4) hargreaves, A. (1994) Changing teachers, changing times: teachers’ work and culture in the postmodern age. new york: teachers College press. lemke, Cheryl and Fadel, Charles. (2006) technology in schools: what the Research says. metiri Group Retrieved April 24th, 2006 from the world wide web mize, Charles d. and Gibbons, Amy. (2000) more than inventory: effective integration of instructional technology to support student learning in K-12 schools. society for information technology and teacher education international Conference. san diego, California. mishra, p. and Koehler, m. (2006) technological pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for teacher Knowledge. teachers College Record. 108(6) mitchell, C. and sackney, l. (2000) profound improvement: Building capacity for a learning community. swets and Zeitlinger publishers nave, Bill. (2008). year three summative evaluation Report: Community for Rural education, stewardship, and technology (CRest). prensky, mark. (2001) digital natives, digital immigrants. on the horizon, 9(5) powers, Amy l.(2004) An evaluation of Four place-Based education programs. the Journal of environmental education. 35(4) senge, peter. (2000). schools that learn. new york, ny: doubleday, p. 5. senge, p., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R., smith, B. (1994). the fifth discipline fieldbook. new york: doubleday. young, K.m. (1980) An emerging model in rural America. Community-based education, paper number Four. (Report no. eRiC ed 200-382) office of education (dhew), washington, d.C. teacher Corps. pdf Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 151-160 Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents for Use with Mobile Phones in Education in Japan Midori KiMura Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Japan Expanding vocabulary is one of the most important issues for English learners in Japan, which has led to the development of effective vocabulary learning (VL) contents for mobile phones (MPs). a total of 137 students from seven different universities in and around Tokyo participated in this experiment, and studies were carried out to achieve three research objectives: (1) find out what components are ideal for VL with MPs, (2) ascertain the differences in VL strategies and learning styles with and without MPs, and (3) measure the effectiveness of VL with MPs. a pre-test and a post-test for English vocabulary were conducted, and two researcher-developed questionnaires on VL strategies and learning styles consisting of 120 question items were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the VL strategies and learning styles before and after the experiment. The study produced interesting results, which were particular to Japanese students. in closing, we propose the concept of using VL contents for MPs as the ideal tool for anytime, anywhere learning. Background rapid advances have been made in mobile phone technologies in Japan recently, ushering in a new era of communications all over the world through the introduction of the first third-generation (3G) wireless network, which has brought high-speed internet access and a rich mix of data, video, and Cd-quality music to wireless devices. Nearly 100 percent of the university students in Japan own mobile phones, and these devices are on the verge of replacing the PC as the preferred means for sending e-mail and accessing the internet. in 2000, mobile phone subscribers surpassed fixed-line telephone subscribers in Japan. This shows that mobile phones have become established as a personal communication tool, and its potential as a learning tool increased. Since 2006, our mobile learning study group, which belongs to a research center for e-Learning Professional Competency (eLPCo) at aoyama Gakuin university, has conducted an annual survey regarding the actual level of mobile phone usage among undergraduate students in Japan. as indicated by the data from 2006 through 2008, almost all of the students (99.9%) possess a mobile phone. Mobile phones are constantly being carried around by everyone, everywhere 152 Kimura they go, all of the time. on the other hand, not every student has a computer at home, and not all schools have enough computers or good CaLL systems. Therefore, mobile phones hold the promise of becoming an effective learning tool if we can develop effective learning contents. Literature Review The data from our survey, conducted in May 2007, showed that only 23.3% of the 712 undergraduates in Japan who participated in the survey used their mobile phones for learning. However, in response to the question of whether would prefer to use mobile phones or computers for vocabulary learning, 63.1% chose mobile phones and 15.4% said they would use both. For the question about using a short-term program for learning, 65.2% of the respondents preferred using mobile phones, while 14.6% said they would use both almost equally. Vocabulary is the most important aspect of L2 knowledge for all learners (Harp, S. F., & Mayer, r.E., 1998), and about 80% of the students were more interested in using mobiles phones than computers for vocabulary learning, leading to our decision to develop vocabulary learning contents for mobile phones. according to Kadota et al. (2006), showing words in different forms motivates learners to actively engage in vocabulary learning. There are five forms: (1) translation; (2) illustration; (3) example sentences; (4) oral introduction with sound; (5) appropriate number of words. These forms were developed by taking into consideration the functions of mobile phones in Japan. another important factor regarding this experiment was to devise learning contents from the perspective of the capacity of a person’s memory. Memory is concerned with the encoding, storing and retrieval of information. Pictures and sentences that are designed to be equivalent in terms of information contents are found to make vocabulary easy to memorize as well as functional (Babin, 1993). Hatamura, ikemura, and Togo (2005) found that studying English words with sound is very effective for memorizing them. Mnemonics work by exploiting the feature of the brain that makes things easier to remember if they are associated with other, previously remembered items (Wollen et al, 1972). imagery has ample potential for transforming information stored in long-term memory into working memory. Summarizing all the information above, we prepared three different versions of contents that utilized sound were prepared, based on a compilation of the information described above. Research question The research question we set out to answer was focused on: What is the best way to learn vocabulary using mobile phones: Selecting from translation only, translation with an illustration, or translation with a sample sentence? The subordinate research questions were as follows: (1) does vocabulary learning by mobile phone fit the students’ learning style? (2) What kind of learning strategies do the students use? Experiment Vocabulary selection 150 words were selected by seven instructors at six different universities from two vocabulary lists (the JaCET 8000Word List, 2003; and aLC 12000 Word List, 2000). The vocabulary selected focused on words that are useful for daily living, although few were found in the textbooks of Japanese learners. Prior to the experiment, a vocabulary test was administered to advanced students to verify the selected words. The results showed that the words would be effective for ascertaining to what extent the participants had made gains using mobile phones for vocabulary learning. Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents Preparation of the contents 153 The 150 words were divided into three groups of 50 words, and each word group was prepared in accordance with the different types of contents. (Fig. 1) Type 1: English words + sound links for the words + Japanese meaning Type 2: illustration + English words + sound links for the words + Japanese meaning Type 3: English words in example sentences + sound links for the words + Japanese meaning Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Figure 1. Three types of contents. Participants and procedure The participants were undergraduate students living in and round Tokyo, Japan. a total of 137 students studying in seven different majors joined the experiment (Nursing: 42, Caretaking: 17, Liberal art: 5, Economic: 13, Business: 24, English: 28, Pharmacology:9). Before we started the experiment, we carried out a background research on the views of students regarding vocabulary learning, learning strategies, and learning style. The research was in the form of a pre-experiment survey (Pre-questionnaire) containing 80 items on a seven-level Likert Scale (1-strongly disagree, 4-neither agree nor disagree, 7- strongly agree). Feedback from students was used from the perspective of three strategies (o’Malley & Chamot, 1990; oxford, 1990): (1) meta-cognitive (planning, monitoring); (2) cognitive (memorization, practice); and (3) affective (communication with others). one week after the end of the three-week experiment, we conducted a post-experiment survey of 40 items with “yes” or “no” responses to check if there were any changes to the learning strategies, learning styles, or learning preferences of the students. We also administered a pre-experiment vocabulary test and post-experiment vocabulary test in order to check how much improvement was achieved. The experiment took place over a six-week period in autumn, 2007. • in the first week, a pre-test and a pre-questionnaire were administered. The pre-test consisted of 30 words out of the selected 150 words. • in the second week, one of the three types of contents was delivered to students over the internet. • in the third week, a small quiz to review the words delivered the previous week was given, and the second type of contents were delivered. • in the fourth week, a small quiz to review the words from the third week was given and the third type of the contents was delivered. • in the fifth week, a small quiz to review the words from the fourth week was given. • in the sixth week, a post-test and post-questionnaire were administered. The post-test was composed of the same words as the pre-test to measure the effectiveness of vocabulary learning by mobile phone. Results and Discussion results are summarized into three main parts in order to answer the research questions (see research Question). according to the results of the pre-questionnaire, many students did not like vocabulary learning, although they agreed that vocabulary learning was important (Fig.2). Therefore, this project was very meaningful in that it contributed to finding a better way to learn vocabulary. 154 Kimura Figure 2. How students viewed vocabulary learning. Figure 3. Test scores for the two tests of the three Types. Figure 3 shows that students obtained the best scores in Type 1 followed by Type 3. a paired-test comprised of pretest and post-test scores was conducted, with the comparison of results between Type 1 and 2 (p=0.0001), and between Type 2 and 3 (p=0.003) showing significant differences. Type 1and Type 3 (p=0.141) did not show a significant difference. This means that the contents of Type 1 and 3 were more effective than Type 2 for vocabulary learning by mobile phone. on the other hand, students commented that studying words in sentences helped them understand how to use words in real communication situations (Fig.4); thereforfe, there was a difference in how effectively they learned as indicated in their test scores and their preferences. Table 1 Comparisons of the means of three Types in small quizzes Paired Differences M Pair 1 Type 1(word) Type 2 (illustration) Pair 2 Type 2 (illustration) Type 3 (sentence) Pair 3 Type 1(word) Type 3 (sentence) .714 .577 .577 .675 .714 .675 N 15 15 15 15 15 15 S.D. .080 .051 .051 .117 .080 .117 .040 .098 .083 .141 -.100 .104 -1.040 .003 M .137 S.D. .075 t. 7.076 Sig. (2-tailed) .0001 Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents 155 Figure 4. Preferred vocabulary contents. Figure 5 shows a comparison of the two test scores (pre-test and post-test) of the university students according to their major. Figure 6 shows the amount of time spent studying 50 words, with English majors spending the longest time, 76 minutes over a one-week peiriod to study 50 words; next longest were Caretaking majors with 53 minutes; followed by Nursing majors with 49.4 minutes. Comparing the pre-test scores with post-test scores (Fig. 5), we found that the English, Business, and Nursing majors improved their scores considerably; however, Pharmacology and Economics majors did not improve as much, despite spending long hours memorizing words (Fig. 6), and furthermore, their test scores and the time they spent preparing for the tests did not seem to correlate. This will be discussed in detail later. Figure 5. Comparison of two test scores. Figure 6. Study time and test score by majors. on the other hand, Table 2 gives us a different interpretation about the relationship between the test scores and the time spent studying. We divided students into three levels based on the improvement in test scores (difference of test scores between post-test and pre-test), in order to compare how students differed based on their learning strategies, learning styles, and learning preferences: Level 1 (n=45, test score differences from -5 to 8 points); Level 2 (n=47, test score differences from 9 to 20); Level 3 (n=47, test score differences from 21 to 30). (Note: -5 means that the learner’s score in post-test was 5 points lower than that the pre-test score.) The results of aNoVa showed a significant difference statistically in study times among the three levels (p<0.001), and as for the time students reviewed, there was not a significant difference among the three (p=.324), although there was a significant difference between Level 1 and Level 3 by t-test (p=.001). The table also shows that successful learners (Level 3) valued the word review tests more highly than did the other groups (p<0.0001). This means that the more learners studied, the better their test scores, with successful learners placing more value on the tests than the other two level groups did. 156 Kimura Table 2 Study time and word review tests Level 1(n=34) Minutesspent memorizing 50 words The number of times to review 50 words Felt word review tests were useful M 43.97 Level 2(n=39) 45.92 Level 3(n=42) 169.10 Sig. 0001. S.D. M 38.61 3.26 44.69 3.41 685.18 4.07 .324 S.D. M S.D. 1.14 4.47 1.90 .75 5.46 1.30 .92 5.76 .0001 1.40 The question of whether or not vocabulary learning by mobile phone fits the learning style of students was studied next. Figure 7 sumarizes the feedback from students on the ideal contents and program for vocabulary learning, and Figure 8 shows the difference in the time spent studying during the commute before and during this experiment. Figure 7. Students’ ideal content and program of vocabulary learning. Figure 8. Change in study time during commute. Many students appreciated the “anytime, anywhere learning” style, and wanted to study vocabulary periodically using example sentences to review classwork. actually, English, Business, and Pharmacology majors showed an increase in the time they spent studying by mobile phone during their commute (Fig. 8) providing that learning by mobile phone fit their learning style and lifestyle. The reason Nursing majors did not study during their commute was that they lived very close to the campus (about 5 minutes by bus or 10 minutes on foot); therefore, they did not find commuting time to be appropriate for studying, so instead, studied at home. 157 Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents The last research question was related to the learning strategies students used when they studied by mobile phone. Figures 9 and 10 show strategies that the students usually used prior to participating in this project. Popular memory strategies were “making a word list,” “writing words many times,” and “reading words aloud (Fig. 9).” We need to take into consideration affective strategies (Fig. 10), which are important for raising the motivation of students (dorneyei, 2001). Caretaking, Pharmacology, and Nursing majors liked studying with friends, and they expected encouragement from the teacher. only the Pharmacology majors did not require any encouragement from the teacher. However, Caretaking and Nursing majors did not use those strategies very much when studying vocabulary (Fig. 11). Therefore, it is assumed that the students suffered some kind of negative experience, such as, for example, they were unable to get the support they had expected from their teachers, or they were unable to study together with their friends Figure 9. Memory strategies prior to the start of the experiment. up until now, the focus has been on looking at conventional strategies used in the past by students to study vocabulary. However, now attention also needs to be paid to how the use of mobile phones for vocabulary learning has changed the use of these strategies by students. our survey found that the use of memory strategies changed during the project with the percentage of “making a vocabulary list” decreasing from 87% to 48.5%, and the percentage of “memorizing words by writing” in particular, showing a significant decrease from 89.2% to 39.4%. However, Table 3 (differences in use of strategies among test score groups) shows that students who scored better in the tests used the strategies of “memorizing words by writing;” “memorized words by reading words aloud,” and “memorized words by mnemonics” more than students with lower test scores did. affective strategy use was another factor that was studied. English and Nursing majors, both of whom improved their scores greatly in the post-test, used the strategy of “studying with friends” more often during the experiment than before the experiment (Fig. 10), and they received encouragement from teachers, too. We believe that these are important keys to the improvement in their test scores. Self-access to mobile learning does not automatically promise improvement in study results. Some students need support from others, especially from friends and teachers. Table 3 differences in use of strategies among test score groups Group 1(n=44) Memorized words by writing M S.D. Memorized words by reading words aloud Memorized words by mnemonics M S.D. M S.D. .14 .35 .14 .35 .16 .37 Group 2(n=40) .16 .37 .32 .47 .23 .42 Group 3(n=43) .37 .49 .37 .49 .72 .0001 .45 .035 Sig. . 014 158 Kimura Figure 10. affective strategies prior to the start of the experiment. Figure 11. Changes in affective strategy use, “Study with friends”. it was shown earlier in Figure 5 that the post test scores of Caretaking were very low even though these students spent a lot of time studying. We analyzed the data and concluded that the problems faced by Caretaking and Pharmacology majors were caused by the lack of affective strategy use. although students in both of these majors usually enjoyed studying with friends (Fig. 8), they did not do so in this project (Fig. 10). We also later found out that teachers of the Caretaking, Economic and Pharmacology majors did not encourage the students to learn vocabulary by mobile phone, so the test scores of the students in those majors did not improve very much. Now we also need to think about the problem of children and mobile phones, because it has become one of the most urgent social issues these days in Japan. a prefectural board of education is calling on public elementary and junior high schools to ban students from bringing mobile phones into school as a general rule. The Meeting on Education rebuilding, a government panel, also put together a draft report to the same effect. already, most public elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture prohibit pupils and students from bringing mobile phones to school. The reasons for the ban were the increase in bullying and crimes caused by the use of some mobile phone sites, and the decline of academic achievement resulting from too much time spent using mobile phones. The harmful effects of the website are another worrisome factor. This trend is thought to be fairly common throughout most of Japan. in light of the seriousness of the situation, we believe the decision to ban mobile phones at school is reasonable: however, banning mobile phones from school does not solve everything. Schools need to prevent children from becoming addicted to mobile phones. at the same time, teachers should try to introduce more positive uses for mobile phones, such as education by mobile phone. it is our heartfelt wish that media literacy learning will help them acquire healthy communication skills through the use of mobile phones, and that our study of vocabulary learning by mobile phone provides a useful suggestion in response to this need. Conclusions Summarizing all the results, we can come to the following four conclusions. First, Type 1 (words only) and Type 3 (words with example sentences) were more effective than Type 2 (words with illustration) for vocabulary learning contents for learning by mobile phone. Moreover, many students preferred Type 3 because of its usefulness for communication. This was contrary to our expectations and the advocacy of Macinnis, d. J. and Bernard J (1989) that imagery has ample potential for transforming information stored in long-term memory. Second, students liked the concept of a learning style that enabled them to study anytime and anywhere, with actual study time during the commute showing an increase in the project. Therefore, it can be concluded that learning vocabulary by mobile phone matched their learn- 159 Development and Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning Contents ing style. Third, successful learners preferred memorizing vocabulary by writing the words down. Since many other students also seemed to stick with this memory strategy, it seems to be one of the popular strategies for vocabulary learning of university students in Japan. in this sense, studying by mobile phone doesn’t seem suitable to their method of studying. However, we found that the learning strategies of students changed when they studied by mobile phone, although the changes were not great. or, Japanese students are surprisingly good at typing sentences on their mobile phone; therefore, we may be able to find some way to match their strategies. one of the most significant findings coming out of this project was that self-access study like this became more effective when teachers and students used affective strategies more effectively. Such strategies included teachers giving encouragement to students, or students studying together with their friends. Therefore, if we could add interactive elements to the vocabulary learning program, the results could be very promising. We hope that this kind of learning by mobile phone is introduced to high school students, as it would enhance communication by both students and teachers, and contribute to educational purposes. References aLC. (2000). ALC 12000-WORD List. Babin, L. (1993). The operation of visual imagery as a mediator of advertising effects. Journal of Advertizing. dorneyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge language teaching library. Cambridge university Press. Harp, S. F., & Mayer, r.E. (1998). How seductive details do their damage: a theory of cognitive interest in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 414-434. Hatamura H, ikemura, d. & Togo, K. (2005). Goi no imi-gakushu ni hatsuon wa donoyoni riyo sareruka. Presented at Language Education and Technology 2005. aizawa K. (2005). JACET 8000-Word List. Kirihara Shoten. Kadota, S. et al. (2006). Eigo goishido handbook. Taishukan Shoten. Macinnis, d. J. and Bernard J. J. (1989). information processing from advertisements: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Marketing, 53 (october), 1-23. o’Malley, M.J. & Chamot, a.u. (1990). Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge university Press. oxford, r. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Heinle and Heinle Publisher, Boston. Wollen, K, Weber, a. & Lowry, d. (1972). Bizarreness versus interaction of mental images as determinants of learning. Cognitive Psychology, 2, pp518-523. Acknowledgments i would like to express appreciation for all the support and collaboration i have received from Mr. Yukinari Shimoyama, Toyo Gakuen university, and eLPCo at aoyama Gakuin university in Japan. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 161-170 Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment Gerald KnezeK University of North Texas, USA rhonda Christensen University of North Texas, USA assessment of learning within a simulated teaching environment is addressed in the context of a federally funded project to improve the maturity and retention of preservice teachers. analysis of matched treatment and comparison data from two classes of teacher preparation candidates indicates that technology skills are improved by the simulated environment and by traditional instruction that also includes computer activities; however some types of pedagogical skills show greater improvement due to the simulation. these findings provide credible evidence that we can measure learning that takes place in a simulated teaching environment. Good teachers constantly negotiate a balance between technology, pedagogy, and content in ways that are appropriate to the specific parameters of an ever-changing educational context (Bull, Park, searson, thompson, Mishra, Koehler, & Knezek, 2007). a major challenge facing beginning teachers is how to juggle teaching and learning parameters in an often-overwhelming context of a new classroom, given a particular mix of the students and the available tools at hand. a three-year project supported by the U.s. department of education Fund for the improvement of Postsecondary education (FiPse) at a large, southwestern university is now in its second year of experimenting with using a simulated teaching environment. the goal of this project, initiated in november 2006, is to improve the capacity for resilience among preservice teachers, thereby enhancing their retention once they enter the classroom. First year findings (Christensen & Knezek, 2008) provided encouraging results. the purpose of the current paper is to focus two years of project experience on what teachers learn, and what can be assessed of their learning, when they are working within a simulated teaching environment. We will show that much progress has been made in the area of accessing technological knowledge, as well as pedagogical knowledge, but work still remains to be done in the area of assessing the extent of acquired expertise in 162 Knezek and Christensen the integration of technology, pedagogy and content knowledge. the paper concludes with the suggestion that the technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (tPCK) framework (Koehler & Mishra, 2008) could be a useful way to delineate the key areas that must be addressed in assessing the preparation of future teachers through a simulated teaching environment. SimSchooL and ThE SimmEnToring ProjEcT simMentoring is grounded in a Web-based computer application named simschool that dynamically simulates classroom learner behaviors and emulates teaching and learning activities (Gibson, 2007). the simMentoring project uses simschool with preservice teachers to improve their abilities to learn successful teaching strategies for use in classroom environments. the key innovation of the simMentoring project is that it provides teachers or teacher trainees many learning trials with simulated students, thereby increasing teacher confidence, competence, and retention. during year 1 the simMentoring project expanded simschool’s capacity to address new audiences by adding visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles to the simulated students. Project personnel also developed “make a student” and “create a task” modules to expand the simulator’s range of components to be modeled. in addition, project personnel created new instructional scenarios with user-friendly support materials (Christensen, McPherson, Knezek, tyler-Wood, & Gibson, 2009). concEPTuaL FoundaTionS oF SimSchooL simschool promotes pedagogical expertise by re-creating the complexities of classroom decisions through mathematical representations of how people learn and what teachers do when teaching. the model includes research-based psychological, sensory and cognitive domains similar to Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives (Bloom, Mesia, & Krathwohl, 1964). however in simschool these are defined with underlying subcategory factors that reflect modern psychological, cognitive science and neuroscience concepts. For example, the Five Factor Model of psychology (McCrae & Costa, 1996) serves as the foundation of the student personality spectrum. this model includes the following characteristics: extroversion, agreeableness, persistence, emotion, and intellect. a simplified sensory model with auditory, visual and kinesthetic perceptual preferences comprises the physical domain. a flexible array of factors suitable to each specific academic, intellectual or cognitive domain is used to represent salient factors for classroom teaching and learning (Gibson, 2007). diFFicuLTiES wiTh uSing a SimuLaTor To hELP PrEParE TEachErS one difficulty in using a simulator for preservice teacher preparation is the long lag time between preservice teacher preparation, induction year activities and assessment of retention. it takes too many years to produce an authentic assessment of whether or not the simulator worked. Because of this difficulty, beginning in the early days of the simMentoring project, the leadership team began exploring alternative ways to assess learning within the simulated environment. selfreport instruments have been developed for two areas: 1) technological Proficiency, and 2) Pedagogical expertise. each of these will be addressed in turn. inSTrumEnTaTion Technology Proficiency measures Based on the work of previous scholars, the authors have developed, over the past decade, a battery of reliable, wellvalidated instruments for assessing teachers’ self-perceptions of technology competencies. those utilized with the preservice educators learning through simschool include: Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment 163 three measures of classroom technology integration: stages of adoption of technology (Christensen, 1997), the Concern’s-Based adoption Model level of Use (CBaM-loU) (Griffin & Christensen, 1999), and the apple Classrooms of tomorrow (aCot) teacher stages instrument (dwyer, ringstaff, & sandholtz, 1991). hancock, Knezek, and Christensen (2007) found that these three single-item instruments, taken together, produce a technology integration scale with an internal consistency reliability of alpha = .84 for a typical set of preservice or inservice teachers. technology Proficiency self assessment (tPsa). ropp (1999) developed a technology self-efficacy instrument that was modified by the authors to have 20 likert-style items focusing on four areas of the international society for technology in education (iste) standards in place at the time of the development. these areas were email skills, WWW skills, integrated applications skills (word processing, spreadsheet), and teaching with technology skills. Morales, Knezek and Christensen (2008) found that subscale reliabilities for the five-item subscales of email, WWW, integrated applications and teaching with technology typically fall in the range of .73 to .88. all subscale reliabilities for technology measures reported in this section fall in the range of “respectable” (alpha = .7 to .8) or “very good” (alpha > .8) according the guidelines provided by deVellis (1991). mEaSurES oF PEdagogicaL STyLE and ExPErTiSE Few self-report measures for pedagogical expertise were available to the authors at the beginning of the simMentoring project. as a result, a decision was made to build upon the best that could be found in order to validate the project’s own set of assessment instruments. the process began with the adaptation of key parts of a battery of surveys that had been used successfully in other projects (Vandersall, 2006). the result was the teacher Preparation survey (tPs), a 25item, likert-based instrument divided into two sections, one about perceptions of teaching situations, and the other about teaching skills. tPs items were adapted from riedel (2000) of the Center for applied research and educational improvement. Validation procedures were carried out on the instrument, in keeping with accepted tests and measurements procedures (Marshall & hales, 1972). initial content validity was established through consultation with teacher education faculty at the institution hosting the simMentoring project and with the external evaluator for the project. this ‘face validity” was judged to be high by the classroom instructor and project staff. Construct validity was established through factor analysis. an exploratory factor analysis of the 10 “perception of teaching” items on teacher Preparation survey (tPs) was carried out using data gathered from the 189 teacher preparation candidates during 2007. two factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 were extracted by a principal components, varimax rotation procedure. Post hoc internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) for the following five items loading on Factor 1, which was named instructional self-efficacy, was found to be alpha = .72. this is in the range of ‘respectable’ according to guidelines provided by deVellis (1991). the items composing this scale are listed in table 1. Table 1 teacher Preparation survey (tPs) instructional self-efficacy scale (5 items) • • • • • • tsP 1i. if i really try hard, i can get through to even the most difficult or unmotivated students. tsP 1G. if a student in my class becomes disruptive and noisy, i feel assured that i know some techniques to redirect him/her quickly. tsP 1C. When i really try, i can get through to most difficult students. tsP 1h. if one or more of my students couldn’t do a class assignment, i would be able to accurately assess whether the assignment was at the correct level of difficulty. tsP 1F. if a student did not remember information i gave in a previous lesson, i would know how to increase his/her retention in the next lesson. Knezek and Christensen the remaining five items formed the second factor, labeled learning locus of Control (home or school). Post hoc analysis of internal consistency reliability for the scale produced from items loading on this factor was found to be alpha = .57. this lower reliability would be deemed unacceptable (below .6) according to guidelines provided by deVellis (1991). the items composing this scale are listed in table 2. 164 Table 2 teacher Preparation survey (tPs) learning locus of Control scale (5 items) • • • • • tsP 1d. a teacher is very limited in what he/she can achieve because a student’s home environment is a large influence on his/her achievement. tsP 1J. When it comes right down to it, a teacher really can’t do much because most of a student’s motivation and performance depends on his or her home environment. tsP 1B. if students aren’t disciplined at home, they aren’t likely to accept any discipline. tsP 1e. if parents would do more for their children, i could do more. tsP 1a. the amount a student can learn is primarily related to family background. a second factor analysis (principal components, varimax rotation) was conducted on the fifteen items in part 2 of the teacher Preparation survey. these items ask the respondent to indicate how well prepared he/she currently feels for each teaching skill. the single item in part 3 of the survey (to what extent do you think computer games or simulations can be an important learning tool for K12 students?) was included in this analysis as well. the result was a two-factor solution with all 15 of the teaching skill items loading on factor 1, while the single item about perceived importance of computer games or simulations for K-12 students for learning, loaded on factor 2. Post hoc internal consistency reliability analysis for the 15-item factor produced a Cronbach’s alpha value of .97. this is beyond “very good” according the guidelines provided by deVellis (1991). the fifteen items composing the teaching skills scale are listed in table 3. Table 3 teacher Preparation survey (tPs) teaching skill scale (15 items) Below is a list of different skills you may use in teaching. Please choose the response that indicates how prepared you feel currently to do each one. the responses are on a scale of 1 = strongly disagree to 6 strongly agree. a. describing the teaching context. b. stating objectives clearly. c. stating objectives so they are aligned with goals. d. selecting objectives aligned with student needs. e. selecting varied and complex objectives. f. selecting a broad array of teaching strategies. g. sequencing teaching strategies. h. allotting time for instruction realistically. i. developing high-quality adaptations. j. developing a wide array of adaptations. k.interpreting on-task behavior accurately. l. interpreting assessment results accurately. m. Connecting teaching and learning. n. analyzing my own teaching performance. o. Making decisions based on the assessment results from my students. Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment rEconFirmaTion oF PEdagogicaL ScaLES in 2008 165 during the spring and summer of 2008, data were gathered from an additional 394 preservice teacher education candidates at the same southwestern university. the 25 items from the previously-discussed scales were resubmitted to a single exploratory factor analysis (Principal Components, Varimax rotation). the three-factor solution converged in four iterations and all items loaded on the anticipated factors. Cronbach’s alpha values for these scales were instructional self-efficacy = .77 (5 items); learning locus of Control = .68 (5 items); and teaching skill = .95 (15 items). these internal consistency reliability estimates were all in the range of “acceptable” to “very good” according to the guidelines provided by deVellis (1991). Method maTchEd TrEaTmEnT and comPariSon grouPS during the spring of 2007, simschool was introduced to 32 preservice teacher candidates in one section of a reading/language arts methods course for Professional development school students. these students were in eC-4 or 4-8 teacher preparation programs. students at this intern stage, which precedes student teaching, spent two days per week taking courses and two days per week in a classroom observing teacher and student activities and assisting the classroom teacher. Pre-post instruments assessing teaching beliefs, perceived level of teacher preparation, level of technology proficiency, level of technology integration, and attitudes toward computers were administered at the beginning and end of the class. Pre-post data were also gathered from a parallel section of the reading/language arts methods course (30 students), taught by the same instructor, but not incorporating simschool. this group was targeted as the comparison group for the simMentoring treatment class. ThE inTErvEnTion students in the treatment classroom took part in seven, 90-minute simschool sessions in the computer lab (nine contact hours total) with their instructor and a simMentoring project staff trainer. this activity spanned approximately one half of the 15-week semester. each session focused on a specific goal such as getting started in simschool (session 1) with “everly’s Bad day”, matching instructional tasks to simulated student personalities and learning styles to improve student learning, initiating teacher dialog with the simulated students to assess reactions, and moving from a one student classroom to five student classroom as proficiency working in the simulator improved. although sufficient computers were available for each student to run a simulation alone, sessions quickly evolved to have students working in pairs. once the teacher described the task, and the task was demonstrated by the trainer, students planned in pairs and then carried out the tasks by having one participant function as the pilot, and the other as a navigator. a reflective discussion led by the instructor and/or trainer typically followed. Frequently students were asked to record their reactions to a session in the class blog in journal entry mode. rESuLTS: changES in TEchnoLogy and PEdagogy SkiLLS Findings regarding Technology as shown in the upper portions of tables 4 and 5, there were not large distinctions between treatment and comparison groups on most areas of technology proficiency gains. Both groups showed gains on most skills that were significant in some areas (p < .05) and not in others. effect sizes for gains in technology skills over the course of the three month Knezek and Christensen semester were generally beyond the es > .3 point at which an intervention is considered to be educationally meaningful (Bialo & sivin-Kachala, 1996). since both groups completed computer activities such as web access and email, we conclude that the technology experiences of both groups (within the simulator plus in regular classroom sessions, in the case of the treatment group) resulted in moderate gains (Cohen, 1988) on some measures of technology proficiency. 166 FindingS rEgarding PEdagogy Treatment classroom as shown in table 4, according to the guidelines provided by Cohen (1988) of small effect = .2, moderate = .5, and large = .8, there were large pre-post gains on two of the three pedagogical indices for the treatment classroom. teaching skill (es = 1.0) and instructional self-efficacy (es = .95) exhibited large gains. learning locus of Control, which appears to have a small-to-moderate negative effect, actually changed from stronger agreement that “a teacher is very limited in what he/she can achieve because a student’s home environment is a large influence on his/her achievement” (for example), toward the belief that the teacher can make a difference in the child’s life. the overall image conveyed by changes in the three pedagogical indicators is very positive. however, it is important to examine changes in the matched comparison group before drawing conclusions regarding probable causality. analysis of the comparison group will be presented in the following section. comparison classroom (same instructor as previous section) as shown in table 5, there was a large pre-post gain (es = .96) in teaching skill for the comparison group. the gain in this area was almost identical to that of the treatment group. there was a small-to-moderate pre-post gain (es = .40) in instructional self efficacy for the matched comparison group. this was much smaller than the gain (es = .95) by the treatment group, and, in fact was sufficiently small that it could likely have been due to chance (p = .14). there was almost no pre-post change (es = .07) in learning locus of Control for the comparison group. the learning locus of Control group mean moved slightly in the direction of less belief that the teacher (rather than home and outside-of-school constraints) could influence the achievement potential of the student. Viewing these findings collectively we conclude: 1. the teacher educator leading both treatment and control classes produced almost equally large gains in self reported teaching skills for treatment and comparison groups. 2. the simschool centered activities (7 total for 90 minutes) of the treatment class produced gains in instructional self-efficacy that were roughly twice as large as gains in the comparison group. 3. the activities of the treatment class were possibly responsible for learning locus of Control movement by the treatment group in the direction of stronger belief that the teacher can influence a student’s achievement potential. replication studies are needed in this area. diScuSSion the preservice teacher preparation candidates involved in the simMentoring project during the spring of 2007 exhibited moderate to large gains (Cohen, 1988) on many of the teacher preparation indices produced from the data. the area in which the treatment group of preservice teacher candidates exhibited the largest gain in comparison to their peers who did not receive simschool access and training, was on items related to instructional self-efficacy. Pre-post effect sizes (Cohen’s d) for the treatment versus the comparison group on this indicator were treatment es = .95 (p < .001), comparison group es = .40 (p = .14). items composing this indicator reflected preservice educators’ confidence in their competence to bring about positive learning outcomes even in adverse learning conditions. Findings imply that simMentoring activities were successful in fostering instructional self-efficacy in preservice students. Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment Table 4 treatment Classroom Using simschool, reading/language arts Methods Course spring 2007 167 Measurement Indices TPSA - Email TPSA - WWW Pre Post Pre Post TPSA - Integrated Applications N 29 25 29 25 Mean 4.66 4.83 4.54 4.65 Std. Dev. 0.37 0.30 0.40 0.42 Signif. 0.07 0.36 Cohen’s d 0.49 0.25 Pre Post 29 25 4.21 4.60 0.81 0.52 0.04 0.55 TPSA - Teaching with Technology CBAM Level of Use Stages of Adoption of Technology ACOT Instructional Self Efficacy Learning Locus of Control Teaching Skill Pre Post Pre Post 29 25 29 25 4.11 4.43 4.97 6.08 0.63 0.69 1.15 1.04 0.09 0.47 <.001 0.91 Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post 29 25 29 25 28 23 29 25 28 23 5.07 5.08 3.41 3.96 4.81 5.23 3.49 3.30 4.73 5.35 0.88 0.91 0.95 0.68 0.40 0.40 0.79 0.78 0.56 0.52 0.96 0.02 0.01 0.63 <.001 0.95 0.37 <.001 -0.25 1.00 168 Knezek and Christensen Table 5 Comparison Group Classroom not Using simschool, reading/language arts Methods Course spring 2007 (same instructor as treatment Classroom) Std. Deviation 0.30 0.28 0.38 0.39 0.66 0.60 0.57 0.52 1.64 0.76 0.83 0.56 0.90 0.63 0.75 0.67 0.63 0.95 0.59 0.57 <.001 0.96 0.80 0.07 0.14 0.40 0.05 0.52 0.01 0.67 <.001 1.03 0.02 0.63 0.05 0.53 0.17 0.37 Measurement Indices TPSA - Email Pre Post TPSA - WWW Pre Post TPSA - Integrated Applications Pre Post TPSA - Teaching with Technology Pre Post CBAM Level of Use Pre Post Stages of Adoption of Technology Pre Post ACOT Pre Post Instructional Self Efficacy Pre Post Learning Locus of Control Pre Post Teaching Skill Pre Post N 29 26 29 26 29 26 29 26 29 26 29 26 29 26 29 25 28 25 25 22 Mean 4.80 4.88 4.58 4.72 4.34 4.68 4.22 4.58 5.03 6.58 5.14 5.65 3.66 4.08 4.88 5.17 3.20 3.26 4.82 5.45 Signif. 0.29 Cohens d 0.29 no large differences between treatment and comparison group gains were found on the technology proficiency measures used in this study. however, since the purpose of simschool is to use an immersive technology environment to learn how to teach, rather than to learn about technology per se, no extensive differences in this area between treatment and comparison classes were expected. the organizational framework of the technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (tPCK or tPaCK) instructional model serves to remind us that having provisions for technology and pedagogy are probably not sufficient to capture the entire teaching spectrum (Koehler & Mishra, 2008). design research is currently underway to discover how best to incorporate content knowledge into the simulator, so that the simulated environment is one step closer to the content-grounded environment in which a normal teacher operates. an initial effort in this area is underway to incorporate into simschool a lesson planning approach to instruction in science content. this could allow future preservice educators to pre-select a series of instructional activities in sequence, and then observe how the simulated students react as the lesson runs. Preservice Educator Learning in a Simulated Teaching Environment concLuSion 169 Quantifying gains in learning how to teach is a difficult task. self-report is a practical means of gathering data and has been shown through this analysis to yield reasonably reliable data. the instruments examined in this study have been found to have good construct validity and the ability to separate groups known to differ, as well. an instrument capable of showing gains from a simulator can help advance the field of teaching and learning, and especially the field of teaching and learning through technology. simschool was designed to provide preservice teachers with a safe environment for experimenting and practicing new techniques, especially methods of addressing different learning styles, and wide variations in academic and behavioral performance of students. one of the first revelations of a participant in the simulator is that K-12 students do not always react the way the teacher thinks they should. thus the findings of different gains in treatment versus comparison group indicators on the scale of instructional self-efficacy (confidence in their competence) can be interpreted not only as evidence that the instrument works, but also that the simulator is useful, as well. references Bialo, e. r. & sivin-Kachala, J. (1996). the effectiveness of technology in schools: a summary of recent research. school library Media Quarterly, 25 (1), 51-57. Bloom, B., Mesia, B., & Krathwohl, d. (1964). taxonomy of educational objectives. new York: david McKay. Bull, G., Park, J., searson, M., thompson, a., Mishra, P., Koehler, M. J., & Knezek, G. (2007). editorial: developing technology policies for effective classroom practice. Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education [online serial], 7(3). available: Cohen, J. (1988). statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). hillsdale, nJ: lawrence earlbaum associates. Christensen, r. (1997). effect of technology integration education on the attitudes of teachers and their students. doctoral dissertation, University of north texas. dissertation abstracts international 58 (11), p.4242. UMd#aat9816134. Christensen, r. & Knezek, G. (2008). simMentoring preservice teachers: Findings from year one. Paper presented to the society for information technology & teacher education annual Conference, March 5, 2008. Christensen, r., McPherson, r., Knezek, G., tyler-Wood, t., & Gibson, d. (Unpublished manuscript). accepted to the national education Computing Conference for 2009. deVellis, r.F. (1991). scale development. newbury Park, nJ: sage Publications. dwyer, d. C., ringstaff, C., & sandholtz, J. h. (1991). Changes in teachers’ beliefs and practices in technology-rich classrooms. “educational leadership” 48(8), 45-52. (eriC document reproduction service no. eJ 425 608) Gibson, d. (2007). simschool - a complex systems framework for modeling teaching & learning. Paper presented to the national educational Computing Conference, atlanta, Ga, June 2007. Griffin, d., & Christensen, r. (1999). Concerns-Based adoption Model levels of Use of an innovation (CBaM-loU). adapted from hall, loucks, rutherford, & newlove (1975). denton, texas: institute for the integration of technology into teaching and learning. hancock, r., Knezek, G., & Christensen, r. (2007). Cross-Validating Measures of technology integration: a First step toward examining Potential relationships Between technology integration and student achievement. Journal of Computing in teacher education, 24(1) 15-21. Koehler, M. J. & Mishra, P. (2008). introducing tPCK. handbook of technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (tPCK) for educators (pp. 3-9). new York: routledge. Marshall, J. & hales, l. (1972). essentials of testing. reading, Ma: addison-Wesley. McCrae, r., & Costa, P. (1996). toward a new generation of personality theories: theoretical contexts for the five-factor model. in J. s. Wiggins (ed.), the five-factor model of personality: theoretical perspectives (pp. 51-87). new York: Guilford. Morales, C., Knezek, G., & Christensen, r. (2008). self-efficacy ratings of technology Proficiency among teachers in Mexico and texas. Computers in the schools, 25(1/2), 126-144. riedel, e. (2000). teacher Beliefs & Preparation survey. Univ. of Minnesota: Center for applied research and educational improvement. ropp, M. M. (1999). exploring individual characteristics associated with learning to use computers in pre-service teacher preparation. Journal of research on Computing in education, 31(4), 402-424. Vandersall, K. (2006). teacher survey Battery. los angeles, Ca: arroyo research services. 170 Knezek and Christensen acknowledgements this research was supported in part by the U.s. dept. of education Fund for the improvement of Postsecondary education Grant #P116B060398. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 171-177 Using Digital Video for Professional Development and Leadership: Understanding and Initiating Teacher Learning Communities Tricia M. Kress University of Massachusetts, USA Kelly a. silva Brockton Public Schools, USA in an era of increased standardization and accountability in education, the social aspect of teaching and learning to teach is often forgotten as teachers are evaluated and professional development initiatives are implemented in an effort to increase student achievement. By illustrating two different approaches to using digital video in educational leadership and professional development, this paper shows how educational leaders can recognize and capitalize on the social and situated dimensions of teacher development. The first approach provides an example of how digital video can be used as a tool to alleviate power hierarchies and provide transparency in the teacher evaluation process, and the second illustrates how discourse analysis and video microanalysis can be used to understand and assess the inner workings of a professional development learning community. in both cases, community and identity are central to teacher development. schools are complex organizations where administrators are often removed from the daily workings of individual classrooms (reeves, 2004). Given the ever-pressing need to meet annual yearly progress (ayP) under No child left Behind (NclB), school leaders, particularly in underperforming schools, may find themselves evaluating teachers and providing professional development with goals of efficiency and student achievement at the foreground (Tucker & stronge, 2005; Darling-Hammond & Berry, 2006; Glatthorn, et al, 2006; Weiner & Hall, 2004). in cases such as these, the social and human aspects of teacher development are easy to overlook because the stakes of student achievement are so high. yet, it is precisely because the stakes are so high that it is important to cultivate healthy professional communities for teachers by recognizing and addressing that teacher development is not only about individual teachers’ best practices, it is also about teachers themselves as learners, as individuals and members of a collective group. With digital video technologies becoming increasingly available and affordable, educational leaders can capture teachers’ individual and collective practices in order to learn from and provide better professional development experiences for teachers. This paper illustrates two activities in which digital video was used to understand and address the so- 172 Kress and Silva cial aspects of teacher learning. The first example describes a professional development activity in which an administrator in an underperforming urban middle school in Massachusetts utilized digital video footage and the district evaluation rubric to make the district evaluation process transparent and helpful rather than threatening for teachers. The second example describes a professional development initiative in which ten high school english teachers in New york city worked together as a group to design inquiry based lessons that integrated technology into their curricula. in this case, digital video microanalysis provided opportunities to understand how a teacher learning community functions in order to make suggestions for improvement in future learning community design. in both cases, the professional development initiatives were designed with the belief that community and identity are central features of teacher development. Teacher Development: Situated Learning, Communities of Practice, and Identity learning communities can be formal and explicit or informal and intuited, but we participate in communities of practice throughout our lives even when we are unaware of it. Our communities of practice are marked by their rules and norms and conditions of membership as well as by the practices in which its members actually engage. learning communities are so pervasive in social life that even when they are not formally designed, they will emerge organically (Wenger, 1998). With this in mind, lave and Wenger (1991) describe learning as not just an internal process, but “as increasing participation in communities of practice [which] concerns the whole person acting in the world” (p. 49). if we consider learning and identity construction as a continuous and social act, it becomes “something we can assume— whether we see it or not, whether we like the way it goes or not, whether what we are learning is to repeat the past or to shake it off. even failing to learn what is expected in a given situation usually involves learning something else instead” (Wenger, 1998, p. 8). With this in mind, we recognize that people are always learning, teachers are always learning, but what they are learning is subject to question. This understanding prompts us to ask ourselves: as we engage in leadership practices such as providing professional development opportunities, what and how are teachers learning? How does this affect their identities? and how can we use digital video to improve our practice as leaders so that professional development takes into account that improving teaching and learning is largely a matter of community and identity? Using Digital Video for Teacher Development Many researchers and educators have encouraged the use of video for promoting reflective practice in pre-service and in-service teachers (e.g. cunningham & Benedetto, 2002; Hu, et al, 2000; sherin & van es, 2005). Others have encouraged the use of video to create better teaching and learning for urban students (e.g. Tobin, elmesky & seiler, 2005). it is much less common to find studies about the use of video for educational leadership unless it involves videotaping teachers for evaluation purposes. and yet, video can be a very beneficial tool for educational leaders, because it can enable school leaders to close the distance between administrative processes and daily classroom life. video can be used as a tool to make administrative processes more transparent, which can help build community and trust between administration and faculty, and video can also be used for leaders to assess the value of professional development initiatives they design and implement. Using video allows administrators, teachers and researchers to view events over time, to view events together and dialog about them, and to view events more than once. rosenstein (2002) outlines some of the benefits of using video for research and program evaluation as follows. video provides [the viewer] with the possibility of distancing himself/herself from the data. New insights can spring from renewed viewing of the initial observation. Moreover, joint viewing can deepen understanding through reflective dialog. Description can be made thicker through discussion with the subjects/objects of the observation. The data collected through video observation is not static. rather, the viewing and reviewing of videotext is dynamic and provides further information, thus enhancing the original data (p. 4). Using Digital Video to Prepare Teachers for Evaluation as a building level administrator i (Kelly silva) am often required to bring to classroom teachers initiatives that are proposed by central administration. Teachers often view these initiatives as top-down mandates developed with limited Using Digital Video for Professional Development and Leadership 173 regard for what truly goes on in the classroom, and these initiatives are often met with a great deal of resistance (Zimmerman, 2006). as a result, my challenge becomes how to mend this disconnect between two parties that in fact have the same goal in mind: to do what is best for the students. after careful data analysis and in conjunction with educational research, central administrators developed an observation protocol to use during their classroom walkthroughs during the 2008-2009 school year. This protocol consists of nine essential educational standards, and each area has specific key indicators of effective classroom instruction. in recognizing the value of this tool, i designed the following professional development opportunity to not only share this protocol with the teachers but also to enable them to see the tool not as a threat but as a valuable tool to guide their instruction. The description and analysis below are of a foundational session of professional development, which took place during september of the 2008-2009 school year. This session was the first of eight that were conducted during the first two academic quarters. in total, there were eight participating middle-school teachers. Data sources collected to evaluate and analyze the effectiveness of using digital video as a professional development tool included written feedback from teachers, observations, artifacts (such as lesson plans), and informal conversations with teachers. in preparation for the first whole staff faculty meeting of the year, i acquired a video of a middle school english language arts classroom that i would present to my faculty. it was important that the video be representative of the norm, a classroom with great instruction and room for improvement. To ensure that the focus was on the classroom instruction and not the teachers themselves, a video of an individual that was not a member of the staff was utilized. Much like the cooperative groups teachers form in their classroom, i specifically called upon certain teachers to be group leaders. These individuals were selected because during my travels in the classrooms each day, i had at one time witnessed them using various techniques, strategies, and practices that produced effective results and were strong examples of various standards on the rubric. During our group discussion, i would ask the group leaders to share the experiences i had witnessed, so that the staff could be presented with ideas from individuals with the same student population. Once the group leaders were selected, teachers were required to form heterogeneous groups that included individuals from each content area and at least one special subject teacher (i.e. Physical education, computer). Once the groups were formed, the teachers were asked to respond to the following prompt: if you walked into a classroom where effective instruction was taking place what would you see? What would the teacher be doing? What would the students be doing? Teachers were then provided the nine standards of classroom instruction. at this time the teachers were given time to reflect on the commonalities between their understandings of effective instruction and those of the central administration. among these commonalities were: the teacher as facilitator of class discussion; students working cooperatively; the teacher activates students’ prior knowledge; and the teacher constantly checks for students’ understanding. During the second phase of the meeting, each group was asked to focus on one of the nine standards and take note of specific examples of this as they viewed a video that supported or did not support the standard. Once they viewed the video, teachers were provided time to discuss what they viewed with their group members. as they reported out to the group, teachers were asked to not only discuss what they saw, but also what they didn’t see. Once these “right there” questions were answered, the heart of the discussion turned to my overall intent of the activity, which was to give teachers ownership over these nine standards. Teachers were prompted with questions such as the following: “How would you address standard 5 in your classroom? if you were in that classroom, what suggestions would you have made? Think back to a lesson you did this year. share with the staff how you addressed standard 7.” The teachers’ quest for ownership of the nine standards emerged as a partnership between the teachers and central administration to ensure the nine standards of classroom instruction are implemented. The nine standards became more than just a tool accepted by staff at central level; the teachers were beginning to welcome them as an effective tool at the classroom level too. This is evident through written responses, observations, and informal conversations. For example, one teacher remarked in her written response, “these nine standards are all best practices that every teacher should be incorporating in every lesson.” another teacher reported that she wanted to show the video with her students in order to “provide students with the opportunity to discuss effective ‘student practices’” and understand their role in their own education. Teachers also became more at ease with administrative presence in their classrooms to the extent that some are even offended if their classrooms are not visited during walkthroughs. Finally, teachers exhibited a change in their lesson plans, which highlight strategies and activities specifically incorporated to address the nine standards. in addition to listing the lesson’s objectives and the activities designed to meet the objective, teachers note instructional strategies (e.g., pair share and formative assessments) used to check for student understanding. 174 Kress and Silva Developing Trust through Transparency and LPP Wenger (1998) explains that an individual’s identity is shaped not only by their membership in a group, but also by their non-membership in other groups. in large public schools such as the one in the example above, teachers are identified by their membership in their community of teachers, but they are also identified by their non-membership in administration. in the teacher community, administrative processes that are mandated from the central office are not always seen as being in the best interest of the teacher and the student because the mandates are coming from “faceless” outsiders (administrators) who may or may not understand teachers’ daily struggles. These top-down mandates can initiate a cycle of distrust between faculty and administrators when faculty do not trust the “outsider” administrator’s intentions as she conducts faculty evaluations, and administrators who are removed from the classroom do not or appear not to trust that faculty are teaching with district standards in mind. yet, building trust among school adults is essential for “any school that wants to learn from its own practices, and for teachers who are seeking greater individual or collective authority to make important decisions about their work” (Meier, 2002, p. 59). Building trust, however, is not easy in a complex hierarchical organization where teachers and administrators are separated from each other by both proximity and power. in relation to this dynamic, roth (2005b) points out the impact of “boundary objects” (objects that originate in one field, such as the central office, and are transferred into another field, such as the classroom) on the daily workings of the school and classroom. These objects will inevitably have an impact on the relationships between faculty and administration because they disrupt the daily workings of the classroom and they make hierarchical power divisions more apparent. a tool like the administration protocol for evaluation in the activity above is an example of one such type of boundary object. as roth (2005b) explains, “boundary objects may create a mix of circumstances where individuals no longer feel in control of events but feel swept away, becoming reactive. The feeling of being swept away and being reactive is an effect of boundary objects, because participants in a particular field do not feel they have control over these objects in the same way that they have control over objects that originate in their own field” (p. 70-1). The above exercise helped to establish trust between the two groups by allowing teachers to understand and interact with the object in question, thereby diffusing much of the unequal power that might charge the object with negative emotional energy (collins, 2004) and spark resistance among the teachers. instead, it allowed the teachers to be proactive about addressing the goals of the administration protocol concurrently with their own goals in the classroom, thereby taking ownership of the tool rather than being “owned” by the tool. Just to cite one example, one of the teachers expressed that she did not believe this tool was to “’catch’ them doing something wrong in the classroom,” but rather it was to assist them in mastering practices of effective teachers. in the activity above, as teachers were welcomed to participate legitimately and peripherally (lave & Wenger, 1991) as members of the administrative community, the administrative protocol as both boundary object and tool became more transparent and less threatening. The notion of transparency is central to lave and Wenger’s concept of legitimate peripheral participation (lPP). as it is applied here, it “refers to the ways in which using artifacts and understanding their significance interact to become one learning process” (p. 102-3). so while the teachers were learning to understand the tool for its administrative value, they were also being asked to apply the tool to their daily practices as teachers. This enabled the teachers to demystify the administrative evaluation process, but it also allowed them to see this tool as having use value for their own goals as teachers. One teacher summed it up best when she said, “so often we are forced to implement new ideas, with little regard for what is truly going on in our classrooms; these standards are a guide to ensure that i am doing what is best for my students.” Using Video-Microanalysis to Evaluate Professional Development Initiatives The english/Technology curriculum Writing group at the Discovery institute at the college of staten island/city University of New york emerged as a response to my (Tricia Kress’s) experiences teaching graduate education courses that were designed to help teachers use and integrate technology in their classrooms. While most teachers found the classes helpful and enjoyable, their participation in the courses did not translate into technology integration. i recognized that acquiring computer and technology skills simply was not sufficient for helping teachers to transform their practice. in many cases teachers did not have a community of support in their schools, and they found it difficult to be innovative Using Digital Video for Professional Development and Leadership 175 by using technology in their classrooms. Often teachers would use technology for their own purposes, such as creating lessons or handouts, but not often did they use technology with their students. By initiating the english/Technology Group, my goal was to provide urban teachers with a much-needed community in which they could learn to integrate technology while participating in a community of practice geared specifically toward their needs as english teachers. The group met during July 2004 four days a week, four hours a day, for four weeks. The participants consisted of ten teachers, nine in-service and one retired (the group facilitator). all members were or had been high school english teachers, but the group was diverse in that their populations of students, grade levels and type of english (english language learners [ell], special education [sPeD], literacy, etc.) varied. One teacher was an ell and sPeD teacher, two were sPeD team teachers, two were 9th grade ramp-up (literacy) teachers, one was a 10th grade teacher, one was a 9th grade teacher in a laptop school, one was a librarian and advanced Placement english teacher, and one was a 10th grade teacher at an elite private school. During each session, teachers would distribute to the group copies of a narrative description of a unique inquiry-based lesson they had designed for their students. Most times, technology would be integrated into the lesson design, but sometimes teachers would bring descriptions of lessons that did not include technology in hopes that the group would help them with it. each teacher would explain to the group how and why she or he designed the lesson as she or he did, and then the group would have a discussion about the lesson design and how to improve, amend, or adapt it. in order to understand and assess how the group functioned, i videotaped the group’s interactions and used discourse analysis and video-microanalysis to look for patterns in what participants said and did. i began the analysis by isolating vignettes using iMovie. i transcribed the dialogue and inserted it into two different tables created in Ms Word. The first showed who was speaking, at what time, and when they overlapped. each speaker’s words were color-coded and overlap was indicated with open brackets (illustrated below). The second table showed running discourse in the left most column, while the remaining columns from left to right showed each participant and his/her body movements. i used QuickTime to slow down the video to 1/30 of a second to identify rhythmic body movements (e.g., head nods, eye gazes), which are indications of intense positive emotional energy and mutual engagement referred to by collins (2004) as “entrainment”. By cross-analyzing when body movements occurred in relation to what was happening in the conversation, i identified instances of overlapping and anticipatory speech, another indicator of entrainment (i.e. participants are so in tuned to each other that they finish each others sentences or murmur affirmative utterances). i used discourse analysis to identify patterns in the themes of conversations, which allowed me to identify which types of conversations generated positive emotional energy and entrainment that is indicative of a productive learning community. One such theme that emerged was a process i called “technology talk.” Teachers would have intense discussions around a type of technology that the group might have been unfamiliar with. entrainment and synchrony trended high during these exchanges. Two other categories that i called “storytelling” and “imagining” also sparked entrainment and synchrony. in these exchanges, the group members took turns telling how they used a particular technology, and they took turns imagining how they might use them in their own classes. Technology as “Sacred Symbol”: Establishing Mutual Focus and Constructing Identity as a Group Group entrainment and identity construction was more likely when participants were discussing how to use technology in their lessons, particularly when the technology introduced was novel to the group. One example of this is seen in an exchange where Gina, a 10th grade english teacher at a grade 6-12 laptop school, recommended that carol, a 9th grade literacy teacher at a large comprehensive high school, use iMovie with her students to “manipulate” video footage of commercials that the students were designing and filming. Many of the group members were unfamiliar with iMovie. a conversation about iMovie commenced when andrew, a special education teacher in an alternative high school, asked, “What do you mean, manipulate?” The transcript below documents the verbal exchange and overlapping speech patterns of the group: (an open bracket [ indicates the beginning of overlapping speech) Gina: in our school i know we have, um, an iMovie camera. you could do this on iMovie if you had it… which is like a digital video camera that they can plug into the computer, and they can manipulate their actual video on the com- 176 Kress and Silva puter. Which is again, if you happen to have the equipment, but if you happen to have it, iMovie is really good for that. carol: iMovie, i’m going to write that at the top. That sounds [good. andrew: [What do you mean [“manipulate”? carol: [iMovie. Gina: you could put it in there, you could [cut it, edit it. you could add sound to the background like fake clapping, [you could add text to it, [scrolling credits. [you can do a whole lot of stuff [with it—still frames and things if you wanted, um… Mark: [edit… andrew: [Oh, text… carol: [Wonderful… andrew: [Music… sarah: [That’s a good idea carol: so that’s a digital camera but it gets [connected to a… Gina: [it plugs right into the port on the computer, and then you import the clips you’ve taken, which is basically the video, and then you can manipulate it in a program called iMovie. [again i don’t know if that’s… that’s on the Mac. and uh… amy:[is that on the Mac? lorraine: i’m sure there’s something comparable. as indicated by the frequent use of open brackets within the transcript, nearly all the group members were so engaged in the conversation that they were speaking synchronously and finishing each others’ sentences. This overlapping, anticipatory speech is an example of the entrainment that occurred as the group learned about and discussed new types of technology that they could use in their schools. While this also happened during discussions about their subject matter, it was much more likely and generally more intense when the group members talked about technology. collins (2004) explains this through his use of the term “sacred symbol.” The english/Technology curriculum Writing Group was formed with the specific purpose of helping teachers integrate technology into the english curriculum. at the Discovery institute, there were several other groups focused around creating inquiry lessons for the english curriculum, but this was the only one that intentionally included technology integration as a focal point. as such, the members who chose to participate in this group shared technology integration as a common goal. Technology became a sacred symbol of the group, meaning that it commanded the attention of all members as they engaged in their interactions together. While the above example illustrates this during an exchange about iMovie, this happened when other technologies such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, and inspiration were introduced as well. as the group members discussed the lessons and learned about new technologies, they also engaged in “identity construction” exchanges during which they identified themselves or someone else as a user (or potential user) of a particular technology. in the transcript below, Mark the group facilitator identified andrew and his students as potentially being users of digital video. andrew then identified himself in the same way. as indicated by overlapping speech, Gina identified andrew in this way also. Mark: i love it. i love it. i was thinking about your (andrew’s) kids with something like this. andrew:yeah. Mark:i mean even if you have kids that are on a very, a very low level and you give them some of the vocabulary and you say ok, ‘this is what you’re going to say’ and now you put it together in a commercial, they would go crazy. They would love it. andrew:yeah i was kind of thinking how i could use this for the autobiography, and it could be about some interest that they really like or even a commercial [about themselves, or like you know… Gina:[about themselves. in addition to the verbal discourse, there was evidence of entrainment and group synchrony in the participants’ body movements. When slowed down, the video indicated that even participants who were not speaking or speaking very little were entrained in the conversation. This was apparent in rhythmic body movements such as head nods, eye gazes, body positioning, and rhythmic swaying. When viewed on a micro level, entrainment appears to be a silent “dance” where group members are moving in time with each other. at moments of heightened positive emotional energy, which collins (2004) calls “effervescence,” this is evident as group members share synchronous smiles. When conducting these types Using Digital Video for Professional Development and Leadership 177 of activities, not every session can be successful, and there will most certainly be times when one or more of the group members is not entrained in the conversation. There also may be moments when a conversation sparks negative emotional energy that can be detrimental to the development of group solidarity. During the four weeks that the group met, there were moments like these, and there were some group members that got along with each other better than others. interactions such as those in the example above, however, were more typical of the types of exchanges that occurred, and they are indicative of successful learning communities. Conclusions The connection between learning, identity, and community points to the need for the purposeful creation of legitimate peripheral learning experiences and meaningful learning communities for teachers. Digital video with its multitude of uses provides means for educational leaders to thoughtfully do just that. By using video for leadership in these and other ways, educators can embrace the social aspect of teaching and learning to teach. video can help bridge divides between faculty and administration or assess how well a professional development community is functioning; it can help educational leaders provide quality professional development; develop healthy, trusting communities within and between faculty and administration; and, ultimately, continue toward the goal of improving education for students. References collins, r. (2004). interaction ritual chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press. cunningham, a. & Benedetto, s. (2002). Using digital video tools to promote reflective practice. Technology and Teacher education annual 1, pp. 551- 553. Darling-Hammond, l. & Berry, B. (2006). Highly qualified teachers for all. educational leadership. 64(3), pp. 4-20. Glatthorn, a., Jones, B. & Bullock, a. (2006). Developing Highly Qualified Teachers: a Handbook for school leaders. Thousand Oaks: corwin Press. Hu, c., sharpe, l., crawford, l., Gopinathan, s, Khine, M. s., Moo, s. N., & Wong, a. (2000). Using lesson video clips via multipoint desktop video conferencing to facilitate reflective practice. Journal of information Technology for Teacher education 9 (3), pp. 377-388. lave, J. & Wenger, e. (1991). situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. cambridge: cambridge University Press. Meier, D. (2002). in schools we trust: creating communities of learning in an era of standardization and testing. Boston: Beacon Press. reeves, D. (2004). accountability for learning: How Teachers and school leaders can Take charge. association for supervision and curriculum Development. rosenstein, B. (2002). video use in social science research and program evaluation. international Journal of Qualitative Methods 1 (3). article 2. retrieved October 2, 2008 from roth, W.-M. (2005a). auto/biography and auto/ethnography: praxis of research method. rotterdam: sense Publishers. roth, W.-M. (2005b). “Organizational mediation of urban science.” in K. Tobin, r. elmesky, & G. seiler (eds.). improving urban science education: New roles for teachers, students, & researchers. (pp. 63-87.). lanham: rowman & littlefield Publishers. sherin, M. G., & van es, e. a. (2005). Using video to support teachers’ ability to notice classroom interactions. Journal of Technology and Teacher education. 13 (3), pp. 475-491. Tobin, K., elmesky, r., and seiler, G. (2005). improving urban science education: New roles for teachers, students, & researchers. lanham: rowman & littlefield Publishers. Tucker , P. & stronge, J. (2005). linking Teacher evaluation and student learning. association for supervision and curriculum Development. Weiner, r. & Hall, D. (2004). accountability under No child left Behind. The clearing House. pp. 17-21. Wenger, e. (1998). communities of Practice: learning, meaning, and identity. cambridge: cambridge University Press. Zimmerman, J. (2006). Why some teachers resist change and what principals can do about it. National association of secondary school Principals. NassP Bulletin, 90(3), 239-249. retrieved september 5, 2008, from ProQuest education Journals database. (Document iD: 1122409691). Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 179-187 Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage: Do Different Uses Lead to Different Determinants? Jung Lee and Frank Cerreto Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, USA Jihyun Lee Seoul National University. Republic of Korea Previous studies of teachers’ intentions to use technology using the theory of Planned Behavior (tPB) resulted in contradictory findings, possibly due to the use of insufficiently specific definitions of technology use. this study applied the tPB to analyze teachers’ intentions to utilize technology in each of three different, specific ways. Based on questionnaires received from 397 secondary teachers in South korea, differences among the three uses in significance and strength of the direct predictors of intention posited by the tPB were observed. Besides resolving the paradoxical findings of previous studies, this study provides practical information to teachers and other educational decision makers interested in technology adoption. ProbLem STaTemenT anD TheoreTIcaL FoUnDaTIon What drives teachers to use technology in their classrooms? ajzen’s (1985) theory of Planned Behavior (tPB) provides one of many approaches to this question. however, previous studies applying the tPB have led to puzzling and contradictory results. one way to solve this puzzle involves assuming that teachers do not make general decisions about whether to use technology in their classrooms, but rather individual ones about specific uses of technology. therefore, how teachers make these decisions may vary from one use to another. the tPB is a social-cognitive model that can be used to explain a wide variety of human behaviors (Fig. 1). the theory posits that volitional behavior is predicated by intention to engage in that behavior. Behavior intention, in turn, is influenced by three main factors (direct determinants): attitude toward the behavior (aB), subjective norm (Sn), and perceived behavioral control (PBC). the extent to which individuals view a particular behavior positively (aB), think that significant others want them to engage in the behavior (Sn), and believe that they are able to perform the behavior (PBC), all serve as direct measures of the strength of their intention to carry out the behavior. Finally, these three direct determinants of behavioral intention are influenced by indirect determinants: behavioral beliefs (aBi), normative beliefs (Sni), and control beliefs (PBCi), respectively. 180 Lee, Cerreto, and Lee each of the indirect determinants is defined as a set of salient beliefs and evaluations of these beliefs. aBi is a measure of behavioral beliefs (BB) about the outcomes of a particular behavior, weighted by their outcome evaluations (oe). Sni is a measure of normative beliefs (nB) about whether important others approve of the behavior, weighted by the motivation to comply (mc) with these perceived norms. PBCi is a measure of control beliefs (CB) about facilitators of or obstacles to performing the behavior, weighted by their control power (cp). the tPB has been used to understand a wide variety of human behaviors, such as weight loss behavior (Schifter & ajzen 1985), and smoking cessation (godin, Valois, Lepage, & desharnais 1992). results of these studies have provided specific information used to design effective programs aimed at these behaviors (See ajzen (n.d.) for a comprehensive list of tPB studies). the tPB has also been used to explain teachers’ intentions and behavior in the classroom (Crawley 1990; Zint 2002), and in particular, to predict teachers’ decisions to use educational technology (Czerniak, Lumpe, haney, & Beck 1999; Salleh & albion 2004; Sugar, Crawley, & Fine 2004). results of such studies have the potential to help guide approaches to fostering teacher technology use. Behavioral Beliefs (ABI) Normative Beliefs (SNI) Control Beliefs (PBCI) Attitude (AB) Subjective Norm (SN) Perceived Behavioral Control (PBC) Behavioral Intention (BI) Actual Behavior Indirect Determinants Direct Determinants Figure 1. theory of Planned Behavior (adapted from ajzen (1985). however, when the tPB was used to explain teachers’ intentions to utilize technology, the results were inconsistent with regard to the significance of the three factors in the model. Czerniak and her colleagues (Czerniak et al. 1999) found that only subjective norm and perceived behavioral control were statistically significant predictors of behavioral intention. Sugar, Crawley, and Fine (2004) concluded that these two factors were statistically insignificant, and that the only significant predictive factor was attitude toward the behavior. Salleh and albion (2004) reported that only attitude and subjective norm were significant predictors of intention. Careful analysis may resolve these paradoxical findings. these studies applied the tPB to describe beliefs and intentions regarding the integration of electronic technology in general terms only. they did not take into account the fact that many different technologies exist, and that there are many different ways to utilize a specific technology in the classroom. Czerniak et al (1999) defined the target behavior as using a wide variety of technologies to foster student learning. Sugar et al (2004) characterized the behavior of interest as, “. . . adopting at least one new technology into a lesson . . . (p. 204).” Salleh and albion (2004) used the general term iCt (information and Communication technology) to describe the behavior. these definitions allow for many different technologies, ranging from electronic computers to physical manipulatives, not to mention a broad array of possible uses for each one. according to ajzen (2006), when using the tPB, the action comprising the behavior must be defined at an appropriate level of specificity to allow for useful generalization. Mathieson (1991) also pointed out that tPB focuses on “specific beliefs that are specific to each situation (p. 178),” providing specific information and insight into an individual’s or a group’s predispositions. therefore, discrepancies in findings among previous studies of teacher’s intention to utilize technology may result from the use of insufficiently specific behavioral definitions. in practice, teachers do not make global decisions about the place of technology in their classrooms, but rather, they make local decisions about whether or not they will adopt a particular, often emerging technology. also, many technology initiatives focus on particular technological solutions to particular educational problems. therefore, teachers’ attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, and the relative importance of these three factors as predictors of behavioral intention might be very different for different technologies, such as the use of educational sources on the World Wide Web as opposed to the use of online conferencing systems. in order to be fruitful, any study of teachers’ intentions 181 Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage that use the tPB, must focus on specific uses of technology. only then will we be able to determine whether differences exist in tPB-based explanations of teachers’ intentions to use different technologies in different ways. We attempted to resolve the paradoxical findings of previous studies by using several different, specific behavioral definitions. By defining distinct uses of technology, we were able to investigate what, if any differences exist among them in tPB-based explanations of teachers’ intentions. if differences were observed, then this would provide support for our claim that overly general definitions in prior studies led to inconsistent results. PUrPoSe anD reSearch QUeSTIonS the purpose of this study is to use the tPB to compare the indirect determinants (salient beliefs) and the relative strengths of the three direct determinants (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) of teachers’ intentions to utilize technology in each of three specific ways. each technology use was selected based on one of the three tiers formulated by the Washington educational technology Support Center (2006). the first tier focuses on teachers using technology to get their jobs done, the second on facilitating large group activities and student productivity, and the third on promoting student-centered learning through project based learning (PBL). the three specific uses of educational technology selected for this study are: a. using the internet (e-mail, home page) to communicate with students or their parents B. using computers to create and deliver teachers’ lessons (e.g., PowerPoint) C. having students use computers and the internet for PBL (collect and analyze data, problem solve, present findings) Because well defined target behaviors in tPB studies should include a temporal component (ajzen 2006), we defined the behaviors of interest as teachers’ engagement in these three different uses of technology in the forthcoming month. We addressed the following research questions regarding the three uses: 1. Salient Beliefs For each use of technology, what salient beliefs underlie each of the three direct factors: aB, Sn, PBC? What are the similarities and differences in these beliefs among the three uses of technology? 2. tPB Models For each use of technology, to what extent does each indirect determinant predict its associated direct determinant of intention? For each use of technology, which of the three direct factors are statistically significant predictors of teachers’ intentions to utilize technology? For each use of technology, what are the relative predictive strengths of the significant factors on behavioral intention? What are the similarities and differences in relative strengths among the three uses of technology? in order to answer these questions, we used a two-phase approach comprising an elicitation study and a questionnaire. results of the elicitation study were used to answer the first research question, and those of the questionnaire provided answers to the second question. reSearch meThoD anD ProceDUre guidelines for conducting tPB studies given by ajzen (2006), ajzen and Fishbein (1980), and Francis and associates (Francis et al. 2004) were followed. First, a preliminary, elicitation study was conducted in order to identify participants’ salient beliefs regarding each of the three previously described uses of technology. Second, the results of the elicitation study were used in the construction of three closed-ended questionnaires, one for each use of technology. Finally, the three sets of questionnaires were administered to three groups of teachers. 182 Lee, Cerreto, and Lee eLIcITaTIon STUDy the elicitation study was conducted with 34 middle and high school teachers in the republic of korea, in March, 2007, in order to identify teachers’ relevant salient beliefs. these teachers were selected purposely for geographic region, gender, age, school type, subject, teaching experience, and expertise with technology. Participants were asked to answer open-ended questions regarding their beliefs about each of the three defined uses. in order to educe behavioral beliefs, participants were asked to specify advantages and disadvantages of uses a, B, and C. they were asked to list individuals or groups who would approve or disapprove of uses a, B, and C in order to provide data on their normative beliefs. Finally, in order to elicit control beliefs, participants were asked to enumerate factors or circumstances that would facilitate or hinder uses a, B, and C. the open-ended questionnaires were arranged so that participants would not respond to uses a, B, and C in the same sequence. in order to answer research Question 1, two of the authors analyzed the responses independently, grouping similar responses, both positive and negative, into categories, labeling the categories, and noting their frequencies. all three authors met to finalize labels and reached consensus on discrepant cases. Labels that occurred most often were selected for inclusion in the subsequent closed-ended questionnaire. cLoSeD-enDeD QUeSTIonnaIre STUDy We developed three forms of a closed-ended questionnaire, one for each of the three uses, a, B, and C. Following a set of background questions, each questionnaire contained both direct and indirect measures specified in the tPB. items constituting the direct measures (Bi, aB, Sn, and PBC) were modeled on those appearing in ajzen (2006) and Francis et al (2004). the results of the elicitation study were used to create items on beliefs and evaluations comprising the three indirect measures (aBi, Sni, and PBCi). Standard scaling procedures were used to construct measures. except for background questions, all items used a seven-point Likert scale, and items measuring various constructs were interspersed. as recommended in ajzen (2006), items were constructed with the particular behavior and population in mind. in each form, all items included a specific use of technology in its wording. also, wordings of all items relating to direct measures were identical among the three forms, except for the description of the behavior. reliability of each construct in the final questionnaire, calculated using Cronbach alpha procedures, all were found to have acceptable internal consistency (α>0.6), based on guidelines provided by Francis et al (2004). Stratified sampling was used to select 11 schools, based on the relative student population size in each of several major geographic regions of korea, and intended to represent urban, suburban, and rural areas. a total of 438 questionnaires were distributed to middle school and high school teachers. to obtain results on all three behaviors from each school, copies of all three questionnaire forms were completed at each school. in order to address research Question 2, first, item analysis was performed in order to establish internal consistency. Second, multiple regression was conducted using the direct measures of aB, Sn, and PBC as predictors of Bi. Finally, regression was performed with each of the indirect measures and its associated direct measure. SPSS Version 12.0 for Windows was used to compute all statistics for this report. Sum scores were used to measure all three direct determinants and behavioral intention. For the indirect determinants, the sum of the products of each behavioral belief and its outcome evaluation was used as the predictor of attitude toward the behavior, and similarly for subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage reSULTS research Question 1: Salient beliefs 183 Middle and high school teachers who participated in the elicitation study expressed a variety of behavioral, normative, and control beliefs regarding the three uses of technology. in connection with research Question 1a, a summary of the most commonly held beliefs follows. Table 1 Summary of common salient belief categories for three uses of technology Use A (Email) Behavioral Beliefs (BB) • convenience • time management • providing feedback to students Use B (PowerPoint) • quality of teaching • student achievement • student attention Use C (PBL) • student communication skills. • students as active learners. • variety of types of learning experiences • school administrators • students • students’ parents • colleagues • reliable hardware and software • training and support • teachers’ computer skills • students’ computer skills Normative Beliefs (NB) • school administrators • students • students’ parents • school administrators • students • students’ parents Control Beliefs (CB) • reliable hardware and software • training and support • teachers’ computer skills • reliable hardware and software • training and support • teachers’ computer skills • time to create For uses a and B, teachers behavioral beliefs were generally positive, with perceived advantages outweighing disadvantages. Following are a few samples of specific teacher comments about attitudes about uses a and B and, in parentheses, the categories to which they were assigned in table 1: “it is easy to help students individually using email” (use a: convenience) “it saves teachers’ time: no effort is needed for face-to-face meeting.” (use a: time management) “it is possible to give individualized feedback to motivate students.” (use a: providing feedback to students) “Because of reducing writing time on the blackboard, i can give more detailed explanations.” (use B: quality of teaching) “When presenting computer graphics, it could deliver wrong information. For example, in the case of y=x, if the graphic angle is not exactly 45 degree on PPt, students may get the wrong information.” (use B: student achievement) “Visualized computer-based presentations make students pay attention to teacher’s instruction.” (use B: student attention) While responses about behavioral beliefs regarding uses a and B were generally positive, for use C, expressions of advantages and disadvantages were relatively balanced. a few examples follow. “Students can study independently. also they can exchange their own ideas with the others. through this, they can make better relationships with students and teacher.” (type C: student communication skills) “high school students still do not have the ability to organize and analyze information. So they just copy information from the internet.” (type C: students as active learners) 184 Lee, Cerreto, and Lee “Without utilizing technology, it is impossible to provide students with various learning experiences.” (type C: variety of types of learning experiences) normative beliefs regarding uses a and B were also similar. the most important others whose opinions teachers consider include school administrators, students, and their parents. With respect to use C, in addition to these three groups, teachers indicated that the opinions of other teachers matter to them. Control beliefs for all three uses had much in common, with teachers in all three groups citing the dependency on reliable hardware and software, the value of adequate training and support, and the importance of teacher’s technical knowledge. in addition, with respect to use B, teachers indicated that it is essential for them to have sufficient time. Finally, for use C, teachers also reported that students must have sufficient computer skills. reSearch QUeSTIon 2: TPb moDeLS of the 438 distributed questionnaires, a total of 397 were returned, representing an overall return rate of 90.6 percent. assuming a moderate effect size for tPB studies (Francis et al. 2004), the obtained sample sizes of 134 (a), 137 (B), and 126 (C) resulted in acceptable statistical power. Figures 2 to 4 illustrate the results of the regression analysis for each of the three uses, including betas and adjusted r2 values. in reference to research Question 2a, for all three uses, the three indirect determinants were significantly related to their corresponding direct determinants, with p values all less than 0.001. the strengths of the relationships (r2) vary from a low of 0.20 between PBCi and PBC in use C to a high of 0.55 between aBi and aB in use a. these findings further support the model and provide additional evidence for the measures’ validity. For use a, aBi was a significant predictor of aB (F(1,132) = 166.46, p < 0.001), and accounted for 55.4 percent of its variance (adjusted r2). Sni had a significant influence on Sn (F(1, 132) = 97.74, p < 0.001), and accounted for 42.1 percent of its variance. PBCi was a significant predictor of PBC (F(1,132) = 125.86, p < 0.001), and accounted for 48.4 percent of its variance. For use B, aBi was a significant predictor of aB (F(1,135) = 48.610, p < 0.001), and accounted for 26.0 percent of its variance. Sni had a significant influence on Sn (F(1, 135) = 113.017, p < 0.001), and accounted for 45.2 percent of its variance. PBCi was a significant predictor of PBC (F(1,135) = 114.281, p < 0.001), and accounted for 45.4 percent of its variance. For use C, aBi was a significant predictor of aB (F(1,124) = 76.86, p < 0.001), and accounted for 37.8 percent of its variance. Sni had a significant influence on Sn (F(1, 124) = 52.17, p < 0.001), and accounted for 29.0 percent of its variance. PBCi was a significant predictor of PBC (F(1,124) = 31.74, p < 0.001), and accounted for 19.7 percent of its variance. in response to research Question 2b, for use a, the only significant predictor of intention was Sn, with a beta of 0.46. in contrast, for uses B and C, all three factors were significant predictors of intention. research Question 2c concerns the relative strengths of the three direct determinants of intention for each use. Because Sn was found to be the only significant determinant of intention in use a, it was not possible to determine relative strengths among the three determinants. For use B, aB had a far greater influence on intention (β = .57) than either Sn (β = .23) or PBC (β = .15). For use C, all three factors had similar influence on intention, with betas from 0.26 to 0.28. regarding research Question 2d, there are major differences in relative strengths among the three uses of technology. For use a, the only significant determinant of intention was Sn; for use B and use C, all three determinants were significant. however, the relative strengths of the three determinants were quite different between use B and use C. For use B, of the three determinants of intention, aB was the strongest; in contrast, for use C, all three determinants were of roughly equal strength. Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage 185 186 Lee, Cerreto, and Lee DIScUSSIon anD concLUSIon the premise of this study is that teachers do not make global decisions about technology use in their classrooms, but rather specific decisions about adopting particular technologies. We inferred that teachers’ intentions to use technology in different ways may have different explanations, in terms of their underlying behavioral beliefs (indirect determinants), the factors influencing their intentions (direct determinants), and the relative strengths of these direct determinants. to test this inference, we defined three specific uses of technology and investigated whether and how these different uses influence teachers’ dispositions toward technology in terms of the significance and strength of the three direct determinants posited by the tPB. the findings support our claim that explanations of teachers’ intentions to use technology vary across three different uses. Further, the study supports the position that behavior, in this case, technology usage, must be defined at a sufficiently granular level in order to obtain meaningful findings in tPB studies. research Question 1 concerns the beliefs that underlie teachers’ attitudes (behavioral beliefs), subjective norms (normative beliefs), and perceived behavioral control (control beliefs) regarding three distinct uses of computers. although the elicitation study revealed similarities among responses for the three uses, there were differences, especially in teachers’ behavioral beliefs. unsurprisingly, the expected outcomes associated with use a revolve around teacher efficiency, while those with use B focus on teaching quality and student achievement, and those with use C relate to student-centered learning. had the definitions of teachers’ target behavior used by Czerniak and colleagues (1999), Salleh and albion (2004), and Sugar, Crowley, and Fine (2004) been appropriate, behavioral beliefs for the three uses defined in our study should have been generally the same. however, the variation we observed supports our claim that previous attempts at utilizing tPB to study teachers’ intentions to use technology used definitions that were too general. research Question 2 focuses on the three direct determinants of teachers’ intentions to use technology, in each of the three specified ways. in particular, we determined the statistical significance and relative strengths of attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control as predictors of behavioral intention for each use, and then drew comparisons among the three uses. For use a, we found that subjective norm served as the only significant determinant of teachers’ intentions to use the internet to communicate with students and parents. this finding suggests that this use may have become a routine expectation for teachers. Whether or not they have positive attitudes or feel that they are capable, teachers are expected to use the internet for communication by students, parents, and supervisors. For use B, while all direct determinants are significant predictors of teachers’ intentions to use computers to create and deliver lesson, their relative strengths are quite different. using computers for classroom lessons is apparently not routinely expected by others. instead, use-B decisions seem to be more personal ones, based on teachers’ perceptions of educational value. Moreover, teachers’ personal attitudes appear to be much more important than their beliefs about the necessary skills and resources. For use C, not only are all three factors significant predictors of intentions, but also they carry similar weights. having students use computers and the internet for PBL is arguably the most complex of the three uses. PBL involves long-term planning and implementation, which would not be possible without positive teacher attitudes, support and approval of others, as well as access to and expertise in an appropriate environment. this study also adds to the wealth of research validating the application of the tPB to a wide variety of volitional behaviors. First, in each of the three uses, the indirect measures were found to be strong predictors of the direct determinants of intention. Second, although the indirect measures for each of the three technology uses differed, and the relative strengths of the three direct determinants varied, the model successfully predicted intention based on attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, explaining 44% to 69% of its variance. Finally, this study will provide useful information to those who support effective integration of computer technology in schools. First, the study will aid educational decision makers in determining where resources should be targeted in order to optimize their utility. For those who wish to promote use a, where subjective norm was the only significant predictor of teacher’s intentions it makes little sense to invest heavily in teacher training or advanced hardware and software. instead, decision makers should focus efforts on applying social pressure. For use B, the influence of teachers’ attitudes 187 Teachers’ Intentions toward Technology Usage is much greater than that of perceived behavioral control. therefore, proponents of use B should place less emphasis on teacher skill enhancement and hardware/software acquisition and more on programs designed to help teachers develop positive attitudes about using computers to create and deliver lessons. Finally, to those interested in increasing use C, the relatively equal weights of the three direct determinants of intention suggest a comprehensive approach. this study demonstrated that precise definitions must be used in order to determine the predictors of teachers’ intentions to use technology in specific ways. a logical next step would be to replicate the study with other specific uses of technology in order to ascertain what differences exist among them when the tPB is used as an explanatory model. in order to establish the generalizabilty of the results, the study should be replicated in other geographic locations and with elementary school teachers. references ajzen, i. (1985). From intentions to action: a theory of planned behavior. in J. kuhl & J. Beckman (eds.) action-control: From cognition to behavior, heidelberg: Springer, 11-39. ajzen, i. (2006). Constructing a tpB questionnaire: Conceptual and methodological considerations. retrieved from http://www. ajzen, i. 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(2004). examining teachers’ decisions to adopt new technology. educational technology and Society, 7 (4), 201-213. uS Web-based education Commission (2000). the power of the internet for learning: Final report of Web-Based education Commission. retrieved from Washington educational technology Support Center (2006). Classroom tiers model. retrieved from http://etsc.esd105.wednet. edu/tiers/techuseinClassrooms.cfm Zint, M. (2002). Comparing three attitude-behavior theories for predicting science teachers' intentions. Journal of research in Science teaching, 39: 819-844. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 189-196 Fads and Facts in Technology-Based Learning Environments Jennifer Lee Department of Learning Technologies University of North Texas, USA in our zest to embrace new technologies, the emphasis on adoption often trumps the need for research. This paper explores the history of fads in education. it also examines the state of the problem in our schools today. Models of fads in education are discussed in order to understand the implications of adopting technologies based on hype. Since the issue is compounded by the lack of benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of new technologies, four dimensions of measurements are proposed. in technology, we are constantly struggling to keep up with the latest and the greatest. There are endless buzz and shameless promotions of the next big thing (nBT) that will change the way we live. education is not spared. We get caught up in the euphoria too just like everyone else. in “The Problem with educational faddism,” Bailey (1974) asked the question that we have yet to find the answers to thirty four years later. He asked “what would happen if we could sustain our concerns for more than one season?” According to Bailey, the problem with faddism in education was that “there is always a season of new concerns.” Too often, the battle cry for the next big thing (nBT) overshadows reasonable efforts to evaluate its effectiveness. Those who caution the premature adoption of new technologies in the classrooms are often lumped into the same category as luddites. if we fault the skeptics for their unwillingness to embrace what i think is inevitable change, we must also take equal care to chastise those who believe that technology is the magic bullet in education. As educators, i believe that we need a healthy skepticism in the field to separate fads from facts. Too often fads are misrepresented as facts. When repeated often enough, they become the latest educational trends or innovations. Typically fads enjoy their 15 seconds of fame where they are feted and celebrated in the community. They make their obligatory appearances in international or national conferences before the nBT. Maddux (2003) suggests that the danger is not in the arrival but the premature departure of these fads. in explaining why fads are destructive, Maddux and Cummings (2004, p.2) note that too often “they are quickly abandoned, and therefore, some promising innovations are dismissed before they have been given a fair trial.” This paper aims to look at fads and facts in technology-based learning environment. in the last twenty years or so, we have seen numerous technologies come and go. Some were more effective than others. it is worth pointing out that amidst the grandiose promises of miracles, the not so startling truth is that technology has not solved all our educational woes. for the purpose of this paper, i will limit the scope of my discussion to technology-based learning environment since fads are common afflictions across educational disciplines. it is easier to discuss the perimeters of this paper by outlining what it is not intended to do. 190 Lee first of all, my goal is not to catalog technologies for the readers. There will not be any discussion of what is “in” and “out” because education is not fashion. We should not pretend to be anything but vessels for learning. Secondly, there is no right or wrong technology to use in blended, traditional, or distance learning. i believe foremost that it is pedagogy, and not technology, that drives the learning. However, an astute educator must know the difference between hype and help. More importantly, there is good research and then there is poor research. Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to define what they are, it would suffice to state that that speculation is not science (Branford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). The state of faddism in education today – What’s really going on? What is a fad? According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the english Language, a fad is defined as “a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze.” Unlike a fad, a trend serves “to extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction” (American Heritage Dictionary). Some of the literature on fads in education use the terms “fad” and “trend” interchangeably. for the purpose of this paper, i would like to make a distinction between the two. A fad tends to be around for a shorter period of time before being replaced by a newer technology while a trend has a longer staying power. Over time, fads that have proven to be beneficial to a large user base make the transition to a technological trend. However, most fads do not go on to become trends. The very nature of technology makes it hard for fads and trends to become permanent fixtures in education. With new technologies introduced every year, the old ones are relegated to yesterday’s news. According to Maddux (2003), an innovation will become a fad if the innovation lacks a coherent and logical foundation in a theory or theories of learning” (p.3). in order for any innovation to be accepted and used, Maddux argues that advocates of new technologies must “understand and communicate” the theoretical framework associated with their use in education. Like Maddux, i believe that it is essential that we select learning technologies with sound theoretical underpinnings in order to enhance student learning. When we based our selections based on the science of learning, we avoid the pitfalls that have plagued many school districts in the nation. in the last hundred years, the field of education has been in a ous improvement. We have seen a plethora of offerings that ranged ing. While fields like medicine or business have “clear indicators lacked consensus on how we measure progress in education. The ten resulted in the adoption of technologies that relied on leaps constant state of reform and continufrom phonics to problem-based learnof success,” Slavin (1989) noted we absence of reliable metrics has ofof faith rather than “hard evidence.” One of the earliest technologies used in education was film. Cuban (1989) noted that the cost of securing equipment and prints of film made it difficult for the average teacher in 1920s to use them in the classroom. in major cities like new York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, teachers were able use educational films to pioneer what Cassidy (2004) called the beginning of “visual instruction.” A popular argument for visual education at that time was that children learnt “best through images rather than lectures” (Cassidy, 2004, p.79). By World War 2, films became a staple of American entertainment and education. The military churned out training films to train its soldiers while more and more schools incorporated films into the curriculum. in addition to films, educators started experimenting with radio broadcasts. Cassidy (2004, p.115) noted that that “many public schools, colleges, universities, and commercial stations were involved in educational broadcast from the late 1920s to the early 1940s.” in researching the extent of radio broadcasts in the classroom, Cuban (1986) estimated listeners to be between 8 to 10 million in the 1940s. Despite the airwave boom and its legions of strong supporters, radio did not replace the blackboard as predicted. education and instructional television became the next generation of technology in the classroom in 1950s. According to Cassidy (2004), many education reformers looked to instructional television to re-energize public education. it was also used to ease teacher shortages in the classrooms (Cuban, 1986). for the next two decades, close circuit programming became a staple in institutions of higher learning throughout the country. After the initial excitement over the 191 Fads and Facts in Technology-Based Learning Environments introduction of television in schools died down, researchers found that teachers used the medium infrequently. Cuban (198, p.49) concluded that “only a small band of teachers used the medium willingly, consistently with enthusiasm.” When film, radio, and television were first introduced, supporters of the media proclaimed the end of all other learning technologies and the beginning of a new era in K-16 education. Many lavished unproven claims on the benefits of using each of the medium in the classroom. By 1960s, “much of the interest in using television for instructional purposes had abated” (reiser, 2001, p.6). Automated instruction which was popularized by the military during and after the war started gaining public support. it was during that time when people began to think of educational technology as a system of instruction rather than “instructional machinery” (Cassidy, 2004). Computers became the next big thing (nBT) that caught the imagination of educators across the country. reiser (2001) credited iBM as one of the first pioneers of Computer Assisted instruction (CAi). Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, many researchers became involved with CAi. “However, in spite of the work that has been done, by the end of the 1970s,” the impact of CAi remained inconclusive (reiser, 2001, p.7). Like many of its predecessors, there was an inflated expectation that computers would revolutionized the field of education in 1980s. Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype during that decade. The mere presence of computers in the labs or the classrooms did not create a positive learning effect. The expectation that it would was a typical hallmark of an educational fad. The first half of the 1990s was no different. reiser (2001) reported that the impact of computers in education at that point was dismal. Teachers were not using computers in the classroom for “instructional purposes.” All that changed in the mid-nineties. The internet was a catalyst in the shift towards the use of media to support classroom instructions. it also marked the beginning of online courses. in the past few years, we have witnessed every imaginable technological tools being touted as the nBT. We have experts touting the miracles of PDAs, Microsoft PowerPoint, Learning Management Systems, educational software, video tutorials and other multimedia tools. According to reiser (2001), the lesson that all of us can take away from learning about the evolution of learning media is the fact that the anticipated and actual effects often vary. As such, i believe that we must temper our excitement with actual effects rather than perceived effects. Models of faddism in education educational technologies work when “used properly and in coordination with a variety of school reforms, have been shown to enrich learning environments and enhance students’ conceptual understanding” (U.S Department of education, 2007). in his book “Oversold and Underused,” Cuban (2001) lamented on the endless cycles of school reform in the last hundred years. He blamed the latest round of reform on the coalition of technology advocates who “pressed school boards and superintendents to wire classrooms, and purchase new hardware and software” (p.12). Many of these advocates believe that an increase in the number of computers in schools will lead to increase technology use which will in turn promote quality learning and teaching. it is hard to fault technology advocates for desiring a new generation of technologically-savvy American work force. We need highly skilled labor to compete in a global economy that is built around technology. in order to accomplish that, we must overcome the most important hurdle to wired schools and curriculum. “One of the enduring difficulties about technology and education is that a lot of people think about technology first and education later” (Stone cited in Schacter, 1999). i believe that the emphasis on technology over education is a major cause of faddism in the K-12 community. in researching the phenomenon of fads in learning technologies, i found the volume of literature on the topic to be wanting. Little has been written about the problems of fads in education especially in the area of technology. in this section, i will discuss the cycle of fads in academia from four different perspectives or models. far from being an exercise of “see what’s wrong with education today?” i hope that readers will gain an understanding of how fads begin and end in order to isolate factors that contribute to the phenomenon in our community. 192 Lee Swinging Pendulum Model (1989) in his seminal paper “PeT and the Pendulum: faddism in education and How to Stop it,” Slavin (1989) noted that “education innovation is famous for its cycle of early enthusiasm, widespread dissemination, subsequent disappointment, and eventual decline.” Slavin argued that the barrier to progress in education was the lack of definition of what it meant. Unlike other fields, education did (and still do) not have a clear set of indicators to measure progress. in the absence of such metrics, we often look to the next Big Thing (nBT) as the next big cure. “if change in education is ever to produce progress, rather than just another swing of pendulum, we need to understand why and how the pendulum operates” (Slavin, 1989, p.4). Slavin used the terms “upswing” and “downswing” to describe the lifespan of a fad cycle in education. Typically in an upswing mode, the hype surrounding the new innovation creates excitement in the field. School districts that pride themselves as early adopters often introduce the tool to students and educators early on. At the upswing stage, there is little to no data to determine the impact of the new innovation on learning. eventually, the upswing becomes a downswing when “innovative districts move on to new programs” (Slavin, 1989, p.756). research articles questioning the effectiveness of the tool begin to make their appearances in publications. This is the stage where the innovation makes the transition into the next stage or exits the K-12 radar as a “has-been” technology. if we looked at tools that were introduced in the last five years or so, we would see a list of promising innovations and applications that did not live up to the hype. Some the high profile casualties included SecondLife, e-books, WebQuests, and Tablet PCs. Maddux’s Educational Pendulum System (2003) According Maddux (2003), information technology in education has always been susceptible to fads. He noted that innovations often morphed into fads when there was disconnect between theory and practice. Cuban (1986) drew similarities between newer technologies and older ones. The goal has always been to help students learn more with the “same or less teacher effort” whether it was film, radio, computer, or an online course. The education Pendulum System begins with our infatuation with an innovation. for the purpose of this discussion, i will use LOGO to illustrate the perils of faddism in education. in 1980, Seymour Paper published Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful idea. Papert started working on LOGO at MiT in 1970s but the publication of his work generated a lot of interests among educators. According to the LOGO foundation, the LOGO programming language can be use in areas like mathematics, language, music, robotics, telecommunications, and science. in 1980, the first pilot program of LOGO was implemented in Dallas, Texas. At the height of its popularity, many schools throughout the country adopted LOGO in the classrooms or computer labs. Maddux (2003) noted that despite some promising results, LOGO was abandoned in schools as newer technologies came along. “By the early 1990’s some educators in the United States began to see Logo as old and out of date” (Logo foundation). LOGO is a good example of how a promising technology was eventually abandoned as unrealistic disillusionment set in. in an interview with David Bennehum (n.d), Seymour Papert talked about why LOGO failed to change education: Throughout the 1980s many schools got in the act, acquiring computers. The most important phenomenon i understood at that time was the power of school, as an institution, to assimilate anything new that came along. ….we saw a shift in the 1980s. Before then computers were being used in exciting ways. They were in the hands of visionary teachers who were trying to use computers because they were dissatisfied with how schools did things. By the end of 1980s the larger numbers of computers were under the control of the school bureaucracy and the school as an institution. There were still visionary teachers, but they were being neutralized. ….So school turned what could be a revolutionary instrument into essentially a conservative one. School does not want to radically change itself. Fads and Facts in Technology-Based Learning Environments Summary of Maddux’s educational Pendulum System 1. infatuation with an innovation. 2. Unrealistically optimistic expectations for that innovation. 3. Disillusionment with innovation 4. rapid abandonment Gartner’s Hype Cycle (1995) 193 According to the Gartner Group (1995), a hype cycle is “a graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies.” There are five phases in the cycle. 1. “Technology Trigger” The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the “technology trigger” or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest. 2. “Peak of inflated expectations” in the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures. 3. “Trough of Disillusionment” Technologies enter the “trough of disillusionment” because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology. 4. “Slope of enlightenment” Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the “slope of enlightenment” and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology. 5. “Plateau of Productivity” A technology reaches the “plateau of productivity” as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. in this section, i will use Web 2.0 to anchor the discussion on how hype can hurt technology. There are differing opinions on the definition of Web 2.0. On one hand, skeptics led by Tim Berners-Lee (2006) saw it as “a piece of a piece of jargon.” On the other hand, supporters led by Tim O’ reilly (2005) viewed Web 2.0 as an agent of change. According to O’reilly, “Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it’s not the software that enables the web that matters so much as the services that are delivered over the web.” regardless whether we agree with Berners-Lee or O’reilly, i believe that we need to approach Web 2.0 objectively to harness its potentials in K-16 settings. “Ultimately, the label ‘Web 2.0’ is far less important than the concepts, projects, and practices included in its scope” (Alexander, 2006). Unfortunately, the reverse is still true in education. in order to illustrate why this is true, i used a simple keyword search to locate publications and articles on “Web 2.0” in Google, eBSCO Host, and eriC. Table 1 contained the number of records found in sampled databases. 194 Lee Table 1 number of records found in databases Database or Search Engines Google Scholar Academic Search Complete ERIC Number of records found on 1/21/2009 752,000 1303 379 Most the records found in all three databases tend to fall into the “technology trigger” or “inflated expectation” stages in the hype cycle. Very few articles touched on the elements of fads or hype when it came to using Web 2.0 in education. Like all the previous models discussed, publications questioning the effectiveness of Web 2.0 are not expected to surface until the period of disenchantment. Birnbaum’s Life Cycle Stages of the Fad Process (2000) Although Birnbaum’s article did not focus specifically on technology-related fads in education, i believe that his model of the process will add substance to the discussion in this paper. Birnbaum (2000) divided the stages into five phases: creation, time lag, narrative devolution, resolution of dissonance. Typically a new tool or technique comes into use when there is a crisis or need in academia. Birnbaum (2000) noted that the technique (or tool) is “often presented as both necessary and sufficient to transform” the organization. As we know very well throughout the discussion in this paper, “education profession has no efficient mechanisms for translation of research findings into practice; teacher education programs have not been successful in convincing teachers of the practical importance of research; many teacher educators lack expertise in, and fail to value, research; much existing educational research is of poor quality” (Maddux & Cummings, 2004). However, it has not stopped technology advocates from promising what Birnbaum called “extraordinary outcomes” while painting “resistors as traditionalists unwilling or unable to respond to change.” in Stage 2, the narrative evolution, stories of successes are “widely disseminated.” According to Birnbaum, the narrative at this point focuses heavily on perceived benefits. There are no counternarratives. “Consultants, champions, purveyors of the technology” make their social rounds in conferences, professional meetings, and publications to diffuse the innovation. The media jumps on the bandwagon at this point because of the buzz surrounding the tool. Like Stage 1, resistors are criticized for insisting on the old ways. in Stage 3, success stories continue to circulate as research on the effectiveness of the new tool lags behind. By Stage 4 (narrative Devolution), “data collected by scholars and other observers studying the new technique suggest that the earlier claims of success were either overstated or were not sustained” (Birnbaum, 2000, p.7). in the final stage (Stage 5), proponents blame the failure on a variety of factors. Implications of fads in education, lessons learned, and future directions Almost forty years after Bailey’s recommendation that we must mount “a sustained effort with sustained focus” to promote dialogues in our community about the issue of faddism in education, we have barely begun the conversation. He wondered if we are “condemned to live through cycle of fads and to swing back and forth on some pendulum pacing the new trends of education.” Slavin (1989) responded by saying that “we need to understand why and how the pendulum operates” in order to make progress in the field. in the process of separating facts from fads, Cuban (1986) cautioned us against the “danger in viewing everything as a passing fad” (p.73). We will not be able to recognize permanent change if we relied on the pendulum metaphor to support our view of educational practices. As i searched for existing benchmarks or metrics, it was clear that we needed more research in this area. An extensive search of major journals in education using keywords typically associated with the subject yielded a handful of instruments that focused on post-technology adoption in terms of levels and ease of use. Two of the more popular models were the Technology Acceptance Model (Davies, 1989; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000) and Concerns-Based Adop- 195 Fads and Facts in Technology-Based Learning Environments tion Model (Loucks & Hall, 1979; Hord, rutherford, Huling-Austin, & Hall, 1987). The Technology Acceptance Model was “tailored for modeling user acceptance of information systems” (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989) while the Concerns-Based Adoption model measured changes in technology adoption among educators (Loucka & Hall, 1979). Although it is tempting to state that classrooms of today are vastly different from ten or twenty years ago, many of our educational issues have remained constant. “even as schools have stretched to add wiring, expanded their electrical capabilities, multiplied computer inventories and trained staff, they have strained to demonstrate that it improves academic performance” (Hetzner, 2005). i believe that the lack of metrics to measure the impact or the effectiveness of new technologies has hurt us and will continue to hurt the case for the use of technology in education. for far too long, we relied on media hypes and marketing gurus to sell us the technology latest must-haves lest our K-12 students got bored with the revolving door of gizmos and gadgets. So, where do we start? i propose that we incorporate four evaluative dimensions as measures of technology effectiveness. The dimensions are purpose of technology adoption, attributes, organizational innovativeness, and research and evaluation. in the first dimension, the purpose of adoption must be clear. Before we adopt a new technology, Cuban (1986) proposed that we asked the following questions: a) what is the nature of the innovation? b) how is it being introduced? c) who are the users and the frequency of use. it is crucial that the purpose of the adoption be centered on improving specific components of teaching and learning rather than enthusiasm over the nBT. in other words, we should look beyond the wow factors of the technology and carefully examine the content of our curriculum to see how the technology can help us meet our educational goals. Lofty goals and vague purposes are often signs of an impending fad. in the second dimension, we must be able to recognize the anatomy of a fad. An emerging technology may exhibit certain characteristics associated with short-lived fads. According to Allen and Chaffee (1981), fads are typically borrowed from another problem setting and adapted wholesale without taking the new problem into consideration. As such, an innovation that worked well in a business setting may fail miserably in the K-12 environment. furthermore, fads are often adopted without careful analysis of their limitations and they are complex for the sake of complexity or deceptively simple (Allen & Chaffee). fads tend to rely heavily on industry buzzwords. The third dimension draws from roger’s work on the Theory of Diffusion. rogers (1995) described six variables of innovativeness within an organization: centralization (concentration of power), complexity, formalization (rules and procedures that may inhibit or promote a new innovation), interconnectedness (flow of new ideas), organizational slack (uncommitted resources), and size. As organizational innovativeness plays a critical role in determining the rate of new technology adoption, we must be careful to balance the push for change with the right system of evaluation in place. in any successful learning environment, the data and research inform our practice. in the fourth dimension, we should set up rigorous standards for evaluating technology effectiveness instead of jumping from one nBT bandwagon to another. Slavin (2008, p.1) touts the use of evidence-based reform to encourage the “use of high quality evidence from rigorous experiments to guide educational policies and practices.” Maddux (2003) advocates promoting research and statistics in the field of education to encourage teachers to be judicious consumers of knowledge. in his book “High Tech Heretic,” Stoll (1999) argued that computers will never replace good teachers. He goes on to ask if computers should replace bad teachers. His answer was a simple no because “bad teachers ought to be replaced with good teachers” (p.xiv). if we extend his logic to technology in general, fads should not be replaced by other fads. instead we should replace them with solid research driven by data and theories. References Bailey, W. (1974). editorial: The Problem of educational faddism. educational Studies, 5:4, 187-188. Bransford, D., Brown, A., & Cocking, r, editors; Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, national research Council, & national research Council (U.S.). (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, experience, and School. Washington, D.C: national Academy Press Lee 196 Bennehum, D. (n.d). School’s Out: A Conversation with Seymour Paper. retrieved April 20, 2008 from Birnbaum, r. (2000). The Life Cycle of Academic Management fads. Journal of Higher education. Vol. 1. Cassidy, M. (2004). Book ends: The Changing Media environment of American Classrooms. new Jersey: Hampton Press. Chaddock, G. (1998, August 25). Perils of the Pendulum resisting education’s fads. Christian Science Monitor. retrieved April 19, 2008 from Cuban, L. (1986). Teacher and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. new York: Teachers College Press. Cuban, L. (2002). Overused and undersold: Computers in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Davis, f. D., Bagozzi, r. P., & Warshaw, P. r. (1989). User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models. Management Science, 35(8), 982-1003. fads (n.d). retrieved January 12, 2008 from American Heritage Dictionary of the english Language Online. Hetzner, A. (2005). is technology in schools the future or just a fad? retrieved May 3, 2008 from index.aspx?id=349816 Hord, S. M., rutherford, William L., Huling-Austin, Leslie and Hall, G. e. (1987). Taking charge of change. Austin, TX: Southwest educational Development Laboratory. Lanningham, S. (2006, July 7). interviews Tim Berners-Lee. Podcast retrieved from dwi/cm-int082206.txt Loucks, S. f., & Hall, G. e. (1979). implementing innovations in Schools: A Concerns-Based Approach. retrieved february 15, 2009, from eriCServlet?accno=eD206109. Johnson, D.L. & Maddux, C. (2003). Technology in education: A Twenty-Year retrospective. new York: Haworth Press. Maddux,C. (2003). fads, Distance education and The importance of Theory. Computers in the Schools, v20 n3, 121-127. Maddux, C., & Cummings, r. (2004). fad, fashion and the Weak role of Theory and research in information Technology in education. Journal of Technology and Teacher education, Vol. 12 Nagel, D. (2008, September 18). Education Technology Spending To Top $56 Billion by 2012. T.H.e. Journal. retrieved January 30, 2009 from O’reilly, T. (2005, September 30). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the next Generation of Software. retrieved november 2, 2008 from html?page=1 reiser, r. (2001). A history of instructional design and technology: Part 1: A history of instructional media. educational Technology and Development, 29 (1), 53-64. Slavin, r. (1989). PeT and the pendulum: faddism in education and how to stop it. Phi Delta Kappan, 70, 752-758. Stoll, C. (1999). High-Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom and Other reflections by a Computer Contrarian (p. 221). random House inc. retrieved february 16, 2009, from Trend (n.d). retrieved April 12, 2008 from American Heritage Dictionary of the english Language Online. Venkatesh, V., & Davis, f. D. (2000). A Theoretical extension of the Technology Acceptance Model: four Longitudinal field Studies. Management Science, 46(2), 186-204. Wikipedia: Hype Cycle. (2008, May 1). in Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. retrieved, May 1, 2008 from http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Hype_cycle. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 197-204 A Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions of Using a Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication System for Spoken English Teaching Cheun-Yeong Lee and Li-Wei Peng Ohio University, USA The case study aims to use the real-time online communicative system to teach foreign learners spoken english based on sociocultural theory and communicative language teaching approach curriculum. a real-time online spoken english instruction was designed and delivered by all teachers. The teachers were graduate students majoring in teaching english as a second language at a Midwestern university in the united States. The learners were employees in government enterprises in China. data were collected from both interviews to all the teachers and participant observation. Through in-depth understanding of teachers’ perceptions of using SCMC system for spoken english instruction, the findings are expected to provide suggestions for teachers’ preparation to effectively use a real-time online system in spoken english education. Background Synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) emerged as a way for SLa and eFL within CaLL. SCMC involving text, sound, and video allows communicators to experience the context that is similar to face-to-face interactions in the real world. Learners can use SCMC to achieve learning goals through the internet, regardless of time and geographic boundaries. Many large-scale research or case studies of foreign and second language learning have revealed underlying SCMC’s characteristics: (1) it allows collaborative learning activities (Meskill & Mossop, 2003); (2) Participants are encouraged to be more active in communication (Bikowski & Kessler, 2002); (3) Participants can have control over their learning (Bikowski & Kessler, 2002); (4) it allows highly interactive, multi-way, and synchronous communication (Bikowski & Kessler, 2002); and (5) it facilitates the negotiation of meaning between learners and teachers (Smith, 2003). although SCMC has the potential to promote communication in second or foreign language teaching and learning, it has not been widely used by spoken english educators due to lack of education or training purpose. Most SCMC systems lack appropriate pedagogical approaches to spoken english instruction (e.g., Skype, adobe Connect). SCMC in CaLL is encountering or will face challenges generally in technology, often the central issue for barriers of SCMC. Lee et al. (2007) found that pedagogy and technology were the two major elements of spoken English in SCMC environment. The findings emphasized the importance and appropriateness of online pedagogy, teacher’s computer competencies, and a well-designed curriculum based on instructional design strategy and learning theory. They argued that pedagogy should be an underlying factor as well as noted several challenges in a collaborative SCMC environment. 198 1. 2. 3. 4. Lee and Peng in synchronous forms of collaborative distance learning, high bandwidth and peer assistance could be a challenge (Warschauer, 1997). if there is a lack of systematic and adequate support, problem-solving and collaborative learning will not be successful (Yamada & akahori, 2007). although it has great potential, interdisciplinary collaboration is a difficult task (Bromme, 2000). The amount of information available on the internet makes it hard to judge the quality of the information and to obtain relevant information (Lee, et al., 2007). in addition to these challenges, Lee et al. (2007) pointed out further challenges for pedagogy including: (1) insufficient body language or face-to-face contact; (2) difficulty in solving technical problems; (3) difficulty in interacting, and communicating with learners without initial connection to the learner; (4) difficulty in critiquing and correcting people without facial expressions; and (5) difficulty in determining if the student is really following along. Those are critical problems needed to be solved. another critical issue relates to the underlying theoretical framework. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and communicative language teaching approach (CLa) have been adapted for spoken language acquisition (SLa) in the typical classroom context (Lantolf, 2000). Language acquisition is considered a development of a psychological process in the human mind; communication is considered a process that people use in learning language while they interact with other people in the social context. however, little research has investigated whether a curriculum, task, or activity designed on the basis of the two paradigms is suitable for learning spoken english in an SCMC environment. Besides, what will be the advantages, weaknesses and limitations? all in all, the purpose of this study is to consider those critical points and focus on more specific questions listed below to understand teachers’ perceptions of use of SCMC in spoken english teaching through acknowledging the real phenomena happening with teachers, SCMC, and the social plane where interactions and communication occur. Research Questions The research will specifically investigate the following questions: 1. how do the teachers understand their experiences of delivering spoken english instruction in a real-time, online context and what meaning do they give their experiences? 2. What are their experiences with the learning activities based on the provided curriculum? 3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the instruction from their point of view? 4. What competencies or skills should a synchronous online spoken english teacher have? Significance of the Study This study extends the understanding of how to use this technology effectively in the teaching of spoken english and identify the challenges that need to be overcome in SCMC settings. in addition, online teachers’ experiences of how to effectively integrate technology with curriculum are a critical factor affecting instruction and assistance in the achievement of learners’ goals. Based on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory (1978), learners need guidance from teachers, learners, or other people to achieve their learning goals through the mediation of language on the basis of social activities. There is no doubt that the teachers’ experiences including pedagogical, communicative, technical, and personal domains will highly influence learners’ learning. in this study, through observing teachers’ instruction and their sharing of experiences in the interviews, the essential competencies of an online spoken english teacher were extracted. Moreover, a well-designed curriculum that promotes effective online spoken english teaching will stem from the experiences of the teachers as well as the observations of the instructional activities. how the teachers delivered instruction based on instructional design strategies and learning theory and how they facilitated the learning activities in the realtime, online context can be a model for teacher preparation across the world. A Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions Theoretical Framework 199 The present study adopted Vygotsky’s sociocultureal theory and Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT) as the major theoretical framework. Soviet psychologist Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory has been regarded as a fundamental theoretical framework of computer-mediated communication (Simpson, 2005). Sociocultural theory emphasizes that an individual’s mental development can be achieved with meaningful verbal interactions with others in social contexts which involve complex and higher-level mental functions (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Vygotsky’s concept of Zone of Proximal development (ZPd) indicates how society provides children with a variety of tasks and demands that require them to depend upon adults to solve problems. The theory has been successfully implemented among young adult learners in the foreign language learning (FL) and the second language acquisition (SLa) context (ohta, 2000). Second and foreign language learners use language to mediate social interactions between themselves and peers, teachers, or other people. That is, language can be a cognitive tool for learners to mediate thought on their psychological or mental plane. Consequently, language, individual mental development, and social interaction are interrelated. Many studies have implemented the noted sociocultural theory in FL and SLa in the context of face-to-face oral interaction (donato, 2000; naughton, 2006; ohta, 2000). Communicative language teaching is one of the important theories influencing FL and SLa. Canale and Swain (1980) indicated that the communicative language teaching approach (CLT) language serves a functional and communicative role for the interlocutors to express and negotiate meanings through interaction with one another. The aim of CLT is to enhance learners’ communicative competence which includes grammatical and sociolinguistic discourse, and strategic domains of knowledge and skills. namely, to communicate effectively, the speaker must correctly produce grammatical discourses of language as well as appropriately use it in distinct sociolinguistic contexts. in this study, CLT will be one of the theoretical frameworks to be also compatible with the Vygotskyan sociocultural model of language learning which has been used in CaLL. Methodology Based on the research questions, a qualitative case study was employed to answer these questions. The interviews and observations were used to collect data for an in-depth understanding of the teachers’ experiences and perceptions of online spoken english teaching and learning. Participants The research included two categories of participants, teachers who were native speakers of english in the united States and the learners who were full time employees in government enterprises and a private training institute in China. Since it was difficult to locate a teacher who had experience in teaching online spoken english and had a certificate or degree for teaching english as a foreign or second language, the researcher recruited four teachers who were native speakers of english and interested in teaching language online. each teacher was paid hourly for each class. The teachers were graduate students and adjunct teachers from different majors at two large Midwestern universities. The prospective teachers participated in pre-course professional development to enhance their instruction that included hands-on tutorials and specific discussions in the use of technologies and instructional strategies. They also engaged in one-hour weekly meetings to prepare for their instruction based on the provided curriculum template and lesson plans. Procedures To investigate the teachers’ experiences with the use of SCMC for spoken english teaching and learning, a real-time, web-based instruction was developed by the researcher. This spoken english instruction was designed on the basis of study by Lee et al. (2007), which provided a model for the innovative use of an SCMC system for spoken english instruction for foreign students. 200 Lee and Peng The spoken english instruction was seven weeks long during the spring of 2008. There were four teachers with four to five learners per class for each teacher. each teacher taught a one-hour course three times a week. according to the model, the project involved four stages: preparation, testing, implementation, and evaluation stage. The preparation stage was designed to support both learners and teachers in preparation for training. The researcher provided a curriculum and lesson plans for teachers. They used a course management system, Moodle, to upload the curriculum, lesson plans, and teaching materials for learners to access. needs assessment, placement test, and advocacy of teaching and learning policy were executed to ensure that learners’ prior knowledge and oral skills were suitable in preparation for the class. in the testing stage, teachers tested their SCMC system and teaching management system with a technology support group. Finally, both the teachers and the technology support group tested the internet connection, Skype, adobe Connect, and Moodle with all learners. in the implementation stage, each teacher delivered a one-hour, real-time online lesson based on the provided curriculum and lesson plans, three times a week for seven weeks. each teacher was required to attend a one-hour, weekly professional development meeting to strengthen each teacher’s teaching competencies. in the evaluation stage, a summative assessment was conducted to note the progress of the learners. Data Collection and Analysis This study used semi-structured, in-depth interviews of teachers and participant observations to collect data. The researcher interviewed all instructors to understand their experiences in using the SCMC system for online spoken english teaching. The interviews were recorded through the audacity system which allowed audio recording. The interviews of teachers were transcribed by a native speaker of english hired by the researcher to ensure the correctness of the participants’ descriptions. in addition to the interviews, one of the characteristics of qualitative research was that the researcher participated in the fieldwork to observe people’s behavior in their natural and authentic setting. Therefore, the researcher logged in to each online class to observe participants. The observations focused on how the teachers used the SCMC system, multimedia, and instructional technologies based on the sociocultural theory and the communicative language teaching approach. in order to collect data from the teachers, the researcher recorded each online class while it was in session. inductive analysis was adapted in this study to have the key themes emerge through the use of reading of raw data in details from the teacher’s and the learner’s interviews and participant observation. The researcher immersed, summarized, and condensed the intensive and varied raw data noted the primary themes and categories emerged, and linked the research objectives and summary findings derived from the raw data to produce reliable and valid findings. Findings and Discussion Based on the triangulation of teachers’ interviews and participant observations, all teachers recognized that they were satisfied with the online teaching in general. no matter what background and experience in online spoken english teaching the teachers had, they understood that they tended to create an environment similar to one that learners would have in a face-to-face context. Most teachers felt if they had an option between web-based and traditional classroom environment, they would rather choose the later one since more personal interactions can be shared in a face-to-face environment: Teacher B: I do prefer face-to-face just because I’m pretty big as far as personality is concerned and gestures and moving. I am sarcastic as well, and so I’m able to insert little comments in a traditional classroom that because of time delay and the confines of on-line instruction, I would not be able to. Teacher D: For the most part I prefer face-to-face still, just because again we have those cues that we can pick up on, and it makes it easier. But as far as general convenience and using things, you know, I think this [online teaching] is definitely the future way to go because it is so convenient. Cuts down on expenses and everything. So right now, I still prefer face-to-face. From their views, personal interaction (constituting body language and visual cues) account for general perceptions of spoken english teaching in a face-to-face environment. however, a teacher indicated that the preference for a realtime, online class or a face-to face class highly depends on the subject. For example, if a course (e.g., computer training) focuses on hands-on training, it is better to conduct the course face-to-face since the teacher can guide learners step-by- A Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions 201 step with a handout as well in order to complete the training. Provided that a spoken english class with teachers and learners separated geographically, the preference of that teacher would be a web-based environment. Teacher C: It is hard to see hands-on activities online. You know, I would want to see the curriculum, the activities that need done for the learning. You know the objectives, you know, what kind of learning needs to take place. Consequently, the teachers tried to duplicate the face-to-face classroom in an online context which can offer learners an interactive, communicative, and collaborative learning environment by combining audio with video functions. interaction, communication, and collaboration were the focal points from those teachers’ experiences while delivering their instruction online. The teachers identified that not only did they offer more opportunities for learners to speak more and have learners lead their own discussions in class, but also the learners had more opportunities to interact and communicate with both the teacher and fellow learners. achieving such opportunities highly relies on curriculum design and the learning activities. in this study, the curriculum was built on both Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and communicative teaching language. Based on the crucial theoretical framework, the teachers adapted the learning activities—discussions, role playing, scenarios, interviews, and concept mapping— which have been deemed effective activities to increase learners’ interaction and communication with other learners and the teacher. Teacher B: And so it [curriculum] was designed for interaction and communication with each other. The role play scenarios, obviously, were primary for the student to interact and communicate with each other. And, I think that I encouraged students to interact and communicate with each other. The role play scenarios were naturally to helped them do that. For example, we were discussing business, both formal and informal expressions and the use of those and the body language. And so the one learner would talk about how he would often offer a cigarette, or cigarettes and wine seem to be okay, the sign of “now you’re my friend.” It’s an expression of friendship. And, so, the other learner would say, “you know, yes, exactly. I’m a non-smoker. And whenever that happens in business situations, I often smoke a cigarette, sit, and enjoy a glass of wine.” One learner would often comment on what the other student had said. There was also a discussion where one learner offered a motto like a motto of business and explained its meaning. The other learner said, “No, actually, that’s the right expression, but that’s not the right interpretation of it.” Then he went and provided his interpretation of that particular business motto. And so those are two examples of situations where they interacted with one another. Teacher A: I think the curriculum was well put together because it allowed for sort of role playing for each student because not all of them are in the same room. So that kind of allowed for a little bit more personal association between the students. I do think so because it’s not very rigid. It’s not just English based. From the participant observation, it was recognized that if the teacher kept interpreting some concepts without involving learners’ discussions, it would develop a lecture-like situation. That is, the teacher spoke more, and learners interacted and communicated less. The situation occurred in the beginning of the instruction with a teacher who had never taught a real-time web-based spoken english course before. at first, most of the time he introduced the key terms and concepts without retrieving learners’ prior knowledge and without allowing learners to engage in the activity. Consequently, the class proceeded in a teacher-centered, lecture-focused context. Learners wrote about the situation in their weekly reflections and claimed more opportunities to speak. eventually, the teacher noticed his weakness and learned from the experiences of other teachers in the weekly professional development meetings. in other classes, interaction oftentimes was limited by some learners who meaninglessly occupied most of the time by talking too much, so the discourse only took place between them and the teacher. importantly, learning how to distribute and manage time equally to provide an opportunity for learners to interact and communicate in class may positively influence their learning. obviously, the teachers realized that the assigned learning activities could foster an interactive and communicative learning environment. in addition, they found that learners actually assisted each other to construct knowledge and improve their oral competence through negotiating the meanings with other learners within the learning activities. Teacher A: I think so because like it was sort of opened up the floor for interaction between students so that um, you know, even though the students are working on their own English, they can pick up on some of the things that other students need to work on in their English. So, I think like we would have a conversation about something and usually I would try to bring something in the conversation that would be opinion-based in the conversation. So because it’s opinion-based, not everyone has the same opinion. And the students would sort of disagree with one another. Teacher C: I’m a facilitator; I’m a coach. You know it’s not really a teacher-centered classroom. I don’t see it as that. Instruction……, I think it needs to be more individualized, and you can do that in the online world. You can kind of individualize what you need to do for each student and kind of get a grasp on what he/she needs. But, yeah, I mean I 202 Lee and Peng wasn’t really the soul source for information. I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to be, you know, I’m the learning facilitator. I’m the coach. I’m kind of the equal. I wanted to see it as equal with everything. negotiating meanings and building up knowledge between the learners revealed that learners collaborated with other learners to achieve the objectives themselves. This observation implies that learners need assistance mediated by negotiation of meanings, constituting semiotics in dialogues with other learners or the teacher to improve their oral competence. This also supports Vogotsky’s concept of self-regulation and ZPd which indicates that “learning is not something an individual processes alone, but is a collaborative endeavor necessarily involving other individuals” (aljaafreh & Lantolf, 1994, p. 480). in this study, teachers realized that they should offer a learning environment which allows learners to manage learning through activities by themselves, that is, a learner-centered context. The teachers also recognized that their roles should be a facilitator, a mentor, or a consultant, who can guide learners to proceed with learning activities, give feedback, and provide consultation. Teacher A: I think it was more of a facilitator. Like I was saying, I would start conversations about very, what do you call, very controversial subjects. So because students have their different opinion from one another, they had arguments which was good because it allowed them to practice their English. And they would argue with each other. ….. So, each one of them had a different opinion, and, you know, different ones had kids, so they would come with their own experiences and argue from those points. …..So I think I was a facilitator as far as that, allowing them to kind of be more emotional with their English. in this study, the teachers offered learning activities to serve as an authentic social context for learners. Those learners who had a lower level of oral skill tried to obtain help from other learners or the teacher in order to achieve learning objectives. This phenomenon disappeared when the lower-level learners achieved the learning goals without scaffolded assistance from higher-level learners or the teacher. That is, Vygotsky interpreted the shift as self-regulation. The following dialogues happened among teacher a and his learners to reveal this phenomenon. Teacher: Mannerism depends on our culture outlet. Give me an example of Mannerism, ok! Mannerism could be ….umm…. I speak sometimes with my hands to express what I am trying to say. Or, I change my facial expressions. So, these are mannerisms. Mannerisms help us make our points more clear. So, Mark, could you give us an example of mannerism? Learner: If you use you hands to make your points more clear… Teacher: Yes, body language…gestures. Learner: When you do the presentation, you use a laser point to make you presentation more clear. Is that kind of a mannerism? Teacher: No. Because what the mannerism focuses on is yourself, your body, the way your body moves, your voices and sounds. Ok! Another vocabulary goes along with this is diction. So, when I am angry, I sound different than I am not angry. When I am angry, I speak in a loud voice. When I am not angry, I speak in a quiet voice. When I am trying to explain something to you, I use my hands. I do more of this, you know, move my hands around trying to make my points. So, mannerism focuses on yourself, your own body, how you move. It’s not like a laser point; it’s an external behavior; it’s all about internal functions. Learner: OK. I see. So, if you like somebody knows you, you may raise your hand and shake your hand. Teacher: That’s a good one. That’s definitely a mannerism because it expresses what you feel physically. From this dialogue, the teacher interpreted the concept of mannerism and provided an example for learners to extend the application of formal and informal expressions in a real and specific context. The teacher requested that the learner offer an example. however, the learner did not comprehend the concept of the term, so he failed to give a correct one. although the learner made errors, the teacher started with presenting him a focal phrase “body language” and clarifying the concept with examples. Consequently, the learner comprehended it and offered a correct example. That is, the learner gain scaffolded assistance from the teacher, to construct knowledge and improve his spoken skill. Moreover, the teachers found that learners also provided support to their peers during collaborative foreign interaction to not only enhance their oral skills, but also motivate students to participate in speaking activities as a cognitive tool to construct their knowledge. This finding supports donato’s proposed study (1994) on ZPd. Teacher C: At the end of the quarter you would hear other students helping other students with their spoken English, and they would correct them. If somebody pronounced something slightly wrong, you know, he/she would say, “hey, you know, isn’t it pronounced this way” or something like that. Or somebody was talking and they, you know, people, you know, you forget, you know, oh what’s the word for this? Sometimes somebody would; a lot of times, they would just type it in, type it into the chat and kind of help them out with the words. A Case Study of Teachers’ Perceptions 203 in this study, most teachers thought that the SCMC system allows users to communicate easily and see facial expressions though they were separated geographically. The system cost less than traditional classroom instruction and made teaching and learning more flexible. it also provided Whiteboard, screen sharing, file downloading and uploading functions for learners to be involved in the learning activities. That is, it augmented the integrative approach to spoken english teaching. Most importantly, the use of an SCMC system created a learning environment which could increase interactions, communications, and collaborative tasks. however, due to the limitations of bandwidth, the internet connection sometimes broke down and caused delayed images and unclear sounds. additionally, the video function only allowed limited facial expressions and body language, so it usually hindered the class sessions. These situations seriously affected a rich occurrence of social presence and limited the opportunity to comprehend other interlocutors’ expressions by observing their gestures, faces, and body language. Teachers in the present study agreed that the use of SCMC for spoken english teaching is effective. They realized from their experiences that teachers’ competencies in technology, knowledge in teaching strategy and curriculum design, communication skills, organization and management of the class, and establishment of a connection with learners were crucial to facilitate a real-time online spoken english instruction. Those underlying competencies should be taken into consideration in teacher preparations. Teachers also recommended that it is necessary for teachers to master skill of effectively integrating technology with curriculum. Conclusion The SCMC system provided an alternative approach and opportunities for teachers to facilitate a real-time online spoken english instruction. The findings of this study suggested and reflected that a curriculum and learning activities developed on the basis of sociocultural theory and communicative teaching approach could increase interaction and communication through the SCMC system. an online learning environment with rich interaction and communication fostered negotiation of meaning and collaborative activities to help learners improve their oral skills and construct their knowledge. Within the environment, teachers should consider the strong and weak points of the SCMC system (e.g., bandwidth, social presence) before delivering the instruction. Based on the teachers’ realization, technology savvy, knowledge in teaching strategy and curriculum design, communication skills, organization and management of the class, and establishment of a connection with the learners should be involved in teachers’ preparations in the future. References aljaafreh, a., & Lantolf, J. P. 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Social presence in synchronous CMC-based language learning: how does it affect the productive performance and consciousness of learning objectives? Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(1), 37-65. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 205-212 Developing a Second Life Academy: Bridging the Implementers’ Learning Gap Charles J. lesko Jr. and Yolanda a. hollingsworth East Carolina University, USA as second life (sl) continues to gain interest at the college and university level, the greatest challenge during early inception focuses on faculty and supporting staff and their ability to fully understand sl’s capacity as a teaching tool. even with these limitations, many early implementers are becoming ensconced in sl by acquiring land and creating offices, learning and other interactive spaces. Many begin to plan out academic activities within sl without a clear understanding of sl’s capabilities or current limitations. Meeting the needs of these early implementers requires the ability to level-set staff and faculty understanding by presenting them up-front with the techniques, concepts and capabilities of current sl educational efforts. By providing structured training and facilitating open dialogue, coupled with hands-on interaction in-world, faculty and staff are better able to plan, build out, and maximize the inherent academic capabilities that are characteristic of a virtual environment. the ability to communicate to students in a more geographically dispersed environment challenges many academics to find new and innovative ways to interact with students both in group forums and in singular one-on-one sessions. early synchronous and asynchronous efforts to communicate have been limited to audio/video broadcasting and teleconferencing, computer aided instruction, e-learning and online-learning, and computer broadcasting and webcasting. as east Carolina University (eCU) has experienced a 20% increase in distance education students (east Carolina University 2008) within the last year, the need for other new media for reaching these students becomes paramount. recently, the added interactive capabilities inherent in virtual reality environments are beginning to show distinct promise as an electronic toolset that can facilitate not only e-learning and distance education but also corporative training needs. the 3-d virtual world of second life (sl), by linden lab, inc., began its public life in 2003. this virtual world that surrounds its navigator with realistic graphics simulating real life has almost limitless bounds for the imagination. it is a place to look, see, speak, and yes, touch. what separates sl from gaming technology is that this is a world with spaces and landscapes predominately built by other users. since its inception, the world has called attention to three main groups of users: business, education and community users. the three user groups have all sought and found ways to create and implement desired outcomes to an extent mirrored in the world’s tremendous growth with over 16 million residents to date (second life 2008). in recent years, sl’s growth as a virtual media has spawned several efforts to assess its value within the academic community. demographic data for sl residents lend support to the notion that academic institutions should evaluate this virtual medium. according to linden’s statistics, the percentage of total user hours by age band shows that 34% 206 Lesko, Jr. and Hollingsworth of sl residents are 25-34 years old and 28.28% of sl residents are 35-44 years old (second life key Metrics 2008). this population of 25-44 year olds falls well within the typical distance education student’s age range making sl a very viable option for incorporation as an academic tool. however, before this environment could be evaluated, faculty needed a forum to facilitate the building of new academic virtual spaces from which to begin discussions to identify new pedagogical approaches for study and analysis. in late 2007, local university faculty and supporting staff began working within the sl environment. given the cross-disciplinary nature of such a new research endeavor, campus-wide inquiries were made that identified increased activity and interest and it became readily evident that a formalized learning experience was the logical next step. in the spring of 2008, both faculty and staff began identifying requirements for a formal training forum or second life academy (sla) to share current knowledge and identify foundational skills needed by all early implementers and supporting staff. also key to meeting the needs of early implementers was the ability to level-set staff and faculty understanding by presenting them with the techniques, concepts and capabilities of current sl educational efforts. throughout the months leading up to the sla, several faculty began early building and initiated one-on-one and small group sessions with select faculty, staff and others who happened to visit the campus as it was beginning to be built. a few faculty members began conducting office hours in their virtual offices spaces; the library staff began work on building content in the new virtual library building; and others began working on presentation capabilities in their virtual classroom spaces. this was all transpiring while university technical staff began the work of building a campus that closely resembled the buildings and grounds of the real world campus. several varying types of educational institutions have begun to explore sl as a platform for education “large and small, ivy league, private, and public; universities, community colleges, and focused trade schools – educational institutions in sl run the gamut” (Collins & Jennings 2007). it was further noted that “while the majority of educational institutions in sl are based in the Us, an increasing number of institutions from around the world have begun to establish their own presence…” (Collins & Jennings 2007). SeconD LIfe AcADemy enGAGement StrAteGy establishing a multi-disciplinary sla provided both faculty and supporting staff with extensive training in basic sl interaction skills and site development techniques. it also provided numerous pedagogical overviews, open forums (both virtual and real world), and brainstorming sessions. this also aided in planning and developing move forward strategies for both current and future classroom sl activities. By bridging this learning gap, the sla was further able to establish an experienced mentor group for developing virtual teaching models and assisting future sl trainees. embedded within the structured training and facilitated open dialogues were various hands-on interactions within sl; the goal was to enable staff to better plan for, build out, and maximize the inherent academic capabilities that are characteristic of a virtual environment such as sl. the sla’s strategy for engagement utilized various visual aids over the course of the event while focusing on issues such as technical support, faculty requests, trainer recommendations, and student perspectives involving, four key areas: 1. synchronous and asynchronous instruction – as it relates to distance education or any online coursework has to undergo a process of assessment. every course or course assignment may not work well for sl; therefore, faculty assessment of sl for their course is a first priority task. the main aspect is to assess both value and scope of the program convergence to the course. if sl is workable the next logical step is to identify specific sl tools necessary for a specific course. one method used to determine fitness or create an instructional plan is to use a design model. designing an instruction plan also requires a careful process of identifying different teaching models. no one model should be viewed as acceptable for all course assignments or scenarios (hodge & Brown 2008). Multimedia formats for presentation and instruction – come into play after sla participants have developed their instructional plans. during this phase specific instructional tools must be identified. teaching tools are very broad and can include: object displays (monitors, note cards, boards, textures, bookshelves); instructional 2. 207 Developing a Second Life Academy tutorials (stagnate or linked web text or video); and special events (meetings, interviews, virtual brown bag lunches). 3. library presence and involvement with students and teaching faculty – are a must. the academy’s multiple department makeup is ideal for providing the library’s faculty with immediate feedback concerning library building, specific spaces, mirrored collections and other resources to be made available. this is a stage where another bridging process takes place. teaching faculty can assist library faculty in identifying what types of services and resources will attract their students. academic librarians realize “student use of academic libraries is decreasing with the advent of the internet and electronic resources.” (Bell, Pope, Peters, & galik, 2008). at this stage, identification of both faculty and student needs is made possible and also establishes fertile ground for partnerships and other collegial collaborations between teaching and other faculties. teaching tools can include: object displays, instructional tutorials and special events (as outlined in multimedia for all teaching faculty such as kiosks and team-teaching projects); research Materials & tools (eBooks, databases, subject pathfinders, guides and catalog links); and reference desk and office hours (meet & greet spaces with avatar placement and stat counters accessing peak or most appropriate periods for each). 4. social discourse and networking amongst the university community – are as important, most places on campus, as they are in a meet & greet. distance education students can have difficulty experiencing the culture of a university and may lack the feeling of connectedness. with virtual media such as sl, remote students can connect with other students for group study and other more social activities. Certainly having faculty in sl keeps higher educational resources on the cutting edge and ensures their survival. sl and other virtual environments now have social implications that are global and this should be viewed as a natural evolution of the internet (Bell, Pope, Peters, & galik 2008). teaching tools can include: objects (University tees made available in Campus Bookstore, Bulletin board for public posting of note cards); and special events (open house, hosting sl Virtual Conference). the first sla was conducted with fifteen faculty and staff in the spring of 2008. the event covered a two week span and was broken into weekly segments. the first week’s activities concentrated on providing each participant with the basic foundational skills needed to interact effectively within the sl environment. with all participants working predominately hands-on in a co-located, workshop-style setting, extensive training was provided in both sl interaction skills and site development techniques. the second week of the sla focused heavily on planning for future uses of this new technology. numerous pedagogical overviews and brainstorming sessions were facilitated that aided in planning and developing strategies for both current and future classroom sl activities. Second Life Academy outcomes this initial sla focused heavily on participant input. although several of the participants were completely new to sl, many had been experimenting in sl and other similar environments for several months and thus brought an experience base to the table that would be shared. For this initial sla, all sessions were to be very interactive and asking questions was highly encouraged. all participants were provided virtual office spaces and classroom areas to design and furnish during the workshop. support guidelines, inventory plans, sample classroom and office layouts were shared and pedagogical discussions for sl were facilitated and information sharing encouraged. other key activities that were planned for the sla included discussing pedagogical approaches in a newly developed medical lab; touring the new library spaces and providing an overview of its newly developed resources; and assisting faculty participant in building their respective virtual offices, classrooms and laboratory spaces. there were several course outcomes identified for this workshop that concentrated heavily on faculty development designed to encourage further implementation and study using this new medium. Based on these outcomes, at the end of this workshop participants were to develop: 1. another medium for communicating with teaching and library faculty – sla offers huge benefits for creating a more personal face-to-face connection with colleagues both in real life and avatar-to-avatar in-world. People 208 Lesko, Jr. and Hollingsworth and avatars become recognizable in both real and virtual campuses providing a social duality to social and professional networking in addition to typical communication channels. Faculty and library staff have a tremendous opportunity to reach out to departments working collectively on one multi-faceted ongoing project. the sla provides an avenue for combining intellectual forces. grassian and trueman indicate that libraries need to provide encouragement and release time for librarians to explore and learn sl so that they can later train others. Professional development within the sla allows for both teaching faculty and library staff to interact with others outside the campus in unison offering a more global perspective to our campus and other countries in the real life world (grassian & trueman 2007). Provide access to guides, tutorials, and other materials – Providing access to guides and other learning resources is only one outcome from the sla; another outcome focuses on the body of work that results from trial and error yielding to the creation of original work. at many institutions, making inroads into relatively new technologies requires creating instructional materials that may not have had precedent. the sla not only provides pre-existing work, but offers original research and “valuable intellectual property” enhancing not only the sla participants, but also the entire university as a research institution (rayburn & shain 2000). an additional electronic access point – sl is indeed another means to provide an additional access point for internet resources. resources include links to access eBooks, full text databases for journals and instruction materials. instruction materials consist of course specific materials and tutorials for both information literacy and sl instruction. the additional access points can come without duplication of materials in real life time or space. as an additional access point, sl makes valuable materials widely available to both remote and on campus users simultaneously 24/7 rendering it an extremely efficient tool. however, there is often an extensive amount of media resources offered to students that require close scrutiny – “you cannot roll out everything at once” and priorities have to be made (Mahoney 2002). this is where the sla proves both beneficial and insightful. an ability to congregate virtually for group study and/or build social and professional networks – the sla’s cross-disciplinary nature allows constant open communications with colleagues outside their respective departments. By doing so, the sla relationship helps to better assess the “pulse” of the campus with regard to policies and the degree to which a new service such as sl is accepted and supported (Mahoney 2002). ondrejka stresses the importance of making students “feel that they are part of an audience” and that membership, in multiple parallel groups, also encourages students “to act as knowledge conduits between groups” (ondrejka 2008). another option for communicating with each other to build learning spaces and links to pertinent academic resources – within virtual environments, faculty and their students have the ability to generate creations of value within a shared, virtual space. Creation is no longer solely in the hands of the developers; instead, development capability is handed over to the students as residents of their virtual world. as it is in the real world, “creations built by the application of time, effort, and innovation are worth more than their constituent parts” (ondrejka 2008). SeconD LIfe AcADemy: overvIew of weekS one & two 2. 3. 4. 5. during the first week of the sla activities were fairly structured. this week was intended to level set all participants and build the basic infrastructure within the virtual campus to enable follow-up discussion and to stimulate dialogue for the second week of the academy. 1. 2. Building faculty and staff avatars – as alluded to earlier, several of the participants were totally new to the sl environment so establishing a primary avatar and developing an appropriate appearance were some of the first hands-on activities conducted. Basic interaction skills – the basic moves (walking, running, flying) and communicating (text and voice chat) were deemed essential to interacting effectively in the environment, not only from the faculty and staff perspectives, but also from the student’s perspective. adjusting avatar appearance and improving on the use of gestures common in an academic setting were also considered essential skills. Building office and laboratory spaces – staff had focused on building the skeleton of the campus by creating building and office spaces. each participant was given at least one office space and one classroom space to begin to furnish. a small amount of sl linden currency was allocated out for the purchase of basic furnishings, presentation screens, and other necessary equipment. 3. 209 Developing a Second Life Academy 4. Building basic objects – Building basics were discussed and the concepts of building with primitives (or prims) were practiced with the object of the exercises to familiarize the participants with the concepts of building in a virtual environment. the focus of the second week of the sla was on implementation of sl in the classroom. the following summaries highlight four key discussion areas facilitated during the second week: 1. More student-centered learning - with higher education trending away from didactic content delivery and moving more towards student-centered models, an increased emphasis was placed on the skills that support independent, self-motivated learning (goodyear 2002). this student-centered movement was outlined in detail in the tavistock institute report (Cullen, hadjivassiliou, hamilton, kelleher, sommerlad, & stern, 2002) and is being increasingly facilitated by use of many new virtual learning environments such as sl (hobbs, Brown, & gordon 2007). Use of sl should be limited - although most of the participants were eager to begin evaluating the sl environment from an academic delivery standpoint, concern for the medium and use of avatars as essentially student proxies was discussed. winkler and herzeg warn that the “sole use of digital communication and interaction media can be counter-productive for the development of the personality and the learning skills of students” (winkler & herzeg 2004). this proves to be of particular concern with regard to the use of avatars in virtual environments such as sl. Faculty should be able to offer their students the ability “to produce hybrid learning spaces”; this encourages “students to reflect upon digital representations of themselves” and “deal with social identity within the phenomenon of digital worlds in context to their own physical environment” (winkler & herzeg 2004). Understanding the student’s perspective - several sla discussions centered on the need for faculty to learn student skills with this new technology; it can’t be assumed that students know how to learn with these tools. Furthermore, with the trend away from lecture-driven education, a heavy emphasis was placed on more participatory forms of instructions. sl enables students to interact through multiple means of expression during the classroom experience by utilizing tools such as discussion forums, online chat-rooms and journal facilities. it’s not a game - environments like sl differ from computer gaming in that these virtual worlds have no rules, no plots or objectives, in short, they are non-prescriptive. in sl students essentially do what they want to do, for as long as they want to do it. activities can range from simply chatting to someone, sightseeing, going to a concert, to running a business. environments like sl “are potentially the ultimate expression of user generated content” (daden limited 2007). DeveLopInG A coDe of conDuct for vIrtuAL InterActIon one of the key discussion points that evolved out of the facilitated discussions was the need for some expansion of the code of conduct that incorporated virtual classroom settings. this is an area where sla mentors can provide much advice and guidance, and review actual code of conduct for their department and for the university. although engaging in an online virtual reality experience may not be considered completely real, aspects of the experience can be as real as they would be in an actual campus situation. it was noted that locally the University works under the assumption that no person or group has the right to cause discomfort for any other person or group and thus, the rules of behavior apply to online virtual environments. Conduct expectation is clearly an area for any academic institution looking to incorporate virtual technologies into their programs. several points evolved from these early sla discussions that warrant consideration here. First, it should be understood that sl maintains its own community standards. it is every sl participant’s obligation to become familiar with these standards; these standards can be found at another key concept discussed during the sla focused on common expectations in an academic setting. whether on the sl campus to attend class, access the library, confer with individuals or groups informally, or just to explore and enjoy the virtual campus, the student’s appearance, conduct and language should be appropriate to any university environment, whether real or virtual in 2. 3. 4. 210 Lesko, Jr. and Hollingsworth nature. treating people, or their avatars, encountered on the sl campus as would treat individuals on the actual campus is a given. Finally, if for any reason students finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation, they have the right to remove themselves from that environment; in short, they can log out or quit the program at any time. students are not obligated to remain in a situation that makes them feel personally uncomfortable. as the sl Campus continues to develop, further discussions in this area are encouraged. as a final note here, students who move outside of the sl Campus area to locations other than those specified by their instructor should be cautioned that they move about at their own risk realizing the open nature of the sl environment. students should also be advised to report any misconduct in sl campus environment and mechanisms should be introduced to facilitate this reporting within the sl environment. concLuSIonS through the implementation of the sla, a broadening of faculty understanding of this new educational media was realized. the end result of the sla produced an experienced mentor group for developing virtual teaching models and future sl trainees. By providing a sl type of academy, newly evolving academic institutions will be better prepared to plan for, design and implement in the sl environment. with regard to professional development and the sla, results indicate faculty experienced “authentic transactional learning” (Barton, Mckellar, & Maharg 2005). through the sla, faculty used collaborative activities where they learned from each other. academy participants were themselves the bridge for learning through collaborative engagement. with transactional learning, the academy’s participants were able to take the new concepts of building and teaching in a 3d environment, discuss and be influenced by different viewpoints and apply the new knowledge and skills acquired. one result of the sla was the clarification for faculty that sl is not a game (Martinez, 2007). the program, through its immersive and real quality has strong entertainment qualities, but unlike online games played by many of today’s youth sl as an interactive world does not have a theme or objective to it. the sl participants are left to interact as they deem appropriate (Martinez 2007). academy mentors each have their own building, office, classroom and or lecture space. Mentors are also equipped to help other faculty to become acquainted with sl. Various activities resulted in the academy’s workshop training (Joseph 2007). Mentors foster, facilitate and coordinate support for sl activities within their departments. the sl Penguin academy is akin to a best practice idea by global kids, inc. already used with teachers and students in a Prek-12 environment. after students were mentored they became the program facilitators (Joseph 2007). the sla has had similar results with university staff mentoring faculty. teaching faculties have begun to immerse their students into sl. librarian faculty requested installation of sl software in instructional classrooms; several departments hold office hours in-world and are interjecting 3d worlds into the curriculum by devotion of class time for discussion on virtual communities. recent activity includes lessons in and about sl; library events incorporating space for sl in pre-existing library activities like game night; incorporating into subject guides and publicly introducing sl as one of the university’s teaching tools by campus and local news outlets. ironically, sl is an outreach tool and has its own self-promotion; it can be used as an outreach tool for remote students, but would require further efforts from faculty to be exposed to a larger community of users. Ultimately, faculty mentors serve as both direct trainers for the program and perform faculty outreach for sl inclusion with a three-fold purpose: 1. sla serves as a bridge for networked resources (people and equipment), research strengths and instructional expertise cross departmentally. as with networked resources, sla trainees bridge the departmental divide amongst faculty. 211 Developing a Second Life Academy 2. the faculty diversity helps strengthen research development. sla mentors help each other bridge the technology divide with regard to building conceptual skills in virtual worlds as well as develop instruction strategies. 3. all of this heightens the success of conquering any possible learning curves within sl from basic use to advanced programming such as creating and using scripts. technology and the demand for its quick evaluation and implementation should never validate the need for faculty to march blindly into any new media and use them as isolated environments. winkler and herzeg suggest that we work in “…hybrid learning environments. this encourages a balance between both traditional media (e.g. blackboards, pin walls, physical models) and new interactive media” (winkler & herzeg 2004). Moving forward with sla is to be an exploratory and evolutionary process. all areas of structure and pre-planning are open for critical review and adjustment. some common agreements from participants included: 1. 2. 3. 4. Plans for conducting a sla on an annual basis. Plans for a sl Conference and open-house. Continuing to build out the campus, classroom & office spaces. Building on existing course activities. to assist in further study, follow-on efforts should focus on the communication capabilities currently available in sl. Furthermore, the sl environment should be evaluated for its level of complexity assessing each communicative skill’s effectiveness. identifying the value-add here is critical to lay the foundation for further research and use of virtual environments as an educational communication platform and is there enough value added to warrant additional costs in technology. Ultimately, efforts in this area would want to address the the need for this added learning curve of new virtual skills and whether the need is justified. helping prepare academics in the near future to implement this new virtual media will require continuous evaluation of current efforts along with the foundational work that the sla provides. references Barton, k., Mckellar, P., & Maharg, P. (2005). authenticity in learning: transactional learning in Virtual Communities. UCLA/ IALS Clinical Conference (pp. 1-16). glasgow, Uk: glasgow graduate school of law. Bell, l., Pope, k., Peters, t., & galik, B. (2008, July/august). Who’s on third in Second Life? From Library 2.0 to Library 3-D. retrieved october 14, 2008, from Collins, C., & Jennings, n. (2007). emerging “Best Practices” for Campus Builds in second life. Second Life Education Workshop: Part of the Second Life Community Convention (pp. 78-81). Chicago, il: Cullen, J., hadjivassiliou, e., hamilton, e., kelleher, J., sommerlad, e., & stern, e. (2002, February). review of Current Pedagogic research and Practice in the Fields of Post-Compulsory education and lifelong learning Final report revised. The Economic and Social Research Council by The Tavistock Institute. daden limited. (2007). Second Life Virtual Worlds and v-Commerce. Birmingham, Uk: daden limited. east Carolina University. (2008). Factbook 2007-08, iPre. retreived december 30, 2008, from east Carolina University: http:// goodyear, P. (2002). Chapter 4: Psychological Foundations of networked learning. in C. steeples, & C. Jones, Networked Learning: Perspectives and Issues (pp. 49-76). london, Uk: springer. grassian, e., & trueman, r. B. (2007). Stumbling,bumbling, teleporting,and flying...librarian avatars in Second Life. retrieved october 12, 2008, from reference services review, emerald group Publishing ltd. 35(1), 84-89: hobbs, M., Brown, e., & gordon, M. (2007). Using A Virtual World For Transferable Skills in Gaming Education. retrieved october 14, 2008, from higher education academy: html. hodge, e., & Brown, a. (2008, May). Cornelia Brunner – determining the Value. Lecture Slide Presentation. greenville, nC. Joseph, B. (2007). global kids, inc.’s: Best Practices in Using Virtual worlds For education. Second Life Education Workshop: Part of the Second Life Community Convention (pp. 7-8). Chicago, il: Mahoney, P. (2002). Distance learning library services: The tenth off-campus library services conference. Binghampton, nY: haworth information Press. 212 Lesko, Jr. and Hollingsworth Martinez, r. (2007). Before teaching on second life be a student. Second Life Education Workshop: Part of the Second Life Community Convention (p. 67). Chicago, il: ondrejka, C. (2008). education Unleashed: Participatory Culture, education, and innovation in second life. The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Edited by Katie Salen (pp. 229–252). Cambridge, Ma: the Mit Press. rayburn, w., & shain, r. (2000). Ownership of course materials as a tool in faculty recruitment. retrieved october 13, 2008, from educational resources information (eriC) ed 446 750: eriCservlet?accno=ed446750. second life. (2008). second life economic statistics. retrieved December 5, 2008, from second life key Metrics. (2008). second life key Metrics through august 2008. retrieved december 5, 2008, from winkler, t., & herzeg, M. (2004). avatars - Can they help developing personality among students in school?. in IEEE XPlore/ Proceedings of the ITHET, 5th International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Eductation an Training 2004. (pp. 174-178). istanbul, turkey: ieee. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 213-221 Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment Lan Li Bowling Green State University, USA Xiongyi Liu Cleveland State University, USA aL SteckeLberg University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA the potential of formative peer assessment in fostering student learning is evident, but its increasing popularity in education raises questions about students’ ability to conduct critical assessment in a way comparable to instructors. Previous studies on agreement of peer and instructor assessment presented a mixed picture. However, most such studies focused on the quantitative marks student assessors assign projects. this study took a different approach to scrutinize peer assessment by comparing issues and suggestions identified or provided by both teacher education students and instructors. the findings suggested that students, after training, were able to recognize most critical issues and provide constructive feedback. it should also be noted, however, that some students provided misleading suggestions, which might negatively impact project quality. implications of this study in teacher education are discussed. Peer assessment is a process in which peers evaluate the achievement or performance of others of similar status (topping, Smith, Swanson, & elliot, 2000). as an innovative assessment approach, peer assessment has been applied widely across curriculum in higher education. in teacher education, peer assessment is usually used to bestow teacher education students with valuable assessment experiences through judging peers’ performance (Hinett & Weeden, 2000). Peer assessment can be summative—peer ratings are used to check the level of learning and provide accountability. but many cases focus on its formative aspect—where peer assessment is used to empower students and foster active learning. Most formative peer assessment involves students in both assessor and assessee roles. as assessors, students review peers’ projects and provide feedback. as assessees, students receive and act upon peer feedback. cheng and Warren (1999) defined formative peer assessment as reflection on “what learning had taken place and how” (p. 301). it is generally argued that peer assessment facilitates student learning in various ways. Patri (2002) viewed peer assessment as “having significant pedagogic value” (p. 109). it motivates students and nurtures deeper learning. Freeman (1995) noted that studying the marking criteria and evaluating peers’ work can help students better understand their own work. Students, in a study with qualitative formative peer assessment on academic writing (topping at al., 2000), reported an increase in time on task, engagement, and transferable skills. Hughes and Large (1993) summarized the twofold benefits of peer assessment: enhancing students’ performance and providing students with valuable assessment experience and skills, which would benefit students in their future careers. topping (1998), after reviewing 109 articles on peer-assisted learning, concluded that the peer review process yields cognitive benefits for both assessors and assessees in multiple ways. those “benefits might accrue before, during and after” the process (p. 256). 214 Li, Liu, and Steckelberg in contrast to studies suggesting the potential of peer assessment for students’ learning, research comparing the quality of peer assessment and instructor assessment yields inconsistent findings. a number of studies suggested that students were capable of assessing peers’ work in a way comparable to instructor assessment (Falchikov, 1995; Li, Steckelberg, Liu, cain, Starker, & kotcherlakota, 2005; Liu, Lin & yuan, 2002; Saito & Fujita, 2004). For example, Saito and Fujita (2004) considered peer assessment as a useful tool to aid students with essay writing. Forty-seven students at a Japanese college wrote two english essays. each essay was rated and commented upon by two teachers, three peers and the writers themselves. Data analysis indicated that peer and instructor ratings significantly correlated while no significance was found for other correlations. in Fachikov’s study (1995), both lecturer and peer students assessed students’ oral presentations. comparison of lecturer markings and mean of peer markings revealed little difference, except that peer marks appeared somewhat elevated over those of the lecturer. this picture was congruent with two recent studies that used technology-facilitated peer assessment. in Li et al’s study (2005), forty-eight undergraduate students assessed two randomly assigned peers’ projects in a web-based peer assessment supporting system. instructor’s rating and the mean score of peer ratings were analyzed and the findings indicated a similarity, although peers tended to assign higher grades than the instructor in general. Liu at al. (2002) also measured peer-self, peer-instructor and self-instructor correlations in a networked environment. Findings indicated that peer assessment showed similarity with lecturer assessment, though students often over-marked themselves. Several studies, however, argued otherwise (e.g., cheng & Warren, 1999; kwan & Leung, 1996; Wen & tsai, 2008). cheng and Warren (1999) examined the assessment skills of undergraduate electrical engineering students. both students and teachers assessed three oral and written tasks. the two sets of marks were then compared, and the agreement between teacher and peer assessment was not evident. the authors concluded, “peer assessments are not sufficiently reliable to be used to supplement teacher assessments” (p. 301). Similar results were also reported in kwan and Leung’s study (1996). a tutor and a peer group used the same checklist to assess the performance of a group of third-year higher diploma students. comparison of ninety-six pairs of tutor and peer group marks suggested some degree of agreement. However, when converting the average marks of these two groups to grades, the level of agreement was relatively low and not statistically significant. another study conducted by Wen and tsai (2008) used an online peer assessment system to facilitate peer assessment activity for 37 science and mathematics teachers. the teachers worked in small groups and each group presented a master’s thesis proposal. all teachers gave both ratings and comments to several group projects during a three-round online peer assessment activity. Low to moderate correlations were found between the instructors’ scores and peers’ scores. these seeming disparities may not be a big surprise as peer assessment is sensitive to various characteristics of the contexts (Falchikov, 1995), including the nature of the task, the clarity of marking criteria, and students’ assessment capabilities. Variations in those aspects across peer assessment studies may trigger the reliability and validity issue of peer assessment. take the clarity of the marking criteria for instance. it is commonly believed that peer assessment works best when students clearly understand how performance should be assessed. as Falchikov (1995) suggested, “common to most successful self and peer assessment schemes is the act of making explicit the assessment criteria” (p.175). Students’ interpretation of the terms and phrases in marking criteria may differ from their instructors’. Moreover, students may find it difficult to understand criteria requiring higher order thinking skills (orsmond, Merry, & reiling, 2000). therefore, how marking criteria are created and introduced to students in peer assessment can influence peer marking. in terms of assessment skills, students may not possess critical assessment skills since the traditional role of students is “learners”. they may simply not know how to provide constructive feedback (Svinicki, 2001). training should be provided to prepare students for peer assessment (cheng & Warren, 1997). inadequate preparation in these peer assessment stages may significantly impact the validity and reliability of peer assessment. there may be one more possible, but often neglected, cause of these seemingly conflicting findings of agreement of peer assessment and instructor assessment. after scrutinizing these agreement studies, we found that most studies compared grades or points from peers and instructors. can quantitative marks represent students’ critical assessment skills? Many studies have reported that students are not comfortable about assessing each other, although in general they acknowledge the value of peer assessment. Students felt that it was difficult to criticize friends (Williams, 1992). they were afraid that they might mark down or fail peers. “Marking could be easily affected by friendship, cheating, ego or low self-esteem” (robinson, 1999. p 96). therefore, this paper argues that quantitative marks 215 Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment given by students may not stand for what students really think about the projects they assess. the aim of this study is to take a qualitative approach to scrutinize a peer assessment process and gauge students’ assessment skills. Specifically, this study addresses the following research questions: 1) How critical are the issues that students identify in their peers’ work? 2) How useful are the suggestions that students provide to their peers for improvement? Method Participants thirty-nine undergraduate teacher education students enrolled in a classroom technology course at a Midwestern university participated in the study. Students ranged from sophomore to senior standing and represented varied educational backgrounds in Middle childhood, such as social studies, sciences and math, language arts, etc. During the study period, three students were not able to complete the process due to various reasons such as illness, missing classes, or late assignments. the final number of participants was 36. although participation in this study was voluntary, completion of the peer assessment process was required as a part of the course curriculum. For students who decided not to participate in this study or students who were not 19 years old when signing the consent form, data were still collected as part of the regular educational process but were not included in this study. Project and Rubric Participants built a WebQuest project in a word processing document. WebQuest is an internet-based learning activity designed for students. Dodge (1997) defines it as an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet. Since the WebQuest model was first developed in early 1995, teaching students how to build quality WebQuests has often been referred to as an effective training strategy in teacher preparation programs. one of the challenges that teacher preparation programs face today is students’ lack of competence in applying theory to practice. kundu & bain (2006) argue that teacher education should not only provide pre-service teachers with current pedagogical theories, but also demonstrate how these theories can be successfully integrated in real classrooms. they further suggest that designing WebQuests can be an effective integration strategy. in addition, the WebQuest is credited for its potential to address the growing issue of ineffective internet utilization in education (allan & Street, 2007; Summerville, 2000). the WebQuest rubric used in this study consists of 8 items (maximum 16 points) addressing five critical sections of WebQuests: introduction, task, process, evaluation and conclusion. three levels of performance indicators (beginning, developing and accomplished) and corresponding points are provided for each item in this rubric. this rubric was used for both peers’ assessments (students rated and commented upon peers’ projects according to this rubric) and raters’ assessments (raters assessed the quality of students’ WebQuests based on this rubric). Procedures Step One: Studying WebQuest and rubric. Students learned WebQuests through lectures and class activities. then the instructor introduced students to the rubric. Since both peer assessment and instructor assessment would utilize this rubric; it was vital for students to understand what each item in the rubric meant and how to use it when providing peer feedback. Step Two: creating and submitting WebQuests projects. the instructor created a WebQuest Forum in the course management system (blackboard) to host peer assessment activities. after completing their WebQuests in a word document, students posted their projects in the forum. Li, Liu, and Steckelberg Step Three: Peer-reviewing WebQuests. each student reviewed the project posted right after his or her own project based on the rubric. Students pinpointed issues in the assessed project and provided comments/suggestions respectively in a word form provided by the instructor. upon completion of the review, the word forms were attached back to the assessed projects in blackboard for authors to review. 216 Step Four: Viewing peers’ feedback and improving projects. Students were prompted to view peer feedback and revise their projects. the instructor advised students that peer feedback may vary in quality. Students should go back to study the WebQuest and rubric to make decisions if they were skeptical about the accuracy of peer feedback. Students submitted their final revised projects for instructor assessment. Evaluation of Assessed Projects to ensure reliability and validity, the instructor and one independent rater participated in assessing students’ WebQuest projects according to the rubric. For each WebQuest project, critical issue(s) of the projects, if any, were identified and suggestions were noted. these identified issues and corresponding suggestions by both the instructor and the rater were used as the norm to judge student assessors’ assessment capability. the instructor and the rater conducted assessment individually. the formula—reliability = number of agreement / (number of agreement + number of disagreement)—to test reliability suggested by Miles and Huberman (1994) was used to test the agreement of evaluation. a score of 89 percent of agreement was achieved initially. all disagreements were resolved. Coding of Peer Assessment Form both the instructor and the rater read and coded the corresponding peer assessment forms provided by the assessors. assessors’ identified issues and provided suggestions were coded and categorized. both the instructor and the rater conducted assessment individually. again the formula suggested by Miles and Huberman (1994) was used and a score of 93 percent of agreement was achieved initially. all disagreements were resolved. Comparing Instructor assessment and Peer Assessment For each WebQuest project, issues identified by rater/instructor and those by students were compared. Furthermore, suggestions provided by students were weighed against those of the rater/instructor. For example, the second item in the rubric is “effectiveness of task”. both the instructor and the rater evaluated the task section of one WebQuest project, identified two problems and provided suggestions. the student assessor found one problem and provided his/her suggestion. issues identified and suggestions provided by the assessor were compared to those recognized by the rater/instructor (see Figure 1). For this specific example, total issues identified by rater/instructor (issues: instructor -total) were two. total issues identified by student assessor (issues: Student-total) were one. the issues identified by student assessor that matched those acknowledged by the rater/instrctor (issues: Student-correctly identified) were one. the student assessor did provide one good suggestion to address that problem (Suggestions: Student-good). Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment 217 Figure 1. comparing student assessment and instructor assessment. it happened that in some cases, students found several issues, only some of which corresponded to those recognized by rater/instructor. occasionally, students might provide suggestions that would not influence WebQuest projects in either way-good or bad (Suggestions: Student-trivial). only those suggestions, which would be “detrimental” once they were adopted, were marked as “misleading suggestions” (Suggestions: Student-Misleading). the following (table 1) is one example of data analysis of student assessment form. Table 1 Sample Data analysis of one Peer Feedback Form Issues Issues: Instructor -Total Issues: Student-Total Issues: Student-Correctly Identified 5 6 5 Suggestions Suggestions: Student-Good Suggestions: Student-Trivial Suggestions: Student-Misleading 4 1 0 this table indicated that for one assessed project, total issues identified by rater/instructor were five. total issues marked by student assessor were six, five of which matched those recognized by graders. Student assessor provided four good suggestions. Since students were required to offer only one suggestion for each problem found, this means that this student assessor suggested good solutions for four of the five matching problems. For the fifth issue, her/his suggestion would not have much impact of the quality of the project (trivia suggestion). However, no harmful comments were provided. Data Analysis table 2 shows the number of issues that the instructor and the students identified with the project being reviewed. as shown in table 2, the average number of issues that students identified with their peer project was 4.72, compared to 4.19 issues identified by the instructor. the difference is not significant statistically, t(35) = 1.625, p = .11. on average, students identified more correct issues than incorrect issues (3.31 vs. 1.42) and the difference is statistically significant, t(35) = 4.588, p < .001. Most students missed none or only one of the issues identified by the instructor, with the average number of issues missed being .89. 218 Li, Liu, and Steckelberg Table 2 number of issues that Students and instructors identified with the Projects # of issues Instructor – total Student – total Student – correctly identified Student – incorrectly identified Student – missed Mean 4.19 4.72 3.31 1.42 .89 SD 1.83 2.21 1.55 1.76 1.30 Median 4 4 3.5 1 0 Min. 1 1 0 0 0 Max. 8 10 6 6 6 note. SD = Standard deviation. Min. = Minimum. Max. = Maximum. table 3 shows the number of suggestions that the students provided for improving the project being reviewed. as shown in table 3, the total number of suggestions that students provided for improving their peer project ranged from 1 to 10, with an average of 4.61 and a median of 4. among these suggestions, on average, 2.61 suggestions were considered good, 1.28 trivial, and .72 misleading. Most students provided more good suggestions than trivial suggestions and more trivial suggestions than misleading suggestions. Table 3 number of Suggestions that Students Provided for Project improvement # of suggestions Student – total Student – good Student – trivial Student – misleading Mean 4.61 2.61 1.28 .72 SD 2.10 1.46 .94 .97 Median 4 3 1 0 Min. 1 0 0 0 Max. 10 6 4 3 note. SD = Standard deviation. Min. = Minimum. Max. = Maximum. Figure 2 presents a more in-depth representation of the comparison between the numbers of issues that students correctly identified, incorrectly identified, and missed. of the 36 students that participated, 19 (over half) were able to correctly identify all of the issues in their peer’s project, while 8 identified 70-80% of the issues, 3 identified 50-60% of the issues, and only 4 identified less than 50% of the issues. the proportion of issues correctly identified is not related to the number of issues that the instructor identified, r(36) = -.19, p = .27. Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment 16 219 14 12 10 8 Number of issues 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Correctly identified Incorrectly identified Missed Figure 2. identification of issues with Peer Project. 12 10 8 6 Number of suggestions 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Good Trivial Misleading Figure 3. Provision of Suggestions for Project improvement. Similarly, Figure 3 presents a more in-depth representation for comparing the number of good, trivial, and misleading suggestions that students provided for their peers to improve their project. as shown in Figure 3, all but 2 of the 36 students that participated were able to provide some good suggestions. While 19 of the students provided either all good suggestions or a combination of good and trivial suggestions, 16 of the remaining students provided some misleading suggestions and one provided all trivial suggestions. number of good suggestions given by the students highly correlated with the number of issues correctly identified by the students, r(36) = .90, p <.001, whereas number of misleading and trivial suggestions highly correlated with the number of issues incorrectly identified, r(36) = .92, p < .001. this shows that the more issues that students correctly identified, the more likely it is that they provided good instead of misleading or trivial suggestions. Conclusions aiming to gauge students’ assessment capability from a quality approach, this study examined the feedback forms submitted by peer assessors in a peer assessment activity. We concluded that most students in this study, after training, were able to identify critical issues for the most part in assessed projects and able to provide helpful suggestions. However, we should also notice that trivial and misleading suggestions were also provided, although most students gave more good suggestions than trivial suggestions and more trivial suggestions than misleading suggestions. While trivial suggestions may not have much influence on project quality, misleading suggestions, if adopted by the authors, may be detrimental. the findings have suggested at least three considerations for future studies. First, as peer suggestions may vary in quality, how assessees react to these suggestions is crucial to the quality of projects. in this study, students were cautioned that value of peer feedback they received might vary. if they were not certain about any suggestions, they should go back study the content area and rubric in order to make decisions. Students were advised that they should first Li, Liu, and Steckelberg judge the value of peer feedback, and then act upon it. it would be interesting to see how students act in response to various suggestions and how their actions impact their final project quality. are students able to distinguish good suggestions from poor ones? Secondly, we question how students’ initial learning levels play a role in peer assessment. in this study, depending on the depth of students’ understanding of the content area and rubric, students’ initial WebQuest projects (prior to peer assessment) would differ in quality. that is, students’ initial learning levels in this topic varied. What is the relationship between students’ learning levels and students’ assessment capability? From the perspective of assessors, is it possible that students in higher initial learning levels (represented by the quality of students initial projects) would be capable of finding more critical issues of the assessed projects, providing more good suggestions? From the perspective of assessees, would students in higher initial learning levels act better in terms of finding and adopting good suggestions? Further studies needs to be done to determine the influence of this possible factor in peer assessment activities. thirdly, as we discussed in the introduction section, most studies investigating students’ assessment skills focus on students’ markings. this study focused on students’ abilities to recognize critical issues and provide constructive comments in project assessment. it would be interesting to compare these two aspects in one study. 220 this study is unique in its attempt to measure students’ assessment capability from a qualitative approach. Previous studies on students’ assessment capability mainly focus on the quantitative grades students assign their peers. nevertheless, students’ markings can be easily influenced by various uncertain factors such as friendship, race, confidence, or peer pressure (e.g. robinson, 1999). reports of peer over-marking and under-marking are not uncommon in literature (Li et al, 2005; Liu et al. 2002). We argue that peer markings alone may not necessarily represent students’ assessment skills, which may partially explain why studies comparing the agreement of peer assessment and instructor assessment have reported mixed findings. this study attempted to shift focus away from quantitative aspects of peer assessment, and instead to focus on correct issues students identified in assessed projects and helpful suggestions students provided. the findings of this study have important implications for teacher preparation programs. assessment skills are critical for teachers, as one of their teaching responsibilities is to judge students’ performance. recently, peer assessment has been frequently applied in teacher preparation programs to help students understand requirements of critical assessment. this approach has been challenged, given that previous studies comparing agreement of peer and instructor assessment report conflicting findings. the findings of this study confirm that teacher education students, after training, were able to distinguish between effective and ineffective performance. Peer assessment, when appropriately administered, can still be a valid assessment training approach in teacher preparation. in addition, this study argues that qualitative peer feedback rather than quantitative marks should be examined in regard to assessing student assessors’ assessment skills. it is our hope that this study will contribute to redefining current perspectives of students’ assessment capability in teacher education. the prevalence of the internet today has a great influence on education, drastically reshaping the way we obtain information and provide instruction (Hill & Hannafin, 2001). However, many teachers lack skills for using the internet to its greatest potential, especially with regard to fostering student critical thinking and meaningful learning. the u.S. Department of education’s Preparing tomorrow’s teachers to use technology (Pt3) grant program addressed the dilemma that the internet is available at nearly all u.S. elementary and secondary schools while most teachers still feel uneasy utilizing it in their teaching (u.S. Department of education, n.d.). educators have indicated that there is a great need to prepare pre-service teachers in the use of technologies to support and enhance future teaching environments (e.g. Frederick, Schweizer, & Lowe, 2006). We hope that this study will demonstrate how authentic projects that integrate technologies, such as WebQuests, can be incorporated in teacher education to better prepare pre-service teachers for adapting technological strategies to support and enhance their future teaching environments. a limitation of this study is that the unit of analysis was confined to students who experienced this specific peer assessment process. Literature review indicates that peer assessment is sensitive to various aspects of the contexts, such as the nature of the task, the assessment approach (Falchikov, 1995), etc. Findings of this study may not be generalized to other peer assessment models. in conclusion, this study suggested that, after assessment training and fully understanding the educational significance of peer assessment, most students were able to identify problems in a way comparable to the instructors. Students were able to provide useful suggestions. However, students may also provide misleading suggestions. therefore, it is 221 Analyzing Peer Feedback in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment important to inform students of the possibility of getting peer feedback in various quality levels, and to educate students about correct strategies they should adapt in such situations. Reference allan, J., & Street, M. 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Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 20(3), 289-300. Hill, J., & Hannafin, M. (2001) teaching and learning in digital environments. the resurgence of resource-based learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(3), 37-52. Hinett, k., & Weeden, P. (2000) How am i doing? Developing critical self-evaluation in trainee teachers. Quality in Higher Education, 6, 245–257. Hughes, i. e., & Large, b. J. (1993). Staff and peer-group assessment of oral communication skills. Studies in Higher Education, 18(3), 379-385. kundu, r., & bain, c. (2006). Webquests: utilizing technology in a constructivist manner to facilitate meaningful preservice learning. Art Education, 59(2), 6-11. kwan, k.-P., & Leung, r. (1996). tutor versus peer group assessment of student performance in a simulation training exercise. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 21(3), 205-214. Li, L., Steckelberg, a., Liu, X., cain, J., Starker, t., & kotcherlakota, S. (2005). comparing peer assessment with instructor assessment in a technology-mediated peer reviewing system. in crawford, c., Willis, D., carlsen, r., gibson, i., McFerrin, k., Price, J., & Weber, r. (eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2005 (pp. 946-951). chesapeake, Va: aace. Liu, e. Z. F., Lin, S. S. J., & yuan, S. M. (2002). alternatives to instructor assessment: a case study of comparing self and peer assessment with instructor assessment under a networked innovative assessment procedures. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4), 395-404. Miles, M. b., & Huberman, a. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed.). thousand oaks, ca: Sage orsmond , P., Merry, S., & reiling, k. (2000). the use of student derived marking criteria in peer and self-assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25(1), 23-38. Patri, M. (2002). the influence of peer feedback on self and peer-assessment of oral skills. Language Testing, 19(2), 109-131. robinson, J. M. (1999). computer-assisted peer review. in S. brown, J. bull & P. race (eds.), Computer-assisted assessment in higher education (pp. 95-102). London: kogan Page. Saito, H., & Fujita, t. (2004). characteristics and user acceptance of peer rating in eFL writing classrooms. Language Teaching Research, 8(1), 31-54. Summerville, J. (2000). WebQuests: an aspect of technology integration for training preservice teachers. TechTrends, 44(2), 3135. Svinicki, M. D. (2001). encouraging your students to give feedback. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 87, 12-24. topping, k. J. (1998). Peer assessment between students in colleges and universities. Review of Educational Research, 68(3), 249-276. topping, k. J., Smith, e. F., Swanson, i., & elliot, a. (2000). Formative peer assessment of academic writing between postgraduate students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25(2), 149-169. u.S. Department of education. (n.d.). Preparing tomorrow’s teachers to use technology program (Pt3). retrieved January 23, 2009, from Wen, M. L., & tsai, c. (2008). online peer assessment in an inservice science and mathematics teacher education course. Teaching in Higher Education, 13(1), 55-67. Williams, e. (1992). Student attitudes towards approaches to learning and assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 17(1), 45-58. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 223-230 Electronic Concept Mapping in a Laptop University: A Cross-Curricular Study GreGory r. MacKinnon School of Education, Acadia University, Canada This study looks at the implementation of electronic concept mapping in three university course settings namely: 1) introductory Physics, 2) Gods and classical Myth and 3) Teaching Biotechnology & Science Teacher education. in each case the mapping exercise has been employed for slightly different educational reasons yet they all surround the notion of second order thinking skills. This quantitative/qualitative study demonstrates that while concept mapping has great potential for stimulating critical thinking and conceptual change, the pedagogical context in which it is used, bears great importance on its perceived success. an important impact of this study has been to generate a teacher-education model for use of concept mapping in schools. The Potential for Concept Mapping The notion of hierarchal concept maps was developed by novak & Gowin (1984) as a tool for judging the development of concepts over the duration of an educational experience. While early maps often involved hand drawings of pre and post instructional maps for teachers doing action research, the advent of electronic mapping programs such as inspiration ® and cMaP® has opened a whole array of possibilities for invoking what are referred to as Type ii technologies (Maddux & Johnson, 2006). in Type ii technologies, the original intent of the software is often subverted (Squires, 1999) by the instructor for very specific objective-directed rationale. in this regard, recent work has developed the Type ii approaches of “negotiative” and “2-dimensional” concept mapping. (MacKinnon & Keppell, 2005; MacKinnon, 2006) both of which are examples of the cañas & novak (2005) challenge to employ a “concept-map centered learning environment”. The following research provides an overview of three different strategies for implementing electronic concept mapping in distinctly different subject settings in a small liberal arts university. The research question is identical in each of the studies; how does concept mapping impact the “nature” of learning in these classrooms? The research is nested in an action research model for which the intent is to reflect upon the impact and make tangible changes in the way the technologies are used (or not) in further offerings of the respective courses. The research relies on both quantitative and qualitative data to inform the instructor as to how to proceed. 224 MacKinnon Context of the Study The study has been undertaken at acadia University in Wolfville, nova Scotia, canada. acadia has approximately 3200 students and 250 faculty. The university has won notoriety in three distinct areas 1) it is currently ranked as the top primarily undergraduate institution in canada (MacLeans, 2007), 2) it was the first university in canada and remains the only school to integrate laptop computers across the entire curriculum and 3) in april 1999 the acadia program was honored when acadia became a laureate of the Smithsonian institute. The laptop initiative coined the “acadia advantage” is now part of the permanent research collection at the Smithsonian national Museum of american history. The acadia advantage began in 1996. For over a decade the extensive infrastructure (both hardware and human resource) has allowed for an ideal opportunity to study the impacts of technology on teaching and learning (MacKinnon, 2007). Research Methodology The use of electronic concept mapping was study in three distinct settings within acadia University. The first setting was an elective course called the “Physics of Sound.” This course was populated by 75 students (65% male) from a range of degree backgrounds but primarily from music and science. The majority of students (> 90%) were in their second year or later in their respective 4-year programs. The second research setting was a course called “Gods in classical Myth”. This course had 70 students (55% male) who were in their second year of a Bachelor of arts program. The third setting for the research was two courses for teacher interns in a Bachelor of education program. The courses called “introduction to Science education for Secondary Teachers” and “Teaching Biotechnology” had an identical assignment using the same strategy for integration of concept mapping. The total number of students from these two courses was 45 (70% male). each of the applications of electronic concept mapping will be described in some detail below. The research methods used for each of three studies was identical. The researcher (MacKinnon) attended 4 classes for each of the Physics and Myths courses and was a participant-observer as the instructor in the Science education and Biotechnology courses. in each of the former two classes field notes were taken. Following the completion of the courses, students were invited to complete an electronic survey the questions of which were based on a 5-point Likert scale. response rates were 89%:50%: 100% for the courses Physics: Myth: Science education respectively. response data were tabulated, question averages computed and standard deviations calculated for each question. Based on trends in the survey data, a standardized open-ended interview was designed (Patton, 2002). in each study, a pilot group of five students read the interview questions and provided feedback such that questions were modified to remove ambiguity. Students were randomly selected (10 in each of 3 studies) and invited to participate in a thirty minute interview. interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. The transcriptions were coded for emergent themes in an iterative process (auerbach & Silverstein, 2003) which relied heavily on the constant comparative method of analysis (Merriam, 2001). Using this approach, the interview data was further compared to the survey categories to generate “thematic implications” around the implementation of the respective approaches. Faculty members teaching the Physics and Myths course were interviewed prior to their knowledge of the survey /interview data. Fields notes were taken regarding their perception of the response of students to the use of electronic concept mapping. results of the survey and interviews were corroborated in a peer-debriefing session with a research colleague (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Member check sessions were arranged in which results from each study were shared with focus groups of 10 students. of these 10 students, 5 were invited randomly and 5 were invited from the respective interview groups (Morgan, 1997). research results were blended/corroborated with reflections from both teaching faculty and a research colleague. “Thematic implications” put simply, constitute a thematic report of “if, how and why” a professor might continue to use the technological approach in their classroom. These reports were shared with respective faculty members. Electronic Concept Mapping in a Laptop University Physics of Sound: A Traditional Use of Concept Mapping 225 in this course students used a host of interactive technologies (MacKinnon & Williams, 2006) to study the nature and real-time measurement of sound. The theoretical foundations (i.e. simple harmonic motion, frequency and spectral analysis) were taught early in the semester. The instructor was interested in students’ conceptual knowledge and chose to use concept mapping based on research (iuli & Himangshu, 2006) that indicates that concept maps “offer an effective way by which to assess student understanding by providing evidence of the quality and accuracy of propositions applied by the individual in the process of higher order thinking. concept maps provide a “”workable representation “” of knowledge and can be used to infer accuracy and depth of knowledge”. Students were first taught to use ®inspiration software (available on our network software) and then led through a series of concept mapping exercises with familiar concepts. The focus of these exercises was to extenuate certain features of novak’s definition of a concept maps namely the hierarchical nature and the power of the propositional phrase. Students were given a list of concepts by the professor and asked to submit an electronic concept map of how they saw the curriculum and its corresponding concepts being linked. The focus question for preparation of the concept map was the following. How do the following topics constitute an understanding of the nature of sound, its origin and properties? The primary aim of the professor was ascertain whether students saw the global ideas as they related to specific examples. His main complaint of students’ understanding was linked to the observation that students rarely connect earlier material to later topics because of the linear sequential nature and “building up” of content. While he regularly made connections to earlier ideas he was not convinced that students saw the curriculum in its completeness. The concept map offered to him a feedback mechanism commonly employed in action research (angelo & cross, 1993). He suggested to students that the mapping exercise maybe a useful graphic organizer for preparing to study for the midterm examination on the very same concepts. There exists a body of research in education (West et al, 2002; reese 2003) that justifies a quantifiable measure of whether students have engaged conceptual change as Posner et al (1982) would define it. While these approaches arguably could give the instructor raw data on which to base his opinion of conceptual change, a quantitative analysis was beyond the scope of this work. Furthermore, quantitative scoring of concept maps has recently come under much scrutiny as a valid measure of conceptual change (Kharatmal & nagarjuna, 2006). an intent of the research in this Physics classroom was to give the instructor some sense of students understanding of the relationship of topics and concepts within the course. of more paramount concern was whether students actually found the process of preparing a map a useful exercise in terms of building a more complete understanding of the subject material. Student Response Students were asked about their own experiences with the computer software and their perceived experience of their peers. in surveys and interviews, students found inspiration® to be a very simple program to use. The program was accessible through the campus network and was easily run on their laptops. Students suggested that the introductory tutorials were adequate to get them started and that the program was intuitive when they encountered logistical difficulties. Students felt it was not necessary to supplement the introduction of the inspiration® program with further technical examples. The students were queried as to their understanding of the foundations and characteristics of a hierarchal concept map. interviews and focus group sessions were particularly useful in unearthing the nature of students’ struggle with the notion of a concept map. The most prominent issue in responses was understanding the hierarchical nature of the map. Students consistently wanted to “list” ideas in formats of a web emanating in all directions or alternately as a flow chart of sorts. it is worthwhile to note that in interview sessions as the researcher unpacked the nature of the students’ struggle, students found it useful to think of the map as if they were a teacher trying to plan the “way” they would teach and link ideas. They found it easier in this scenario to see why a logical flow would improve the teaching and learning. it was clear from these responses and discussions in focus groups that more examples of completed concept maps would be helpful, particularly those that demonstrated hierarchy more definitively. MacKinnon in analyzing student maps, another tendency was for students to use propositional phrases that lacked relational information. For example students frequently used descriptors such as “includes” or “generates” or “results in”. in interviews students were charged with being more creative about lending more relational information to the propositional phrases. They were shown examples demonstrating a richness to the propositional links that improved (by their admission) their understanding of all of the concepts and their interconnectedness. The focus groups indicated that showing these examples in the preliminary sessions would improve their understanding of the power and potential for the concept map to go beyond a simple web or flow chart. The researcher was curious as to the value students assigned to the map as a graphic organizer of conceptual overview. over 95% of this sample of students (n=67) believe that the concept map gave them an excellent review of all the main ideas covered in the course. When probed further in interviews, paraphrased-many students said “usually we only see topics one after the other and by the end of the unit we forget what we did in the beginning; drawing the concept map helped to see how everything is related throughout”. interview responses prompted the question of the added value of the technology versus traditional hand drawn concept maps. Students were quick to point out that the technology in this exercise added little to the educational experience. in interviews most students said that drawing the map by hand would be equally valuable. rather astutely, a small group of students said in interviews that the real power of the technology could be recognized if the maps were shared between students and instructor. in addition, focus groups suggested that the concept map be “built up” as the new concepts were added as the class progressed and that the professor should be involved in this. They felt that this approach would give them more confidence that they understood how to accommodate the new ideas within existing conceptual frameworks. Advice to the Instructor Surveys, interviews and focus groups all led to students advising that the instructor either abandon the electronic version of the concept map in favor of an exercise where they simply drew their own map or that an electronic model be promoted in which the maps were revisited weekly by the whole class adding new ideas to the map and sharing them electronically with each other and the instructor. Gods in Classical Myth: A Two-Dimensional Concept Map in this course, students were asked to create a hierarchal map that clearly showed (using propositional phrases) the relationships between a select group of Greek Gods. The electronic map was created using inspiration® software and was prefaced with a tutorial regarding 1) the technicalities of using the program and 2) the nature of a concept map as defined by novak (1990). on the same map students were asked to use the hyperlinking feature of inspiration® to link each of the propositional phrases to a second html document that outline the “nature” of that particular relationship. The instructor provided guidance in suggesting that the “nature” of the relationship would fall within thematic discussions of at least one of the following: family, purposeful acts, divinity (power), personality and justice. as lectures progressed, students were expected to accommodate new gods in their concept map and provide a second level regarding themes and relationships. By the end of the unit on Greek gods, students were to submit a complete 2-dimensional concept map on cD roM. in summation, the focus question for the preparation of this concept map was the following. How are the following gods genealogically-related and what is the nature of their relationship? individual maps were continually revisited by students throughout the unit of study with the instructor periodically interjecting to engage and pose questions regarding new concepts and relationships such that students might accommodate emerging knowledge (cañas & novak, 2006). 226 Electronic Concept Mapping in a Laptop University Students Response 227 as in the Physics study, the majority of students (over 90%, n= 35) in surveys indicated that the inspiration® software was simple to use and that further technical tutorials were not necessary. Focus group discussions pointed to the hyperlinking of local files (as opposed to UrLs) as a cumbersome software issue, but surmountable. Surveys results showed that students found the “first level” hierarchical mapping of the relationships between Greek gods to be a very useful advanced organizer of a large amount of information. aside from considering the symbolism of the gods, it is arguable that the gods themselves in a genealogical map do not constitute concepts. However, in this exercise the relationships (hyperlinked substantiated propositional phrases) between gods were the focus and the thematic treatment of these relationships are certainly concepts. The quality of propositional phrases was not an issue in that the genealogical map frequently used familial connections (e.g. son of, spouse of, sister of, etc.) Students in interviews highlighted key areas where they had difficulty with concept mapping. Students suggested that creating the concept map was not a trivial task and that it required them to engage the curriculum at a level that they had not experienced before. in focus groups this was probed further. Students indicated that there was a big difference between being aware of individual themes proposed and actually considering how they were foundational to the curriculum in the “big picture”. interview data suggested that students didn’t understand completely the purpose of using the map. Said many students paraphrased “i know what we are doing but i am not sure how this is better than traditional ways of learning; what is the added value?”. The focus groups provided further elaboration. Students appreciated the ongoing cognitive “accommodation” that was necessary to build up a map with the professor. They felt that this was most valuable with the genealogical component and had great potential with the thematic analysis if more time was available. Pressed to explain further, in focus groups they suggested that the thematic analysis could probably be done totally separate from the mapping activity and achieve similar objectives. in this vein, students were quick to offer a critical analysis of the technology “for the sake of technology”. Having said this, the interviews and focus groups provided an amazing consensus that, as one student suggested, “having the entire genealogical and thematic analysis in one electronic map was a tidy package”! Advice to the Professor Students recommend that the professor continue to use the electronic concept mapping as a tool to track and build up their understanding of the genealogy of the Greek gods. They saw great value in interacting with the professor and their peers as the new knowledge was added to pre-existing ideas in the shared concept map. The electronic environment at acadia allows for facile exchange of maps and in their opinion, this was an efficient teaching model for social construction of knowledge. conversely, students felt that themes concerning the nature of the god’s relationships could be addressed in a different way. They suggested that discussions about particular relationships should emerge during the course. They felt that rather than linking these themes to propositional phrases in their genealogical map that instead, the themes (i.e. family, purposeful acts, divinity, personality and justice) should have their own representative hierarchical maps using the god’s relationships as examples. This suggestion was a most interesting example of how qualitative action research can bring about innovative thinking and moreover from the participants, the students! Biotechnology and Science Education: A Two-Dimensional Reference Resource Map in two separate courses, teacher interns were asked to create electronic concept maps (using inspiration ® software) of a particular curriculum area. each concept in the traditional hierarchal map was then hyperlinked to a second level which listed (and in some cases linked to) classroom resources and reference materials. Using a biotechnology example of “genetic modification of plants”, the focus question for the concept map was correspondingly the following. in the curriculum area of “genetic modification of plants”, how would you relate the key concepts in a hierarchal concept map paying particular attention to a logical development of ideas as you would teach them? Secondarily, what resources would you choose to hyperlink to main concepts that would provide a foundation for teaching? MacKinnon The electronic map was created using inspiration® software and was prefaced with a tutorial regarding 1) the technicalities of using the program and 2) the nature of a concept map as defined by novak (1990). The hyperlinked electronic map was submitted to the instructor on a cD roM. The instructor’s intent was to generate a range of curriculum materials which could be shared and become part of the tools that interns might access in planning for their classroom content. More specifically, “concept mapping can serve as a basis for linking instructional strategies that when combined with concept mapping form an instructional system teachers are able to use to improve the quality of student content-area understanding” (Vitale, 2006). Student Response Science teacher interns found the inspiration® software to be easy to use. While interviews suggested that additional technical support was not necessary, it was clear that students desired more examples of the hierarchy of a concept map and the range of possibilities for propositional phrases. Surveys pointed to the problem of “propositional ambiguity” i.e. how best to describe relationships between concepts, a problem noted in earlier work (cost et al, 2004). interns found the preliminary activity of choosing the relevant component concepts to the topic to be a mere listing of ideas that they felt important. This preconception however carried over into a treatment of the concept map as a “brainstorming activity” much like a “central-spoke” mind web. The addition of thoughtful propositional phrases then became a very cumbersome afterthought. interns found themselves pressed to engage the material beyond the typical rote learning processes of recall of definitions. it seemed clear from interviews that the arranging of concepts in a meaningful and purposeful hierarchy involved significant deliberation and both macro and micro considerations of the component concepts as they related to the greater curriculum. interns felt this to be an enormous task and displayed a wide range of ability to create logical progression of ideas. in interviews, students were asked to comment on concept maps whose inherent structure spanned the “conceptual disarray” of a brainstorming map to a hierarchal description of great clarity. over 50% of students (n=45) were unable to articulate how the hierarchy made a difference in the logical flow of the ideas. Moreover their lack of discernment regarding the quality of propositional phrases was alarming. it was abundantly evident that interns needed much more practice working with concept maps of familiar content so as to develop more logical and useful curriculum planning concept maps. in focus groups some interns alluded to the notion that the concept maps were less effective for planning than traditional “pointed outline” approaches. When probed further it was noted that some interns found the graphical representation to be less effective for them than text. This points to preferences in intern learning styles that shouldn’t come as a surprise. For this segment of the study group (~30%, n=45) drawing a concept map was a cumbersome and uncomfortable expression of their ideas. it maybe argued that some part of this discomfort is associated with them not being visual learners although interviews did not establish this unequivocally. researchers should be wary that any exercise that engages students to think critically and completely about a topic may yield cognitive discomfort and disequilibrium (Hill, 2004; novak, 1998). as interns prepared concept maps they continually interacted with their peers and professor regarding the content and structure of said maps. in interviews, interns highlighted this interaction as being most fruitful in “organically” evolving their map through a certain negotiation that challenged their pre-existing concepts. This sample of interns was adamant that the concept map-empowered knowledge building be dynamic and be rooted in social constructivist notions of meaningful learning through interaction with their peers and engaging questions from their instructor (cañas & novak, 2006). More so than in the Greek gods research, most interns (85%, n=45) found the hyperlinked curriculum cD roM to be an excellent resource for their teaching. The concept mapping assignment culminated in the respective course groups getting copies of all the cD roMs of their peers. This resource encompassed a tremendous quantity of shared research into curriculum; it shouldn’t be surprising that the sample could see that added value of the technology. When asked about technology use specifically in focus groups interns pointed to three specific areas of importance: 1) mapping out curriculum with an electronic program was easily accomplished and more importantly regularly revised, 2) the ease of preparing a singular resource on a cD roM and 3) the ease of sharing curriculum with technology communications systems in class.(e.g. email, MSn , file sharing network software). 228 Electronic Concept Mapping in a Laptop University Advice to the Instructor 229 Teacher interns were asked to reflect on this activity as a “risk-taking” classroom experiment. This particular group in the context of the acadia University infrastructure and furthermore as aspiring teachers readily assume a critical stance towards technology. (i.e is technology empowering pedagogy or being used for the sake of technology?). even within this framework, interns saw the value of collaboratively building concept maps around curriculum of immediate importance to them. For this reason focus groups recommend that the professor continue to assign this curriculum project to promote: 1) understanding of the relevant concepts in their curriculum topic and 2) access to resources to support teaching. interns were quick to suggest that they needed much more experience in 1) organizing concepts under a larger topic in a hierarchy, 2) effective use of propositions to lend definitive information regarding relationships between concepts and 3) looking at the concepts globally and improving the cross links between concepts. Quite astutely, students recognized that their appreciation for the power of the hierarchical concept map, by comparison to a brainstorming web, had grown substantially through this curriculum assignment. Reflections it seems redundant to suggest that the way in which you use concept maps has a tremendous impact on their effectiveness to achieve educational outcomes. This paper represents an introduction to a cross-curricular study of potential uses of electronic concept mapping in a technology-rich environment. it remains to consider how the contexts of each of these studies impacts their success as perceived by the student and instructor. nonetheless, the above studies highlight some of the embedded concerns and challenges that accompany implementation of concept mapping as a viable tool in teaching and learning. it is only through action research in real classrooms that we can hope to identify some the exciting potential concept mapping holds for knowledge building. References angelo, T. a. & cross, K. P. (1993). classroom assessment techniques (2nd ed.). San Francisco, ca: Jossey-Bass Pub. auerbach, c. F., & Silverstein, L. B. (2003). Qualitative data: an introduction to coding and analysis. new york: new york University. cañas, a. ., & novak, J. (2005). a concept map-centered learning environment. 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(2006). concept mapping as a means for binding knowledge to effective content-area instruction: an interdisciplinary perspective. in a. cañas & J. novak, (eds.), concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proceedings of the Second international conference on concept Mapping. San José, costa rica: Universidad de costa rica. West, D., Park, J., Pomeroy, J., & Sandoval, J. (2002). concept mapping assessment in medical education: a comparison of two scoring systems. Medical education 36: 820-826. Acknowledgements The research participation of P. Williams & V. Provencal is gratefully acknowledged. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 231-238 Using Virtual Classroom Cases as Thinking Tools in Teacher Education Roxana MoReno, SaRa abeRcRoMbie, and caRolyn HuSHMan University of New Mexico, USA This paper reports the findings of a research program funded by the national Science Foundation aimed at examining whether and under which conditions does the use of virtual classroom cases promote prospective teachers’ ability to apply teaching principles into practice. in a collaborative effort with in-service teachers, we embedded a library of authentic classroom cases in an instructional program where preservice teachers learned about educational theory and research and corresponding teaching principles. based on a careful examination of current research in the learning sciences, we identified several open research questions about how to effectively design virtual classroom cases for technology-based teacher education. The objective of this paper is to present a review of six experimental studies that set out to answer these questions. For each study, we summarize the method, results, and discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings. Many preservice teachers experience a de-contextualized and superficial curriculum characterized by inadequate time to connect theory and practice (Merseth 1999). Therefore, it is imperative to find ways to provide aspiring teachers with the necessary tools to perform effectively in their classrooms. one promising tool consists of using virtual classroom cases to examine and clarify the complexities and connections of the principles involved in the teaching practice (laframboise & Griffith 1997). by providing students with virtual classroom scenarios, they can practice their skills, apply their knowledge, and build teaching experience before entering the profession. on the theoretical side, a compelling body of knowledge from the cognitive sciences has advocated that students learn more and better when the content is situated in real-world contexts (Greeno, collins, & Resnick 1996). nevertheless, a careful examination of current research in the learning sciences reveals several open research questions about the design of classroom cases and case reasoning methods for technology-based teacher education. in the next sections, we report the results of six experimental studies that set out to answer these questions. The focus of the studies is on the cognitive and affective consequences of using virtual classroom exemplars in teacher education. exemplar cases help prospective teachers bridge theory and practice by illustrating how teaching principles should be applied to real classroom situations (Moreno & ortegano-layne 2008; van den berg, Jansen, & blijleven 2004). 232 Moreno, Abercrombie, and Hushman Experiments 1 and 2: Do Virtual Classroom Exemplars in Text and Video Formats Affect Prospective Teachers’ Learning and Perceptions about Learning? There is considerable evidence that students can effectively learn by observing how others perform different tasks in real life or by means of symbolic modeling (bandura, 1986; braaksma, Rijlaarsdam, & van den bergh 2002). The objective of this work was to examine whether presenting prospective teachers with classroom exemplars in text or video formats would affect their perceptions and ability to transfer the teaching principles learned to new classroom cases both immediately after instruction and by the end of the semester term. Specifically, we were interested in answering the following research questions: 1. does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? 2. does the format of the classroom exemplar affect students’ retention? 3. does the classroom exemplar or format affect students’ learning perceptions? To answer these questions, in two experiments, we compared the learning outcomes and perceptions of a group of prospective teachers who learned about two different educational psychology topics, either with or without the presentation of a virtual classroom exemplar. Students were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. One group watched a video case exemplar during instruction (video group); a second group read a corresponding script of the case including the dialogue and descriptions of classroom, teacher, and students (text group); and a third group spent the same amount of time reviewing the theoretical module of the topic (control group). To investigate if the classroom case exemplar had immediate and/or delayed learning effects, the learning measures were administered immediately after the treatment and four weeks later, on the last week of the semester. Participants and Methods The participants of experiments 1 and 2 were 55 and 53 prospective teachers, respectively. The procedure consisted of the following steps. First, participants learned about the theory and research corresponding to the topic (constructivist learning and classroom assessment for experiments 1 and 2, respectively). next, all participants were given a pretest to measure how much they had learned from the theoretical module. Then, each group received the same amount of time to watch the case (video group), read the case (text group), or review the theory learned (control group). next, students were asked to complete a program-rating survey, which was followed by a case retention test and a transfer test. The survey asked students to rate their learning perceptions (i.e., helpful, understandable, interesting, motivating) on a 10-point scale. The retention test was only given to the video and text groups. it was designed to examine if the presentation format of the exemplar affected students’ immediate and/or delayed retention of the factual information contained in the case and asked students to write down everything they could remember about the classroom case that they had watched/read. The transfer test was designed to examine if the classroom exemplar affected students’ immediate and/or delayed transfer of the principles learned to a novel classroom scenario. it consisted of four questions where students were asked to apply the learned principles to their own teaching practice (i.e., “describe what kind of strategies you might use to promote constructivist learning in your teaching area”). Results does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? To answer this question, we conducted a two-way, mixed ancoVa using treatment condition as the between-subjects factor, transfer testing time (immediate and delayed) as the within-subject factor, and students’ pretest score as a covariate. in the first study, we found a significant interaction between condition and testing time, F (2, 49) = 5.15, MSE = 6.72, p = .009, partial η² = .17, a large effect size (olejnik & algina 2000). Post-hoc Tukey analyses showed that immediately after the treatment, the video group produced higher transfer scores than both the text and control groups. in the second study, we also found a significant interaction between condition and testing time, F (2, 51) = 6.66, MSE = 4.97, p = .003, partial η² = .21, a large effect size. Similar to the first study, we found that immediately after the treatment, the video group produced higher transfer scores than the text and control groups. 233 Using Virtual Classroom Cases as Thinking Tools in Teacher Education does the format of the classroom exemplar affect students’ retention? To answer this question we conducted a twoway, mixed anoVa with treatment (video, text) as the between-subjects factor and retention testing time (immediate and delayed) as the within-subject factor. in experiment 1, the anoVa revealed a significant interaction between condition and time, F (1, 34) = 4.30, MSE =1.49, p = .046, partial η² = .11 (medium effect size). Post-hoc Tukey analyses showed that although the mean retention scores were not significantly different between text and video conditions on the immediate test, they were significantly higher for the video group than the text group on the delayed measure. experiment 2 also showed a significant interaction between condition and time, F (1, 36) = 6.63, MSE =4.57, p = .014, partial η² = .16 (large effect size) and pattern of results: the video group showed higher retention than the text group on the delayed measure. does the classroom exemplar or format affect students’ learning perceptions? To answer this question, we conducted a one-way anoVa, using treatment as the between-subjects factor and students’ program rating scores as the dependent variable. experiment 1 revealed a significant difference between treatment groups, F (2, 50) = 11.32, MSE =2.49, p < .001, partial η² = .31 (large effect size). Post-hoc Tukey analyses indicated that the video group had significantly higher mean ratings than both the text group and the control group. in a similar fashion, experiment 2 showed a significant difference between treatment groups, F (2, 52) = 6.75, MSE = 3.74, p = .002, partial η² = .21 (large effect size), with the video group producing higher ratings than both the text and control groups. Discussion The two experiments showed a consistent pattern of results that is supportive of presenting virtual classroom exemplars in video format. First, students reported more favorable ratings for learning with a video exemplar as compared to learning with a text exemplar or with no exemplar. This finding is consistent with research showing the motivational effects of using instructional video cases (barnett & Tyson 1999; Henry, castek, Roberts, coiro, & leu 2004). Second, although video and text groups had comparable immediate retention of the exemplar, the video group demonstrated more durable retention over time. Third, we found that presenting a classroom exemplar in video format promoted transfer of the principles learned into practice. The video group showed significant benefits over the control and text groups on immediate transfer of learning. However, the transfer advantage of the video group disappeared by the end of the semester. To shed light on the short-lived transfer effects of the video exemplar, we conducted additional qualitative analyses on students’ transfer responses. Students’ acceptable answers were coded into model answers (those demonstrated by the teacher) and novel answers (those that were correct applications of the principles learned but which had not been modeled by the teacher). an investigation of the relative contribution of model and novel answers to students’ transfer scores revealed two interesting findings: both exemplar groups produced significantly more model answers than the control group and the video group (the only exemplar group whose retention did not decay over time) produced more model answers than the control group by the end of the semester. in sum, similar to research that examined the effects of models on academic skills (braaksma et al. 2002) the participants who learned with a virtual teacher illustrating how to apply the learned principles into practice were more likely to transfer the modeled strategies to new scenarios than those not presented with the model. This likelihood seems to depend on the strength of the exemplar memory, which is increased when it is in video format (baggett 1979). Experiments 3 and 4: Do Animated Classroom Exemplars Show the Same Affective and Learning Benefits than Those Found for Video Classroom Exemplars? The first two studies of our research program showed a clear advantage for using video classroom exemplars as tools to help prospective teachers transfer teaching principles into practice. The objective of experiments 3 and 4 was to examine whether the presentation of a virtual classroom exemplar in animated format would produce the same benefits than those found for classroom videos. Today’s technologies offer the opportunity to include three dimensional graphics and digital sound into computer-based environments for learning, allowing for the development of increasingly realistic animations of classroom agents and artifacts (Moroney & Moroney 1999). by blurring the distinction between reality and its representation, these emergent technologies provide the opportunity to create virtual classroom scenarios that are closely aligned with the teacher education curriculum. although many efforts have been made to produce real classroom footage for teacher preparation, such creations entail the investment of much time and expense and do not warrant capturing a relevant learning situation. experiments 3 and 4 set out to answer the following research questions: 234 Moreno, Abercrombie, and Hushman 1. 2. does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? does the classroom exemplar or format affect students’ learning perceptions? To answer these questions, we asked a group of prospective teachers to learn about teaching principles with a multimedia instructional program that either did not include a classroom exemplar illustrating how to apply the principles learned to practice (control group) or included a classroom case exemplar in video, animated, or text format. With the exception of the retention test, we used the same outcome measures than those used in experiments 1 and 2: a pretest, a transfer test, and a program rating survey. Participants and Methods The participants of experiments 3 and 4 were 80 prospective teachers who were enrolled in an introductory educational psychology course. The materials for the three conditions were identical to those used in the first two experiments. in addition, a computer graphics designer replicated the classroom videos in animated format. The end product was an animation with identical duration and audio files than the videos and three-dimensional teacher, students, and classroom artifacts representing the original videos in detail. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions. Then, they learned about the theory corresponding to the topic (cognitive principles of learning and essential teaching skills for experiments 3 and 4, respectively), which was followed by the pretest. next, each group received the same amount of time to watch the case (animated and video groups), read the case (text group), or review the theory learned (control group). Finally, students were asked to complete the program-rating survey and transfer test, which were identical to those used in the first two experiments. Results does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? a one-way ancoVa using treatment as the between-subjects factor, students’ transfer score as the dependent variable, and the pretest score as a covariate revealed a significant treatment effect on transfer for experiment 3, F(3, 75) = 2.99, MSE = 13.70, p < .05, η² = .11 (medium effect size). Tukey tests indicated that the animation group produced higher scores than the text and control groups and that the video group produced higher scores than the control group. experiment 4 also revealed a significant treatment effect on transfer, F (3, 75) = 4.17, MSE = 20.62, p = .009, η² = .14 (large effect size). Tukey tests indicated that the animation and video groups produced higher scores than the control group. does the classroom exemplar or format affect students’ learning perceptions? a one-way anoVa, using treatment as the between-subjects factor and students’ mean rating score on the program survey as the dependent variable revealed a significant treatment effect on learning perceptions for experiment 3, F (3, 76) = 4.03, MSE = 269.13, p < .05, η² = .14 (large effect size). Tukey tests showed that the video group rated the learning experience more favorably than text and control groups and that the animation group rated the learning experience more favorably than the control group. likewise, experiment 4 showed a significant treatment effect on students’ perceptions, F (3, 76) = 3.92, MSE = 285.88, p < .05, η² = .13 (medium effect size). Tukey tests showed that the animation and video groups rated the learning experience more favorably than the control group and that the animation group also rated the learning experience more favorably than the text group. Discussion Taken together, the findings of experiments 3 and 4 show that visual classroom exemplars (video and animation formats) help students apply teaching principles to practice as compared to not presenting classroom exemplars. This replicates the findings of our first two studies using different topics and different groups of students and extends the findings to a novel format for presenting exemplar classroom practices, namely, classroom animations. in line with research examining the effects of models on academic skills (braaksma et al. 2002), students who were presented with a model teacher illustrating how to apply the learned principles into her practice were more likely to transfer the modeled strate- 235 Using Virtual Classroom Cases as Thinking Tools in Teacher Education gies to their own teaching areas than those not presented with the model. in addition, this research supports the idea that visual classroom exemplars promote positive learning perceptions in teacher education. Students presented with exemplars in video or animated format had more favorable learning perceptions than those who learned with no exemplars. Therefore, the findings of the four experiments extend past research on the motivational effects of using visual aids during instruction (Henry et al. 2004). Finally, a finding that merits discussion is that, similar to experiments 1 and 2, the text group did not produce significantly higher transfer scores than the control group. Several hypotheses can be offered as an explanation of this unexpected result. First, it is possible that video and animated exemplars are better able to convey certain information than text exemplars. in particular, the lack of temporal and visual information may have imposed a burden on students’ meaning making process while reading the classroom case. Second, it is possible that visual exemplars help learning by increasing students’ attention. This hypothesis is supported by the lower program ratings given by the text groups and by many informal comments that students offered in their debriefing sheets, where they indicated a dislike for reading, having difficulty concentrating on reading, or disappointment for not having visual aids during learning. The fact that visual cases promoted both learning and positive learning perceptions supports recent theoretical developments on learning with media, which argue that positive affect mediates learning by increasing cognitive engagement (Moreno & Mayer 2007). in sum, we found evidence that format is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of classroom exemplars as pedagogical tools for teacher education. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying the transfer advantage shown by the visual exemplar groups in our studies. Experiments 5 and 6: How Can We Optimize Learning from Virtual Classroom Animations and Videos? although the use of instructional videos and animations is very popular and in our own research we found that visual exemplars promote learning and positive perceptions, past studies suggest that dynamic visualizations may be no better than a series of equivalent-content static images (Hegarty, Kriz, & cate 2003). a potential explanation for this finding is that dynamic visualizations require high levels of mental abstraction and synthesis of the procedures modeled, which can overload students’ cognitive capacity (Sweller 1999). The goal of experiments 5 and 6 was to examine whether cueing students’ attention with visual signals and/or segmenting the classroom video/animation into smaller portions would promote their learning and perceptions about learning. in particular, this work is motivated by the following research questions: 1. 2. 3. does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? does the signaling or segmentation of video/animation exemplars help students identify the principles illustrated in the virtual classroom? are students’ perceptions about learning affected when presented with a classroom video/animation in the different conditions? To answer these questions, we asked a group of prospective teachers to learn about 7 essential teaching skills with the help of an instructional program. They learned either with or without (control group) an exemplar classroom video (experiment 5) or animation (experiment 6) illustrating how to apply the teaching skills into practice. For some students, attention to relevant information was directed using visual signaling and for others the video/animation was segmented into smaller chunks of information. Visual signaling consisted of highlighting the teaching skills that were being demonstrated on a step-laddered list located next to the video/animation. because signaling minimizes the extraneous processing of irrelevant information, we expected signaling groups to outperform no-signaling groups on retention of relevant visual information illustrated in the exemplar and transfer (lowe 2003). The segmenting method consisted of presenting students with a preset number of segments after which the video/animation paused. Students were given the opportunity to “Pause and Reflect” on smaller portions of the information before moving on to view the next portion. We hypothesized that segmenting would help students make connections among the domain knowledge and the exemplars by minimizing the amount of information needed to be processed in working memory at one time (Mayer & chandler 2001). Similar to experiments 1 and 2, students were given a retention test, which asked them to write down all the teaching skills that they could remember from the exemplar. Similar to experiments 3 and 4, students were given a pretest of the 236 Moreno, Abercrombie, and Hushman theoretical module and a transfer test. To examine whether the signaling and segmenting methods affected students’ perceptions of difficulty, in addition to the program ratings survey, we administered a cognitive load instrument. Participants and Methods The participants of experiments 5 and 6 were 151 and 143 prospective teachers who were enrolled in an introductory educational psychology course, respectively. The video, animation, and control materials were identical to those used in experiment 4 with the following two exceptions: the instructional programs for all video and animation conditions included an exemplar retention test immediately after the exemplar had been presented and signaling and segmented versions were created by adding the visual cues and by segmenting the original exemplars into chunks, respectively. Participants were randomly assigned to participate in one of five conditions: control (c), signaling/no segmentation (Si/noSe), no signaling/segmentation (no-Si/Se), no signaling/no segmentation (no-Si/no-Se), and signaling/segmentation (Si/ Se). next, they learned about the seven essential teaching skills and took the pretest. Following the pretest, each group received the same amount of time to watch the case (animated and video groups) or review the theory learned (control group). Then, the exemplar groups completed the retention test. Finally, all participants completed the program-rating survey, cognitive-load instrument, and transfer test. Results does the presentation of a classroom exemplar affect students’ transfer? a one-way ancoVa using treatment as the between-subjects factor, the transfer scores as the dependent variable, and students’ pretest score as a covariate revealed a significant treatment effect, F (4, 145) = 8.51, MSe = 48.10, p < .0001, η² = .19 (large effect size). Tukey tests showed that all video groups produced higher transfer scores than the control group. experiment 6 also revealed a significant treatment effect, F (4, 137) = 11.01, MSe = 56.30, p < .0001, η² = .24 (large effect size). as expected, Tukey tests showed that all animation groups produced higher transfer scores than the control group. in addition, experiment 6 showed that the no-Si/no-Se group underperformed the Si/Se and no-Si/Se groups. does the signaling and/or segmentation of video/animation exemplars help students identify the principles illustrated in the virtual classroom? a two-factor anoVa using Si and Se as factors and students’ retention test score as the dependent variable showed a significant Se effect for both experiments, F(1,117) = 13.78, MSe = 30.19, p < .0001, partial η² = .11 for experiment 5 and F(1,110) = 16.03, MSe = 35.18, p < .0001, partial η² = .13 for experiment 6 (medium effect sizes). as expected, Se groups were able to remember significantly more relevant information from the virtual classrooms than no-Se groups. on the other hand, there were no differences between groups Si and no-Si on either experiment. are students’ perceptions about learning affected when presented with a classroom video/animation in the different conditions? a one-way ManoVa with treatment as between-subject factor and students’ program ratings and cognitive load ratings as dependent variables revealed a treatment effect for both experiments, Wilks’ η = .87, F (8,290) = 2.68, p = .007, partial η² = .07 for experiment 1 and Wilks’ η = .82, F (8,274) = 3.68, p < .0001, partial η² = .10 for experiment 2 (medium effect sizes). in both studies, Tukey tests indicated that Se groups gave significantly lower cognitive load ratings than the no-Si/no-Se group. only the second experiment showed statistically significant differences on the program ratings. The control group gave significantly lower program ratings than non-segmented groups. Conclusion The findings of experiments 5 and 6 replicate the pattern of results found in our previous experiments by showing that the control group underperformed all virtual classroom groups on the transfer test. Theoretically, this finding is consistent with evidence that instructional examples can serve as models for problem solving in new situations (dunbar 1995) and with the positive learning effects of using symbolic and real models to promote students’ academic skills (bandura, 1986; braaksma et al. 2002). Practically, it strengthens the idea that virtual classrooms can be effective tools for helping aspiring teachers make meaningful bridges between theory and practice. although classroom vignettes and 237 Using Virtual Classroom Cases as Thinking Tools in Teacher Education written cases are widely used in teacher education, our research suggests that this format may not promote encoding and motivation as well as visual classroom exemplars. in addition, we found evidence in our last two experiments that segmenting classroom videos or animations can effectively reduce the cognitive load that these visually demanding aids may produce on the novice teacher (Sweller 1999). across the two studies, students who learned with segmented videos that prompted them to pause and reflect were better able to identify relevant teacher behaviors within the virtual classrooms and reported lower levels of difficulty during learning. a caveat, however, is that students’ perceptions may be negatively affected when these visual aids are segmented. This hypothesis is suggested by the program rating results from experiment 6 and by students’ debriefing comments. Many students stated that they would have liked to watch the video/animation without pauses. Perhaps the best method for presenting these dynamic classroom visualizations is to first show the whole classroom scenario and, on a second viewing, ask students to focus only on smaller portions of the visual information to promote deeper learning. Future studies should examine the promise of this combination. although we expected the signaling method to promote retention of exemplar information and transfer, this was not the case. a potential explanation for this result is that the benefits of signaling may have been offset by the split-attention effect resulting from forcing students to switch their attention between the video/animation and the step-laddered list located next to the video/animation (Moreno, 2007). a productive area of research is to investigate alternative signaling techniques that are less visually demanding (i.e., spotlights). lastly, it is important to note that the implications of our research are limited because the classroom videos and animations that we used had a specific instructional function (exemplars), domain (educational psychology), and were examined with an experimental method where individual student performance was measured. What our research program suggests is that it takes as little as one exemplar video or animation to help prospective teachers create a frame of reference in memory for transferring the modeled behaviors to future teaching scenarios. The question of how much more influential visual classroom exemplars would be if more than one video/animation was presented, if they were fully integrated into class instruction, or if they were embedded in group activities needs further investigation. References baggett, P. (1979). Structurally equivalent stories in movie and text and the effect of the medium on recall. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 18, 333–56. bandura, a. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. upper Saddle River, nJ: Prentice Hall. barnett, c. & Tyson, P. (1999). case methods and teacher change: Shifting authority to build autonomy. in M. lundeberg, b. levin, & H. Harrington (eds.), Who learns what from cases and how? (pp. 53-69). 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(2007). optimizing learning from animations by minimizing cognitive load: cognitive and affective consequences of signaling and segmentation methods. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 765-781. Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. e. (2007). interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational Psychology Review, 19, 309326. Moreno, R. & ortegano-layne, l. (2008). using cases as thinking tools in teacher education: The role of presentation format. Educational Technology Research and Development, 56, 449-465. Moroney, W.F. & Moroney, b.W. (1999). Flight simulation. in d.J. Garland, J.a. Wise, & V.d. Hopkin (eds.) Handbook of aviation human factors (pp. 355 - 388). Mahwah, nJ: lawrence erlbaum associates. olejnik, S., & algina, J. (2000). Measures of effect size for comparative studies: application, interpretations, and limitations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 241-286. Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. camberwell, australia: aceR Press. van den berg, e., Jansen, l., & blijleven, P. (2004). learning with multimedia cases: an evaluation study. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12 (4), 491-509. Acknowledgements This material is based upon work supported by the national Science Foundation under Grant no. 0238385. any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 239-246 Exploring Online Learning through Design and Design-Based Research Priscilla NortoN aNd dawN HatHaway George Mason University, USA in this paper, the authors explore the role of design and design-based research as an alternative research methodology for uncovering principles and strategies for integrating online learning with graduate professional development. Using an abbreviated version of their research journey, the authors demonstrate how design and design-based research informs the dynamic of practice and discovery, situated in a particular educational context. they conclude that innovation, design principles, and theory derive not from discrete research projects or meta-analysis of multiple research studies but from an ongoing set of design events assessed for outcomes, impacts, and insights. what are the possibilities of online learning for teacher technology education? what design features might maximize its promise? How might the affordances provided by this cluster of tools be used to enhance robust learning experiences? is it necessary for educators to adopt new pedagogical models and embrace a bold new view of learning and teaching or can time honored instructional strategies be applied to virtual environments? answering these questions with integrity requires a response that is not only research-based but research-validated. yet, establishing a research agenda to address such questions is confounded by ongoing debates about what constitutes appropriate methodological approaches to inquiry. tradition as well as the current climate of federal policy urges randomized field trials as the preferred method for generating scientific evidence on the effectiveness of educational programs. such an approach promotes research whose aim is to test hypotheses using experimental designs. this approach suggests comparative experimental designs emphasizing generalized causal inferences about educational initiatives ought to be the predominant, if not the sole, approach. this method suggests expanding on single studies by collecting and synthesizing results from topically-related experimental studies through meta-analyses. others argue for designing rigorous evaluations that take into account the fundamental characteristics of sound evaluation research and the complex organizational and community environments in which educational programs evolve and typically operate (e.g. chatterji, 2004). instead of a singular dependence on experimental designs, they call for alternative quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods. as we wrestled with approaches for exploring and researching the role online learning might play in enhancing our teacher education program, we questioned these methodologies. would they facilitate innovation? would they lead us toward new solutions for navigating largely uncharted waters? it seemed these methodologies lent themselves best to judging outcomes not processes, to evaluating products not discovering principles of design, and to “right” answers not varied and robust practice. we came to understand there was “a need not only for a strong theoretical and empirical research 240 Norton and Hathaway base, but also for design principles derived from theory and research” (Mccombs & Vakili, 2005, p.1583). this would most likely be best accomplished, we concluded, not by quasi-experimental studies of isolated variables but by designbased research models (Herrington, reeves, & oliver, 2005). thus, in this paper, we explore the ways in which we used design and design-based research to guide our attempts to integrate online learning in our technology integration graduate program. we illustrate how innovation, design principles, and pedagogical models derive not from discrete research projects or meta-analysis of multiple research studies but from an ongoing set of design events assessed for outcomes, impacts, and insights. Design anD Design-BaseD ReseaRch Design anything that is not naturally occurring is in some way designed. if the principles that guide the design are robust, flexible, grounded in theory and practice, articulated, and reusable, the design has applicability and usability and presents a positive solution to a problem. the union of a design process and design principles can support a course of study, research, and learning. Not all educational problems may be solved with the same design process since there is a relationship between process and product with each informing the other. similarly, design principles are not universal as each educational problem has its own unique audience, goal, and context. yet each educational solution ought to be the result of a thoughtful design process and set of principles that inform that process. the field of design – its decision-making processes, its varied principles, and its study – can frame the teaching/learning enterprise regardless of context, goal, and audience. design has been defined as the generation of an idea and the process of giving “form, structure and function to that idea” (Nelson & stolterman, 2003, p. 1). the process of design includes locating relevant information, structuring a problem, inducing creative insight, proposing a solution, and evaluating that solution (lawson, 2004). Using the primary lens of the design process rather than theoretical perspective provides insight into how decisions are made and factors that may impact the complex, ill-structured, and human act of design. those involved in the act of design including professionals in architecture, engineering, computer systems, product design, learning sciences design, instructional design disciplines, among others seem to agree that design is a complex, yet practical journey. design is often referred to as selection of tradeoffs in decision-making, where the constraints are continually changing and need to be considered and reconsidered in relation to the overall problem and proposed solution (Preece, rogers and sharp, 2002). in studies of architects’ work, design is described as an act that closely integrates analysis or understanding of the applied problem with synthesis or generation of a solution (lawson, 2004). architects engaged in design continually generate new goals and redefine constraints throughout the process. these descriptions illustrate the challenges and complexity as well as the integration of pragmatic, dynamic, and generative processes of design. the act of design can also be viewed as a balance between the tensions of the theoretical and the practical. Nelson and stolterman (2003) discuss this tension in distinguishing between reactive and proactive stances in design “by ‘finding meaning’ in things that happen and ‘making meaning’ by causing things to happen” (p.49). designers are tasked with the dual challenge of attempting to make meaning through deliberately causing things to happen through the act of design and development while also trying to find meaning in analyzing the consequences of that action to generate knowledge about teaching and learning. thus, designers consider the characteristics of their learners, the demands of their contexts, the complexities of learning goals and outcomes, and the ways in which learning resources and tools can be leveraged – all in the service of designing solutions. they learn to attend to design as a process informed by principles. they learn not what to do but how to do it. they learn to study teaching and learning designs not only to judge their outcomes but to derive principles that inform their practice and illuminate and/or contribute to theory. Exploring Online Learning through Design and Design-Based Research Design-Based Research 241 design-based research is an emerging paradigm for the study of learning in context through design that includes strategies and tools in order to help create and extend knowledge about developing and sustaining learning environments. in design-based research, learning is “engineered” and systematically studied in context. design experimentation is concerned with the full, interacting system of learning to include tasks or problems, kinds of discourse, norms of participation, tools and related materials, and the means by which teachers orchestrate relations among these elements. “design experiments therefore constitute a means of addressing the complexity that is a hallmark of educational settings” (cobb, confrey, disessa, lehrer, & schauble, 2003, p. 9). design-based research has as its goals not the “right” answer but the ability to improve educational practice. its promise is to provide opportunities to explore possibilities for creating novel learning and teaching environments, to develop contextualize theories of learning and teaching, to construct cumulative design knowledge, and to increase the human capacity for innovation (the design-Based research collective, 2003). Focusing on the development of a class of theories about both the process and means embedded in an instructional design, design-based research is highly interventionist. as such, design-based research typically studies innovative educational designs in order to investigate and study the possibilities of bringing about new forms of learning. Frequently, the focus of a design experiment represents a significant discontinuity from typical educational practice. thus, “the design of innovations enables us to create learning conditions that learning theory suggests are productive, but that are not commonly practiced or are not well understood” (the design-Based research collective, 2003, p. 5). a central principle of good design research is that it should focus on development and research that takes place through continuous cycles of design, enactment, analysis, and redesign (cobb, 2001; collins, 1992). design studies involve a pronounced emphasis on the narrative report of the complex interactions and feedback cycles that can significantly blur the roles of researchers, teachers, curriculum developers, instructional designers, and assessment experts (Kelly & lesh, 2000). Bannan-ritland (2003) argues that a program of research is a design event. that is, a well crafted single study is “part of an entire scope of work from original idea to diffusion of results” (p. 21). thus, design researchers do not think in terms of a study defined by a clear beginning and end but as an agenda centered on a clear question. the design researcher engages in a series of design events – each crafted to illustrate and assess specific and intentional design features or theories. these events are studied for the ways in which learning is influenced within the context of its use. Pursuing an iterative process of design and assessment, the design researcher, over time, is able to derive design principles and processes that lead to theories about how to achieve desired learning outcomes. UnDeRstanDing the Role of online leaRning: a MUltiplicity of Design events the Research context it has long been recognized that professional development concerning technology integration carries with it challenges beyond more traditional teacher inservice topics. as schrum (1999) stated, “Even with a clear understanding of staff development research and principles, teaching about technology requires another layer of consideration” (p. 85). First, it takes longer to learn about using technology than it does to learn a new teaching mode (Mehlinger, 1997). second, it is essential that those learning about technology have ample access for extended practice in order to build confidence with its affordances (ota, 1995). third, technology can be frustrating or even frightening for some and thus adults need time, understanding, and support (robinson, 1995). last, learning to use technology for instructional purposes requires many to reconceptualize teaching, learning, and personal practices (Becker, 1999). thus, studies consistently report that extensive practice, a comfortable atmosphere, individualized attention, and voluntary participation are essential (schrum & Fitzgerald, 1996). 242 Norton and Hathaway However, there is as yet no apparent single method for attaining this goal, and what seems to work best is a combination of professional development processes and technologies (reiser, 2001-02). the literature offers few rigorously conducted longitudinal studies, but the apple classroom of tomorrow (acot) project offers insights for creating professional development opportunities. acot offered five characteristics associated with successful staff development: (a) be situated in a constructivist learning environment with opportunities to explore, discover, and construct knowledge, (b) focus on classroom practice not theory, (c) provide time for reflection on learning and teaching, (d) provide opportunities to plan projects within their own classroom and school, and (e) provide immediate and follow-up support as well as ongoing conversation (dwyer, 1995). with insights derived from the acot project, the integrating technology in schools (its) graduate program was created in 1997. the integrating technology in schools graduate degree program (its) is a cohort program. From its inception, four domains of inquiry have guided the work of the cohort: (a) technology’s impact on social contexts and educational change, (b) technology’s impact on knowledge forms, (c) technology’s impact on conceptions of the teaching/learning process, and (d) technology’s impact on educational goals (Norton, 1994). within this frame, the its curriculum includes courses in curriculum and learning theory as well as technology applications and their affordances. the 36 graduate credit hour program includes five tools courses, four curriculum and instruction courses, one leadership course, and two practicum courses. although students register for discrete courses, topics are interwoven within the work of the group using a master schedule. tools are presented and used either to support teacher learning or through modeled lessons. the its program teaches a notion of tools as best learned in the context of their use. that is, there should be no separation of what is learned from how it is learned and used. it is, therefore, committed to inservice education that focuses on mastery of tools connected to sound principles of curriculum and instruction. By 2002, the program was graduating a minimum of 40 students each year, and program graduates were increasingly assuming leadership roles in their school divisions either as site-based technology resource teachers, department and grade level chairs, or at the division level in resource and program leadership positions. the program had naturally undergone modifications to reflect currency and new understandings. yet, its pedagogical model remained rooted in face to face meetings. three events were to coalesce to spur a revision of the ways in which the work of the group proceeds: (a) the availability of new and more accessible tools, (b) the telecommunications act of 1996 which accelerated considerations of the role of the internet and virtual experiences in K-12 settings, and (c) the increased public consciousness including that of teachers concerning online learning as an educational option. as these factors began to shape the educational horizon, we were forced to think deeply about the design of online learning and to consider if it might enhance the its program. if so, how? we had a deep and rich knowledge of our students and successful professional development; we had little if any knowledge about the design of learning experiences in online settings. Design-Based Research in action although Norton (i.e. 1995) had experimented with telecommunications tools in the its program, the program’s structures and practices were deeply embedded in face to face practice. the team of faculty and doctoral students working with the program was skeptical of the changes that online learning might impose on the program. we were reluctant to embrace change for change’s sake but were challenged when a group of teachers unable to commute to campus for the its program proposed online learning as a solution to their needs. thus was born our first design event. we designed a version of its that incorporate a four part cycle: (a) instructor-led face to face class, (b) class conducted virtually using a discussion board format, (c) independent, geographically related small group meetings organized around the production of a group project, and (d) class conducted virtually using a discussion board format. Email communication permeated all phases. students generally rated all three structures positively but rated the independent, geographically related small group meetings as the most positive and the discussion boards as the least positive. teachers embraced face to face peer collaboration and were accepting of a largely virtual instructor. we learned that the most important role of an instructor in an online learning environment may be that of a designer – one who plans robust content, interactions, and activities (Norton & warrick, 2002). 243 Exploring Online Learning through Design and Design-Based Research we wondered if it was the affordances of the tools – email and discussion boards – that affected students’ perceptions of their learning experiences or the absence of face to face interactions. our second design event offloaded some class discussions to online “book clubs,” designing three book clubs lasting five weeks each. the first book club used email chain letters; the second used the discussion board format; and the third used synchronous chat. we examined the impact of the three book club formats and discovered that each design promoted learning. while students reported all three formats as positive learning experiences, they favored email because of its flexibility and accessibility (warrick, connors, & Norton, 2004). we learned that online book clubs contributed positively to the learning of the group. More importantly, the affordance of the tools themselves played a role in the effectiveness of their use as class design elements. our tentative design challenges were pushed yet again when school divisions throughout Northern Virginia sought our assistance in meeting the state’s technology mandate for instruction personnel. as a third design event, the team designed eight web-based classes that represented half the its curriculum. since previous design experiences suggested virtual instructors were valued by students, the interaction of instructor-design-learner anchored the online learning experience, and email was the most flexible and accessible tool, the its team commuted to offer abbreviated face to face content while its graduates served as online peer mentors, using email to interact with learners about the online content. this provided learners maximum flexibility while adhering to the fundamental principles of the its program. connors (2006) compared the face to face/online design and the face to face only design and found no significant differences. as we continued to refine our designs and redesign our program, a theory of online learning began to emerge. Norton (2003) captured this theory in the community of Practice learning system (coPls) Model which proposed a pedagogical framework for online learning apart from definitions of teacher, student, grades, tests, and classroom as defined by more traditional pedagogical models. in their place, coPls provides for a learning context where the focus is not learning but the solution of problems within the framework of 6 interacting subsystems: a community of practice, a learner, instructional resources, representative problems, an expert mentor, and performances of understanding. in doing so, the role of instructor was redefined as that of mentor. thus, the model proposed substituting the structure and activities associated with a course management system (cMs) like Blackboard (discussion forums, grade book, posted assignments, the need for a class) with web-based materials. these materials are then accessed by the learner and the instructor/mentor. together, they interact via email and chat to solve problems and explore connections to practice. Hence, a “classroom of one” is created. it then became necessary to find ways to scaffold mentors’ ability to enact this more complex role. Norton (2005) described a process – the art of mentoring –that focused on a framework for assessing, responding, and targeting online communication so that mentors and learners create shared responsibility and accountability for reaching learning goals. the traditional role of “instructor” no longer centers. the team used these emerging theoretical perspectives to design two certificate programs, to replace the its program’s face to face summer session with two online courses, and to shift half the curriculum in the final its semester online. Having done so, we were now ready to examine the ways in which the pedagogical theories of coPls and art informed online learning and intersected with and varied from more traditional models of online learning structured by the affordances of cMss. as a fourth design event, we created two versions of the same course – one designed using Blackboard and the other designed using coPls. warrick (2005) compared the two versions and found that both designs resulted in positive learning experiences and equivalent content mastery. students who took the coPls version of the course, however, reported higher levels of satisfaction with course objectives, activities, content, and structure. in addition, those completing the coPls version reported richer dialogue about connections between content and practice. since warrick’s (2005) research did not point to substantial differences in student learning between the two groups, we wondered how students would describe their experiences if given the opportunity to take a course designed using Blackboard and a course designed using coPls simultaneously. as a fifth design event, the team designed one course using Blackboard and a second course using coPls. students enrolled in both. the authors created a design-based research protocol to explore the impacts of these designs (Norton & Hathaway, 2008a). when surveyed, students stated that self-regulation was externally managed in the Blackboard course and internally managed in the coPls course. they reported that the skill or lack of skill of the facilitator/mentor strongly influenced their learning regardless of design. Finally, some students appreciated the absence of the group in the coPls model while other students appreciated the support of and interaction with the group in the Blackboard-based design. we learned that designers must give careful 244 Norton and Hathaway attention to the relationship between the structure of the learning environment and the three factors of self-regulation, the role of facilitator/mentor, and the role of the group. as a sixth design event, the team decided to explore the role of the group in online learning more deeply. the literature strongly endorsed the need to promote and sustain community in online learning environments (e.g., Belz, 2002; Garrison, 2000; rovai, 2007) and recommended explicitly incorporating designs that promoted the building of community. However, our experiences suggested that designs that mandate or even encourage community are sometimes perceived by students as distracting. as a compromise between student feedback and the literature, we eliminated community building activities and instead offered each small group an open forum for all purposes not related to specific course forums. we learned that some groups and students used the open forum to develop community while others found no need to use it. those who did use the open forum described their group as a community; those who did not use it did not view their group as a community. regardless, all students reported the quality of their learning as robust. we learned that community is a necessity for some but not for all. design elements that focus on community should be optional not required (Norton & Hathaway, 2008b). conclusion as educators, we were confronted by both the challenges and the possibilities of online learning. it was unclear what online learning’s role might be in our programs, and how it might either detract from or add to our students’ opportunities to learn. we wondered if the solution was to take time honored educational practices and theories and instantiate them with cMss like Blackboard or whether bold new frameworks were necessary. we carefully read and discussed the emerging literature on what online learning ought to be, how it should look and feel, and who should be doing what. “listen to this,” we would say to each other. “according to this, we should . . . .” “wait a second,” someone would say, “this contradicts what you just said.” our interest in and concerns about online learning and its role in our graduate program seemed more complicated each day. online learning seemed a significant discontinuity from the practice that we knew and that had proved successful. a different approach was necessary. we began to intentionally play with alternatives like coPls and art, to experiment with possibilities, to do and then reflect. we soon learned that educational innovation is framed by the complex dialectic of design – research – theory. we have captured this process in Figure 1. Understanding how and in what ways online learning would enhance our context – teacher education about technology integration – called for a series of design events carefully examined for impact and generalizable principles. Each design event suggested how we might design the next event. as design events began to accumulate, we came to understand something new about teaching and learning as well as to ask questions we had previously not thought to ask. when the sum of the parts began to form a whole, we constructed theory. that theory informed our next design event which again informed our theory. the process led to design principles and design processes. and it continues in a never ending spiral of design and research and design and research. what we have come to understand is that, as Nussman (2005) writes “When people talk about innovation in this decade, they really mean design.” Design demands applicability and usability. It demands the union of design processes and design principles. It demands a robust and flexible solution that adheres to the goals and needs of the context which it serves. Design-based research supports understanding how those principles and processes inform design. Shifting the research process from the discrete, linear accumulation of evidence to a series of contextualized design events enables practice to inform theory and theory to inform practice in a complex dance of innovation. All too often teaching and research are separated. Our journey toward understanding online learning has led not only to expanding learning opportunities for our students but to a deep commitment to the integration of teaching and research, to pursuing a unified agenda through a process of design events, and to educational practice informed by well “engineered” learning and systematic study in context. 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Ward and Theresa Overall University of Maine, USA University of Maine at Farmington is a public liberal arts university in Western Maine known for its teacher preparation program. a 12-credit “block” of courses in the secondary/Middle education program gives preservice teachers a powerful cohort experience in their second year, which endows pre-service teachers with an authentic opportunity to integrate technology into a unit based on strong educational theory and current research, and an opportunity to spend quality time in a middle or high school classroom with a mentor teacher while being supported and coached by a team of university faculty members in a technology-rich environment. Two semesters of data, including a comparison with a more traditional program, indicate that the block approach is potentially successful in increasing pre-service teachers’ competence and confidence in technology integration in the classroom. University of Maine at Farmington, a public liberal arts university in Western Maine, has 2,000 undergraduates and a teacher preparation program with an excellent reputation. The secondary/ Middle education department has 300 teacher candidates enrolled in five different concentrations (english, health, math, science, and social studies). The University has been known for its quality teacher preparation since its founding in 1864, and always strives to improve the program to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners. One such innovation has been the implementation of Practicum Block for second year pre-service teachers. Theoretical Framework Teachers of the 21st century need to infuse technology into their teaching and into their students’ learning (darlinghammond et al., 2005). To take on the task of creating the next generation of teachers requires current colleges of education to retool traditional training programs. current pre-service teachers did not have technology in their classrooms during their K-12 experiences. since these future teachers did not learn their content with technologies as tools for learning, they need specialized instruction on how to teach their subjects with new technologies (niess, 2008). One strategy to counteract this deficit is for university professors to “model” the use of technology in their classes. While the future teachers are in their student role, they can experience and understand the “potential of technology in the learning process” (hall, 2006, p. 437). excellent teachers model the skills they want their students to learn, especially complex skills 248 Ward and Overall (Pressley et. al., 2002). Infusing technology into a teacher education course and modeling the use of technology in a variety of ways gives pre-service teachers new insights “into the power of technology as a professional and pedagogical tool” (rosaen, hobson, and Khan, 2003, p. 283). In addition to having effective teaching with technology modeled for them, pre-service teachers need to learn to design curriculum (units of study and series of lessons) and then have field-based experiences implementing curriculum where they can try out and reflect on their new learnings (niess, 2008). Integration of technology into these plans “requires that they develop a pedagogical reasoning that integrates what they know about the subject, teaching, student learning, and the technologies” (niess, 2008, p. 231). as a result of these rich integrated experiences “pre-service teachers can experience a role reversal as they bring new technology strategies from their college classroom to the K-12 classroom. The mentor has the pedagogical knowledge while the pre-service teacher has the technology knowledge.” (rosaen, hobson, & Khan, 2003). another strategy for improving learning for future teachers is to create a cohort experience and/or a learning community. a cohort experience can make a critical difference to the academic success of the individual members of the group as well as enhance their emotional well-being and expand their perspective (drago-severson, et. al., 2001; seifert, & Mandzuk, 2004). cohorts (groups of individuals who have a common purpose or share a common experience) serve as “dynamic transitional growth spaces” that help learners “make good use of each other by providing both the challenge that encourage[s] learners to grow and the support they [need] to meet those challenges” (drago-severson, et. al., 2001, p. 16). learning communities are a curricular structure “that link[s] together several existing courses--or actually restructure[s] the curricular material entirely--so that students have opportunities for deeper understanding of the material they are learning and more interaction with one another and their teachers as fellow participants in the learning enterprise” (Gabelnick, MacGregor, Matthews & smith, 1990, p. 19). Members of learning communities collaborate to analyze, question, “dig deeply,” and give feedback in order to learn and achieve. (duFour, 2005; Fullen, 2005, p. 209; Gabelnick et. al., 1990). The integrated curricular approach is a highly recommended approach for use with complex topics (sands & Barker, 2004). Background The Practicum Block experience (commonly referred to as “Block”) at University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) was fully implemented during the fall of 2004 after a brief pilot program. It employs the learning community structure allowing pre-service teachers to have both a learning community and a cohort experience. The current Block curriculum (begun in the fall of 2005) consists of four courses: four-credit curriculum, Instruction, and assessment, four-credit Practicum Field experience, two-credit classroom Management, and two-credit Technology Integration for a total of 12 credits. each semester, two simultaneous cohorts of Block are taught by three faculty members who team teach and observe the benefits to the pre-service teachers of having theory and skills reinforced between all the Block components. during the first two weeks of the semester, both Blocks are on campus beginning their coursework. In the remaining 12 weeks of the semester, there are three-week rotations: one cohort group stays on campus for three weeks and participates in the on-campus courses while the other cohort is in the field experience. In a classroom with a mentor teacher, preservice teachers experience full days in a middle or high school classroom three days a week and participate in seminars two days a week. Of the 44 credits in education courses that secondary/Middle pre-service teachers are required to take, the 12-credit Block is the second course. The major conceptual lens between the interconnected curriculums of Block is technology integration. In the curriculum, Instruction and assessment portion of Block, pre-service teachers design a unit in their content area using the Understanding by design model by Wiggins and McTighe (2005). The culminating project for the unit, the Performance Task, is the final authentic assessment, which is the evidence of the students’ learning. Pre-service teachers are required to design a Performance Task that utilizes a Type II technology (Maddux & Johnson, 2005). In the Technology Integration portion of Block, they participate in a variety of projects to learn about current and emerging technology usage in K-12 classrooms and have hands-on experiences using technologies in a Type II way. The Technology Integration portion of Block becomes interdisciplinary when pre-service teachers are expected to transform their unit Performance Task into a WebQuest (dodge, 1999). In the design and creation of the WebQuest, they learn the web page creation process, practice finding and evaluating appropriate online resources, and create a sample of the Performance Task, all while practicing and implementing the Understanding by design model of curriculum planning. learning the “how-tos” of digital 249 Technology Integration for Pre-Service Teachers tools (how to make a website, how to edit a digital story, how to create a podcast, etc.) is the typical content of technology courses for educators. UMF’s pre-service teachers learn the same how-tos but gain the skills as a part of the process of learning how to integrate digital tools. as in all components of Block, the classroom Management portion is taught in a way that models good teaching strategies that integrate technology. Pre-service teachers participate in a WebQuest on classroom management as a learner and experience WebQuest’s power before they create their own. The culminating activity for pre-service teachers in classroom Management is to teach their peers an assigned portion of the classroom Management curriculum. They are required to incorporate technology into their lesson, applying all that they have learned and experienced in their Block coursework. during the first field experience rotation, the field supervisor has the opportunity to do an informal observation of pre-service teachers’ interactions with their students and conferences with each one on what was observed and how the pre-service teacher can continue to improve his/her skills. during the second field experience rotation, pre-service teachers have an opportunity to create and deliver a full lesson. The field supervisor does a formal observation of the full lesson followed by a conference on what went well and a reflection on areas of improvement. The field supervisor observes how the pre-service teachers integrate technology, use higher order thinking, use cooperative learning groups, use formative assessment, and engage students in deep learning. Block pre-service teachers placed in middle schools experience a rich environment in one-to-one laptops because of the Maine learning Technology Initiative (MlTI) started in 2003 that provides laptops to every 7th and 8th grade teacher and student in the state. While the high schools have access to carts of laptops, the pre-service teachers need to request the laptop cart to be available for their lesson. Maine is planning to extend the one-to-one laptop initiative into the high schools. UMF’s secondary/Middle education department is implementing a one-to-one laptop for all their pre-service teachers starting in the fall of 2009. Therefore, the faculty believes that educating pre-service teachers in technology integration as well as providing opportunities to apply technology integration in a classroom is critical for learning and teaching in the 21st century. Methodology In the initial stages of determining the effectiveness of the Block, the first research item is to determine if the Block approach helps pre-service teachers acquire technology integration skills. Though it is not possible to quantitatively compare the post-2004 Block experience to the pre-2004 pre-service teacher curriculum, the second research item is to compare the current program at UMF to a program at another university that utilizes a pre-service technology integration curriculum similar to the pre-service curriculum at UMF prior to 2004. Informal narrative inquiry (clandinin & connelly, 2004) was the primary research technique for measuring the success of the practicum experience prior to the changeover to Block in 2004. The research questions for the first agenda item (determine if the Block approach helps pre-service teachers acquire technology integration skills) are: 1. how much confidence can pre-service teachers acquire in their competence to integrate technology into classroom practices? 2. how much growth do pre-service teachers have in their technology integration capabilities after one semester of being immersed in the Block experience? The research questions for the second agenda item (determine the effectiveness of the Block approach compared to a traditional pre-service curriculum) are: 1. do UMF pre-service teachers acquire more confidence in their technology integration after a semester of Block than other pre-service teachers in a more traditional technology integration course? 2. do UMF pre-service teachers have more growth in their technology integration capabilities after a semester of Block than other pre-service teachers in a more traditional technology integration course? a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group design (campbell & stanley, 1963) was utilized for the primary research method. survey and story were the primary methods for gathering data. dependent t-tests for paired samples were used for the analysis of data. The pre-post data were gathered from the Block pre-service educators at UMF. data were gathered through the same instruments from pre-service educators at a state university in northern Texas, the com- 250 Ward and Overall parison group. Four self-report surveys were selected to measure technology integration competence and confidence: Technology Proficiency self-assessment Instrument (TPsa), stages of adoption, level Of Use (cBaM-loU), and The apple classroom of Tomorrow (acOT). The Technology Proficiency self-assessment Instrument (TPsa) developed by ropp (1999) was administered to determine the educators’ self-efficacy of their perceived technology skills. The scale has a reliability of alpha = 0.95 (Knezek, christensen, Miyashita, & ropp, 2000). Four of ropp’s scales (5 items each) were included: email, Integrated applications, Teaching with Technology, and the World Wide Web (WWW). stages of adoption (christensen, 1997) is a self-assessment instrument of a teacher’s level of adoption of technology, based on earlier work by russell (1995). “Because the stages of adoption of Technology instrument is a single item survey, internal consistency reliability measures cannot be calculated for data gathered through it. however, a high test-retest reliability estimate (.91) was obtained from a sample of 525 K-12 teachers in 1999” (Knezek, christensen, Miyashita & ropp, 2000). There are six possible stages: stage 1 – awareness, stage 2 - learning the process, stage 3 - Understanding and application of the process, stage 4 - Familiarity and confidence, stage 5 - adaptation to other contexts, and stage 6 - creative application to new contexts. level Of Use (loU) (Griffin & christensen, 1999) is a self-assessment instrument adapted from the concerns-Based adoption Model (cBaM) level of Use (hall, loucks, rutherford & newlove, 1975) designations for adoption of an educational innovation. cBaM-loU “is targeted toward describing behaviors of innovators as they progress through various levels of use - from non-use, to managing, and finally to integrating use of the technology. It does not focus on attitudinal, motivational, or other affective aspects of the user. The concept of levels of use also applies to groups and entire institutions. The instrument is time efficient to use as an indicator of an educator’s progress along a technology utilization continuum” (Knezek, christensen, Miyashita & ropp, (2000). There are 8 levels (coded for analysis as 1 – 8): 1 - level 0 non-use, 2 - level 1 Orientation, 3 - level 2 Preparation, 4 - level 3 Mechanical Use, 5 - level 4 a routine, 6 - level 4 B refinement, 7 - level 5 Integration, and 8 - level 6 renewal. The apple classroom of Tomorrow (acOT) instrument was developed by researchers at apple computer Inc. as a tool in a research project that spanned more than a decade (dwyer, 1994). The descriptors for each of the levels have been modified from the original version. educators are asked to estimate their current level of understanding and use of technology. The levels are: acOT1 - entry, acOT2 - adoption, acOT3 - adaptation, acOT4 - appropriation, and acOT5 - Invention. Factor analysis and reliability analysis have confirmed high construct validity and good reliability (.84) for the acOT, cBaM-loU, and stages of adoption in a study that cross-validated the three measures against each other (hancock, Knezek, & christensen, 2007). In an effort to compare the current program at UMF to a current program at another university that utilizes a more traditional pre-service technology integration curriculum, similar to the pre-service program at UMF prior to 2004, a public university in northern Texas was selected. The Texas university graduates an average of 700 pre-service teachers per year and UMF graduates an average of 300 pre-service teachers per year. Both universities have the largest teacher-training program in their respective states. Both universities’ technology integration courses are taught early in the pre-service education program with the majority of the pre-service teachers being in their second year. a computer lab, allowing one-to-one access, is used as the setting for teaching this course in both Maine and in Texas. The course curriculum in both universities includes integrating technology into a unit designed by the pre-service teacher and requiring the pre-service teacher to create a sample of the technology-based performance task. The differences in the ways technology integration are taught currently at the two universities include: The Texas technology integration course is a three-credit course as was UMF’s technology integration course prior to 2005. With the implementation of Block, UMF’s technology integration class is now a two-credit course. at UMF, the four-credit curriculum, instruction and assessment course is taught concurrently with the technology integration course, while Texas has to incorporate a condensed version of this information into their three-credit technology integration course. Both universities have a formal field experience prior to student teaching but they are at different times during the program. Texas uses the Professional development system model (Pds), which incorporates field experience in the semester prior to student teaching, while UMF requires a field experience of four credits early in the program, concurrent with the technology integration course. like UMF, the Texas university’s student teaching experience is usually in the last semester of a pre- 251 Technology Integration for Pre-Service Teachers service teacher’s program. The Texas program serves those who plan to teach early childhood through Grade 8. There is no technology integration course for pre-service teachers who plan to teach Grades 9 - 12. UMF Block serves pre-service teaches who plan to teach Grades 7 – 12. Results In fall 2007 and spring 2008, the four surveys were administered both pre and post to each pre-service teacher enrolled in Block. The effect size (es) of the changes between pre and post were measured using cohen’s d. Of the 34 students enrolled in the two sections of fall 2007 courses, 27 completed both the pre and post surveys. In spring 2008, 23 of the 29 enrolled in the two sections completed both pre and post surveys. as shown in Table 1, UMF pre-service teachers’ confidence in their competence to integrate technology into daily classroom practices showed a very large gain in the area of Teaching with Technology in both semesters (Fall es = 1.74, spring es = 1.52), large or very large gains in the areas of Integrated applications (Fall es = 0.89, spring es = 1.29) and the World Wide Web (Fall es = 0.87, spring es = 1.42), and moderate or near moderate gains in the area of email (Fall es = 0.45, spring es = 0.50), according to guidelines provided by cohen (1988) of: small = 0.2, moderate = 0.5, and large gains = 0.8. additionally, in three of the four areas in both semesters (WWW, Integrated applications, and Teaching with Technology) the gains were statistically significant at the p < .001 level. In the area of email, there were statistically significant gains at the p < .01 level during the fall semester and no significant gains in the spring semester. These findings were based on dependent t-tests for paired samples of the data from the four scales of the Technology Proficiency self assessment Questionnaire (ropp, 1999). as shown by the effect sizes in Table 2, gains in technology integration competence among these groups of preservice teachers over one semester ranged from above moderate (es = 0.71) to very large (es = 1.01 to es = 1.82). all measures in both semesters were statistically significant at the p < .001 or p < .01 level. These findings were based on dependent t-tests for paired samples of the data from the measures: cBaM, acOT, and stage of adoption. additional data concerning the effectiveness of Block compared to the non-Block curriculum was acquired through informal interviews with field supervisors, mentor teachers, and education faculty who were at the university during the 2002 – 2006 time period of the formation and implementation of the Block approach. Prior to 2004, field supervisors reported difficulties in finding classroom teachers who would consider having a pre-service teacher in their class. since the first two semesters of Block, mentor teachers in the schools are requesting to have pre-service teachers in their classrooms because of the pre-service teachers’ strong knowledge base of curriculum and assessment design and technology integration. student teachers’ field supervisors have stated repeatedly how secondary/Middle education students who come from the Block experience are well prepared for their student teaching experience. non-Block pre-service teachers seem to need more supervision, support, and guidance than their peers who had the Block experience. 252 Ward and Overall Table 1 changes in Technology self-efficacy from Beginning to end of semester for Two semesters at UMF Fall 2007 Spring 2008 t (26) -2.994** -4.387*** -5.124*** -8.448*** Mean 4.62 4.79 4.13 4.75 3.99 4.66 3.43 4.41 N 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 SD 0.37 0.34 0.57 0.27 0.67 0.35 0.70 0.62 Effect Size (Pre-Post) 0.50 1.42 1.29 1.52 t (22) -1.712 -4.526*** -4.753*** -5.859*** Technology Measure Pre/Post Mean TPSA Email PRE POST TPSA WWW PRE POST TPSA Integrated Ap- PRE plications POST TPSA Teaching with PRE Technology POST 4.57 4.79 4.38 4.78 4.24 4.69 3.69 4.66 N 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 SD 0.60 0.39 0.61 0.23 0.62 0.39 0.67 0.44 Effect Size (Pre-Post) 0.45 0.87 0.89 1.74 **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 2 change in Technology Integration Proficiency from Beginning to end of semesterfor Two semesters at UMF Technology Measure CBAM Fall 2007 Pre/Post PRE POST Mean 4.30 6.22 N 27 27 SD 1.64 0.80 Effect Size (Pre-Post) df 26 t -6.386*** Mean 3.83 6.13 N 23 23 SD 1.52 Spring 2008 Effect Size (Pre-Post) 1.82 t (22) -6.756*** 1.61 0.87 ACOT Stage of Adoption PRE POST PRE POST 3.37 4.08 4.77 5.41 27 26 26 27 0.79 0.63 1.03 0.80 1.01 25 -5.196*** 0.71 25 -3.942** 3.22 4.04 4.52 5.30 23 23 23 23 0.85 0.47 0.67 0.82 1.23 1.07 -4.750*** -4.720*** **p < .01. ***p < .001. Comparison of Treatment vs. Control In spring 2008, 200 students enrolled in 7 sections of the Texas university’s technology integration course took the pre surveys, however only 35 completed both the pre and post surveys. Twenty-nine students enrolled in 2 sections of UMF’s Block took the pre surveys, however only 23 completed both the pre and the post. Only the results of students that took both pre and post surveys were used for comparison (Texas n = 35, UMF n = 23). as shown in Table 3, UMF pre-service teachers’ confidence in their competence to integrate technology into daily classroom practices showed a very large gain in the area of Teaching with Technology (UMF es = 1.52) while the Texas pre-service teachers had a large gain (Texas es = 0.87), both of which were statistically significant at the p < .001 level. In the areas of Integrated applications (UMF es = 1.29, Texas es = 0.50) and the World Wide Web (UMF es = 1.42, Texas es = 0.45), according to guidelines provided by cohen (1988) of: small = 0.2, moderate = 0.5, and large gains = 0.8, UMF pre-service teachers had very large gains that were statistically significant at the p < .001 level, while the Texas pre-service teachers had small to moderate gains, statistically significant at the p < .05 level. In the area of email neither group had statistically significant changes. These findings were based on dependent t-tests for paired samples of the data from the four scales of the Technology Proficiency self assessment Questionnaire (ropp, 1999). as shown by the effect sizes in Table 4, gains in technology integration competence of UMF pre-service teachers over one semester were very large (cBaM es = 1.82, acOT es = 1.23, stages es = 1.07) according to guidelines provided by cohen (1988) of: small = 0.2, moderate = 0.5, and large gains = 0.8. all of these gains for UMF pre-service 253 Technology Integration for Pre-Service Teachers teachers were statistically significant at the p < .001 level. Gains by Texas pre-service teachers were large for the cBaM (es = 1.08), which was statistically significant at the p < .001 level. There were no significant gains in either acOT or stages of adoption for the Texas pre-service teachers. These findings were based on dependent t-tests for paired samples of the data from the three measures: cBaM, acOT, and stage of adoption. Table 3 changes in Technology self-efficacy from Beginning to end of semester for Two Universities Texas Spring 2008 Technology Mea- Pre/Post Mean sure TPSA Email PRE 4.78 POST 4.69 TPSA WWW PRE 4.43 POST 4.64 TPSA Integrated PRE 4.23 Applications POST 4.53 TPSA Teaching with PRE 3.89 Technology POST 4.50 N 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 SD 0.30 0.50 0.45 0.48 0.86 0.54 0.86 0.55 Effect Size (Pre-Post) t (34) Mean 4.62 4.79 4.13 4.75 3.99 4.66 3.43 4.41 N 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 UMF Spring 2008 SD 0.37 0.34 0.57 0.27 0.67 0.35 0.70 0.62 Effect Size (Pre-Post) t (22) -0.21 0.995 0.45 -2.058* 0.50 -2.674* 0.87 -4.665*** 0.50 -1.712 1.42 -4.526*** 1.29 -4.753*** 1.52 -5.859*** *p < .05. ***p < .001. Table 4 Growth in Technology Integration Proficiency from Beginning to end of semester for Two Universities Texas Spring 2008 Effect Size df t SD (Pre-Post) 1.45 1.08 34 -4.875*** 1.10 0.77 0.28 33 -1.184 0.63 0.75 0.19 33 -0.783 1.10 UMF Spring 2008 Effect Size N SD (Pre-Post) 23 1.61 1.82 23 0.87 23 0.85 1.23 23 0.47 23 0.67 1.07 23 0.82 Technology Measure CBAM ACOT Stage of Adoption Pre/Post Mean PRE POST PRE POST PRE POST 4.66 6.13 3.63 3.82 4.83 5.00 N 35 35 35 34 35 34 Mean 3.83 6.13 3.22 4.04 4.52 5.30 t (22) -6.756*** -4.750*** -4.720*** ***p < .001. Discussion The first phase of the research was to determine the pre-service teachers’ confidence and growth in technology integration capabilities after a semester of Block. Measurable gains in pre-service teacher competence and confidence in technology integration occurred in two different semesters (fall 2007 and spring 2008) of the Block experience at UMF. effect sizes for gains in competencies and self-efficacy in technology ranged from 0.45 (cohen’s moderate (>= 0.5)) to 1.82 (cohen’s large (>= 0.8)) and were statistically significant at the p < .001 level or p < .01 level across all measures except for email. There is a possibility that the ceiling effect was reached on the email measure for both the UMF and Texas pre-service teachers. as noted in the narrative stories from mentor teachers, the role reversal effect (rosaen, hobson, & Khan, 2003) is happening for UMF students in Block where mentor teachers in the schools with strong pedagogical knowledge are requesting to have pre-service teachers in their classrooms because of the pre-service teachers’ strong technology skills. This anecdotal evidence adds confirmation to the growth in both confidence and competence of UMF’s Block pre-service teachers. 254 Ward and Overall It should be noted that in comparing the UMF students in the fall 2007 and spring 2008 semesters, the spring semester pre-service teachers started at lower levels of technology integration proficiency and self-efficacy, but finished at similar levels in both areas. Faculty who worked with both Blocks of pre-service teachers in both semesters were interviewed and asked to compare the two semesters. They reported that scaffolding beyond the normal embedded scaffolding was required with the spring 2008 groups in order for the pre-service teachers to meet course expectations. scaffolding included one-to-one conferencing, additional assignments and learning activities to build missing foundation skills, and faculty teaming up at key points during the semester to provide supplementary support. They claimed this would not have been possible without the Block schedule and the collaborative team approach. The extra scaffolding was not used in the fall 2007 semester. The continued gathering of data across future semesters should help confirm the success of the Block approach with or without additional scaffolding. The purpose of the second phase of the research was to compare the effectiveness of the Block to a traditional single technology integration course. The sizable gains of UMF pre-service teachers were even larger than those made in the comparison group which ranged from -0.21 (cohen’s small (>=0.2)) to 1.08 (cohen’s large (>=0.8)). Whereas all gains for UMF pre-service teachers (except for email) were statistically significant at the p < .001 or p < .01 level, the Texas pre-service teachers had no significant gains in three areas (email, acOT, stages of adoption), significant gains at the p < .05 level in two areas (World Wide Web and Integrated applications) and significant gains at the p < .001 level in two areas (cBaM and Teaching with Technology). These results could initially lead one to conclude that the Block approach is possibly more effective than a traditional program of teaching technology integration to pre-service teachers. however, with the low response rate from the Texas participants, it is best to conclude that additional research could be promising. Faculty teaching the Block at UMF in both fall 2007 and spring 2008 noted that though it was not a requirement, all students in Block had a personal laptop. It is not known if the Texas pre-service teachers that responded to the surveys had access to personal laptops. This demographic needs to be included in further studies. Though both courses were taught in a computer lab setting insuring one-to-one access during class time, access to a home computer and a student’s ability to have one-to-one access to the same computer both at home and in class could have an impact on the comparison results. In conclusion, future research for the comparison portion of the quantitative studies should include expanded demographic questions, better response rate, and a more compatible comparison group that focuses on Grades 7 - 12 exclusively. The pretest posttest portion of the quantitative studies show statistically significant gains in both competence and confidence in technology integration skills over a two-semester period for future secondary and middle school teachers at the University of Maine at Farmington. 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Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 257-263 An Examination of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Compliance: Are Universities and School Districts Making World Wide Web Learning Resources Available to the Disabled Becky Sue Parton, roBert JaSon Hancock, and Jeffrey oeScHer Southeastern Louisiana University, USA this paper examines university and k-12 district compliance with the Web content accessibility Guidelines (WcaG) established by the World Wide Web consortium (W3c) in 1999. the study examined data from a random national sample of 50 universities and 50 k-12 districts. compliance was analyzed using evalaccess 2.0 software. Severe deficiencies in compliance were noted between universities and k-12 districts. While the interplay of variables necessary to make online learning effective for the disabled is most probably complex and not completely understood or addressed, the effort to make a site compliant to disability access standards can in part be measured through its compliance with the established standards. unfortunately, almost eight years after these guidelines were established this study indicates that educational institutions are still not taking web access for the disabled very seriously especially at the k-12 level. In 1999, the World Wide Web consortium (W3c) established the Web content accessibility Guidelines (WcaG) to promote accessibility of web content to people with disabilities (W3c, 1999). the guidelines were intended for use by all Web content developers (page authors and site designers) and for developers of authoring tools. they were intended to be of positive impact to all users regardless of user agent employed (e.g., desktop browser, voice browser, mobile phone, automobile-based personal computer, etc.) or environment (e.g., noisy surroundings, under- or over-illuminated rooms, in a hands-free environment, etc.). W3c is an international consortium where member organizations (including Microsoft, apple, IBM, and others), staff, and the public work together to develop international web standards. W3c operations are jointly administered by the Massachusetts Institute of technology computer Science and artificial Intelligence Laboratory (cSaIL) in the uSa, the european research consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ercIM) headquartered in france, and keio university in Japan (W3c, 2007). Because the W3c was in the process of redrafting the WcaG 1.0 guidelines to become WcaG 2.0 guidelines in March of 2008, (W3c, 2007b) the authors felt that an analysis of compliance to WcaG 1.0 standards in educational institutions should be conducted. the findings indicated overwhelmingly that little or no attention to WcaG 1.0 compli- 258 Parton, Hancock, and Oescher ance has occurred nationally at the k-12 or university level. as the W3c completes the WcaG 2.0 guidelines in 2008, there is a great opportunity to refocus attention to a critical area of educational equity for the new millennium - online accessibility to educational resources for the disabled. In the eight years since the WcaG standards were originally drafted, the question of the viability of online learning programs has been settled. the findings of this study indicate that the question is now one of access for the disabled. the purpose of this investigation is to examine compliance to WcaG 1.0 standards in k-12 districts and universities. the Web content accessibility Guidelines (WcaG) were established as a worldwide standard of content guidelines designed to promote accessibility of web content to people with disabilities (W3c, 1999). an excerpt of the current guidelines (W3c, 2007b) includes: Guideline 1.1 text alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language; Guideline 1.2 time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media; Guideline 1.3 adaptable: create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout ) without losing information or structure; Guideline 1.4 distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background; Guideline 2.1 keyboard accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard; Guideline 2.2 enough time: Provide users enough time to read and use content; Guideline 2.3 Seizures: do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures; Guideline 2.4 navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content and determine where they are; Guideline 3.1 readable: Make text content readable and understandable; Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways; Guideline 3.3 Input assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes; and Guideline 4.1 compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies. the significance of the study rests in the fact that when proper access is available, barriers to inclusion can actually be lowered in online environments for many disabled individuals (Mallory & Long, 2003; 2002), yet when a lack of access exists, opportunities for the disabled can be impacted due to a lack of communication (richardson, Long, & foster, 2004) and opportunity (Long, Stinson, & Braeges, 1991). although no single element should be used as a sole criterion for evaluating a particular site’s accessibility, examining a particular site’s WcaG compliance should serve at a minimum as a basis for determining the author’s intent to make the site compliant with world standards regarding disability access. thus, a study of WcaG compliance should yield at least a rough benchmark as to where educational institutions stand in making their online content friendly for the disabled. Literature Review With most new technologies comes both the promise of great potential along with the subsequent great problems. for example, television originally broadcast ‘silent movies’ and was thus equally entertaining for hearing and deaf persons. Soon technological advances made it possible for sound to be added which presented a barrier for deaf individuals until a solution, closed captioning, was developed. Likewise, when web pages first started appearing they were mostly text based and thus easily accessed by a screen-reader for the blind. as technology became more advanced, web pages started incorporating photos, video, and flash presentations which were not interpreted by the screen reader. thus once again, accessibility issues are paramount. the situation is complicated by the fact that multiple groups of people require different modifications in order to achieve access to the web. although the reports vary from 26 million to 53 million people based on the criteria for measurement, it is clear that a large number of americans have a disability that affects their ability to use the world wide web (crow, 2008; Sierkowski, 2002). Worldwide that figure grows to an estimated 750 million (Sullivan & Matson, 2000). these individuals have an ethical, and in many instances legal, right to equal access of the information available on the web; yet, a review of the An Examination of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Compliance 259 literature clearly reveals a lack of accessibility compliance across a diverse selection of websites (Hackett, Parmanto, & Zeng, 2005; kane, Shulman, Shockley, & Ladner, 2007; Lazar, 2003; Sullivan & Matson; Zaparyniuk & Montgomerie, 2005). In order to familiarize the reader with the scope of the issue, a few representative studies have been selected for discussion. fifty of the web’s most popular sites, as determined based on web traffic statistics provided by ‘alexa’, were evaluated in the year 2000 in response to reports in the popular press indicating that 95% of web sites were inaccessible (Sullivan & Matson, 2000). as is common practice among many accessibility studies, the home pages of the websites were selected for evaluation. Similarly, Lazar (2003) sampled the home pages of the fifty largest organizations in the Maryland area as reported by the Baltimore Business Journal. only one out of the fifty was determined to be fully accessible according to the Priority Level 1 of the WcaG. an interesting finding from the study showed that web and software development firms had less accessible web sites than non-profit organizations which the researcher suggested was a result of the elaborate nature (i.e. sites with extra graphics, flash animations, java applets, etc) of the business sites (Lazar). thus, advance features tend to negatively impact the usability level – a sentiment echoed by kane, Shulman, Shockley, & Ladner (2007) in their study of the top 100 international university web sites selected from the times Higher education Supplement’s 2006 World university rankings. the home pages were analyzed using the popular accessibility evaluation tool, Bobby, now called WebXact, which was developed by the center for applied Special technology to check documents for conformance to W3c recommendations based on all three priority errors (Zaparyniuk & Montgomerie, 2005). only two universities, the university of Michigan and the university of Queensland, were free of all Priority 1, 2, and 3 errors; only 36 out of 100 were free of Priority 1 errors alone (kane, Shulman, Shockley, & Ladner). essentially, the attention to accessibility is dismal regardless of the type or origin of the website in question, although the extent to which that is true does vary (Zaparyniuk & Montgomerie, 2005). Perhaps an even more important finding than the isolated compliance numbers presented above, is the trend illustrating a decline in accessibility rather than an improvement over time. Brophy & craven (2007) report that as web-based information moves away from predominately text-based interfaces to multimedia interfaces and more people access the web through non-traditional modes such as cell phone browsers, it is critical to implant universal design approaches. However, in a unique study by Hackett, Parmanto, & Zeng (2005), 45 higher education websites were retrospectively analyzed from 1997 to 2002 by using the Internet archive’s Wayback Machine which provides a web page snapshot as it existed at a particular point in time. the sample of higher education websites became progressively inaccessible – from 64.4% compliance in 1997 to 15.6% in 2002. “as web designers have increased their use of complex web design components, they have also added barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities” (Hackett, Parmanto, & Zeng, p. 290). the researchers also suggest that removing these barriers would benefit not only persons who are disabled, but also users of low-end and mobile technologies as well as older adults (Hackett, Parmanto, & Zeng). thus, the literature depicts both a great need and a great lacking in the area of web accessibility. the use of site evaluation tools is itself a debatable concern in the literature. as reported above, a large number of research studies employ the use of an automated software program to determine accessibility. other studies prefer to use manual checking whereby an expert or user who is disabled provides survey data on the websites. often, a combination approach is advocated since automatic tools can be unreliable to a certain extent (Witt & Mcdermott, 2004). upwards of 30 evaluation tools are available with Bobby being the dominate choice for researchers. However, in a British study nearly 17% of the international sites and 27.5% of the uk academic sites incorrectly awarded themselves with the Bobby logo that indicates freedom from Priority 1 errors. an instance that would lead to this occurrence is when graphics do have a corresponding ‘alt’ tag as required, however upon analysis of the tag it becomes clear that the content is meaningless text such as the word ‘graphic’. In this situation, the automatic evaluation tool will assume compliance, whereas a manual check will flag the problem. an additional finding was noted by the authors, “a worrying trend in the united States is the addition of a ‘508 and old browser’ sub-site where the designers have decided to create a cut-down, text version of their site to meet the accessibility criteria. this obviously goes against the goal for inclusiveness …” (Witt & Mcdermott, p.54). thus from the literature, three major areas of concern come to light. the first concern is the rapid adoption of websites that are heavily dependent on multimedia elements. Since it is reasonable to assume that trend will continue, it is important to find alternative ways to convey the elements of these pages. the second concern is the proliferation of websites developed by amateurs who have not been trained and do not have any incentive to develop compliant pages. unfortunately, most teacher-created sites fall into this category. and finally, the third concern is how to determine com- Parton, Hancock, and Oescher pliance. automated systems, such as those used in most of the studies outlined above, may not provide the depth of analysis needed to truly determine accessibility; however, manual checks are too time consuming to be a reasonable solution. 260 Methods this study uses descriptive methods of site analysis based upon the techniques outlined in the WcaG technical documents. according to McMillan (2004), descriptive research is of particular value when an area is first investigated. While the interplay of variables in effective online education for the disabled is definitely complex in nature, the effort put forth by a particular institution to make a site compliant to widely disseminated disability access standards can in part be measured through its attention to those established standards. It was therefore the authors’ intent to limit the focus of this study to the sole factor of WcaG compliance as defined in the W3c technical documentation. In addition to describing the current state of accessibility for the selected websites, this study will compare the results for two groups of website providers. thus, the null hypothesis states that there will be no difference in Priority 1, 2, and 3 errors between universities and k-12 districts. Checkpoints, Priorities, and Levels of Conformity according to the WcaG guidelines, there are 65 unique “checkpoints” for determining the fourteen general principles of accessible design. each checkpoint includes the following. • the checkpoint number. • the statement of the checkpoint. • the priority of the checkpoint. • optional informative notes, clarifying examples, and cross references to related guidelines or checkpoints. • a link to a section of the WcaG techniques document where implementations and examples of the checkpoint are discussed. each checkpoint is designed to be specific enough so that someone reviewing a page or site can verify that the checkpoint has been satisfied. also each checkpoint was verified by multiple participating partner agencies prior to inclusion in these guidelines. Most importantly, each checkpoint’s priority level is assigned based on the following guidelines. • Priority 1: a Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents. • Priority 2: a Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents. • Priority 3: a Web content developer may address this checkpoint. otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents. Levels of conformance are identified in the WcaG documentation so that an organization can claim a particular level of conformance on its website based upon how the checkpoints are satisfied. the WcaG document spells out the following levels of conformance. • conformance Level “a” indicates all Priority 1 checkpoints are satisfied. • conformance Level “double-a” indicates all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints are satisfied. • conformance Level “triple-a” indicates all Priority 1, 2, and 3 checkpoints are satisfied. Instrumentation / Tools Web sites were evaluated using evalaccess 2.0 from the Laboratory of Human computer access for Special needs. evalaccess 2.0 is the 2nd generation of evaluation service designed by the laboratory to measure site compliance as part of educational initiatives in the united States and europe. the tool is web-based and does not require a download. It has a simple interface whereby the researcher pastes in a urL to a particular web page. although evalaccess has an option An Examination of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Compliance 261 to analyze multiple pages within a website as a group, the authors chose to use only the individual urL option. the user may also select which priority of errors to report. It should be noted that earlier studies, as described in the literature review, frequently relied on Bobby as the evaluation tool; however, the software is no longer publicly available as of february 2008. Sample a sample of university web sites were randomly selected from the results of an Internet search of universities in the united States. the search provided a list of 124 universities. from these, 50 universities were randomly selected for evaluation. a similar process was undertaken for k-12 districts. an Internet search on k-12 districts in the united States resulted in thousands of “hits.” rather than randomly sampling from this population, the first 50 districts were purposely selected for evaluation. Findings as anticipated, the accessibility ratings of the web pages in this study were generally poor in that only 4% of the universities and 2% of the k-12 districts analyzed met the W3c WaG 1.1 aaa conformance level (see fig. 1 and fig. 2). an example of non-conformity would be a page containing a form that has a drop-down box asking for the user’s state in alphabetical order when most of the users will need ‘Louisiana’. In this case, the screen reader must go through all the states that start with a-k before getting to the one needed – a Priority 2 issue. an example of conformity would be refraining from using frames which are problematic for screen readers. a finding with potentially further reaching implications, however, was the gap between universities and k-12 districts. In contrast to the 70% of universities that met the Level a conformance (see fig. 2), only 34% of districts met that same minimal level (see fig. 1). Districts Meeting Confomance Level A (Minimum) 3 4% Districts Meeting Confomance Level AA Districts Meeting Confomance Level AAA 4% 2% Districts Meeting No Conformance Level 60.00% Figure 1. k-12 compliance results. 262 Universities Meeting Confomance Level A (Minimum) Universities Meeting Confomance Level AA Universities Meeting Confomance Level AAA 70% Parton, Hancock, and Oescher 20% 4% 6% Universities Meeting No Conformance Level Figure 2. university compliance results. table 1 summarizes Priority 1, 2 and 3 error rates for k-12 districts and universities. Mean error rates for k-12 districts were greater than those for universities across all three priorities. the two groups also differed in the level of variation within each priority level, with k-12 districts varying far more so than universities. Table 1 Priority 1, 2, and 3 error rates for k-12 districts and universities Priority 1 2 3 Group K-12 Universities K-12 Universities K-12 Universities n 50 50 50 50 50 50 Mean 14.76 2.14 66.54 27.20 12.66 3.90 SD 53.18 5.40 104.15 38.25 25.40 8.81 a series of three independent samples t-tests were performed to evaluate the null hypotheses. When analyzing Priority 1 errors, universities and k-12 districts showed large differences in error rates although these differences were not statistically different (t50 = 1.67, p.=.10). the differences for Priority 2 and Priority 3 errors were also large; both were statistically significant (t62 = 2.51, p = .02 and t61 = 2.30, p = .02 respectively). Discussion and Conclusions this study has several important limitations. first, only the index page of the website in question was analyzed. although that practice is common in studies from the literature review, it may skew the results since home pages tend to be more artistic than other content-focused pages. Second, the k-12 sites that were most predominant in the search engine results were used for this study. It may be that compliance is even worse among k-12 sites that are not as frequently viewed or promoted. there are marked deficiencies in accessibility compliance at all levels for both university and k-12 schools. However, universities do seem to be doing a better job at reaching minimum compliance than districts. It is evident from the literature and from the current study that the new guidelines themselves will not cause web masters to uniformly adopt and implement them. It is yet to be determined if non-compliance is occurring due to lack of exposure and understand- An Examination of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Compliance 263 ing of the strategies to make a site accessible or rather due to the notion that some groups have a more vested interest in the outcomes than others. case in point, 42% of american teenagers report that the Internet is a key vehicle for making decisions about college admission (kane, Shulman, Shockley & Ladner, 2007). thus it could be theorized that universities want to maximize the likelihood of attracting students with disabilities in contrast to k-12 districts whose attendance is mandated by geographic region although the current study did not make any attempt to establish causality behind the WaG 1.1 ratings received by either group, it is interesting to note the breakdown between execution at the university level and at the k-12 level. Perhaps this phenomenon is indicative of the complex nature of the issue. could the difference be contributed to variances in training programs, education level of the webmasters, availability of web authoring tools, funding amounts, or marketing needs of the entity as mentioned earlier? these questions lead the authors to recommend that future studies attempt to identify factors that influence the amount of attention given to making an organization’s website disability friendly through compliance with the accessibility standards. the real question is not ‘if’ websites are compliant, but ‘what’ will it take to make compliance a priority? It may be that a different approach to compliance is necessary. currently, professional web masters are the ones receiving training on accessibility; however, teachers are often making pages themselves and have not received training. rather than attempting to teach in-depth web design/coding to these teachers who have limited amount of time and in some cases desire to work on websites, it might be best to show them template based sites that are already compliant. for example, some course management websites have wizards that allow user-created content to be added to a shell that has met all the accessibility points. the same approach (distribute the guidelines) has been tried for years without much success, so the time has come to start thinking of innovative ways to insure accessibility. References Brophy, P. & craven, J. (2007). Web accessibility. Library Trends, 55(4), p. 950-973. crow, k. (2008). four types of disabilities: their impact on online learning. Tech Trends, 52(1), p. 51-55. Hackett, S. & Parmanto, B., & Zeng, X. (2005). a longitudinal evaluation of accessibility: higher education web sites. Internet Research, 15(3), p. 281-295. kane, S., Shulman, J., Shockley, t., & Ladner, r. (2007, May). A web accessibility report card for top international university web sites. Paper presented at the 2007 International cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4a), Banff canada. Lazar, J. (2003). Web accessibility in the mid-atlantic united States: a study of 50 home pages. universal access in the Information Society, 2(4), p.331-341. Long, G., Stinson, M. S., & Braeges, J. (1991). Students’ perceptions of communication ease and engagement: How they relate to academic success. American Annals of the Deaf, 136, p. 414-421. Mallory, J. r., & Long, G. L. (2003). Hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing students satisfaction with on-line learning. Paper presented at the Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf Symposium, rochester, ny. retrieved november 9, 2007 from: Mallory, J. r., & Long, G. L. (2002). deaf students perceptions on online learning and delivery technologies. Postsecondary education Programs network (PePnet). kansas city, Missouri. [online]. retrieved november 9, 2007 from: http://sunsite. McMillan, J. (2004). educational research: fundamentals for the consumer. Boston: allyn and Bacon. richardson, J., Long, G., & foster, S. (2004) academic engagement in students with a hearing loss in distance education. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 9(1), 68-85. Sierkowski, B. (2002, november). Achieving web accessibility. Paper presented at the 30th annual acM SIGuccS conference on user services, Providence, rhode Island. Sullivan, t. & Matson, r. (2000). Barriers to use: usability and content accessibility on the Web’s most popular sites. Paper presented at acM conference on universal usability, arlington, Virginia. W3c (1999) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. retrieved January 19, 2007 from: W3c. (2007). organizational Information retrieved January 19, 2007 from: W3c. (2007b) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.2.0 retrieved on January 20, 2007 from: Witt, n. & Mcdermott, a. (2004). Web site accessibility: what logo will we use today? British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(1), p. 45-56. Zaparyniuk, n. & Montgomerie, c. (2005). the status of web accessibility of canadian universities and colleges: a charter of rights and freedoms issue1. International Journal on E-learning, 4(2), p. 253-269. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 265-273 Authentic Learning Across International Borders: A Cross Institutional Online Project for Pre-service Teachers Petrea redmond University of Southern Queensland, Australia Jennifer V. Lock University of Calgary, Canada this paper reports on three iterations of a dynamic and authentic learning experience which involved a learning community of pre-service teachers, teachers and teacher educators from Queensland, australia and alberta, canada. Participants in the online community inquired into real world teaching issues that are present in today’s diverse classrooms (e.g., ict integration, second language learners, cyberbullying and students with special needs). asynchronous discussions from the online learning experience were analysed to identify the nature and types of interactions pre-service teachers engaged in as they questioned, researched and interpreted a range of perspectives as part of the learning experience. from these meaningful conversations, they continued to build a rich understanding of teaching practice by drawing connections between theories, experiences and realities of teaching in contemporary contexts. faculties of education have been frequently criticized as being unresponsive to new demands (particularly those involving information communication technologies for teaching and learning) and remote from practice (darling-Hammond, 2000, ¶4; mcLoughlin & Luca, 2000). online learning communities provide the opportunity for the establishment of rich learning environments where pre-service teachers can share resources, experiences and also network with practicing teachers. this professional online interaction is not limited by geography, space or time. rather, it can provide a model and a lived experience for extending learning beyond the classroom walls and that pre-service teachers can use in their future classrooms. this paper discusses an innovative learning experience where pre-service teachers, with the support of teacher educators and practicing teachers, grappled with new ideas, new knowledge, theoretical concepts and a range of prior and current professional (practical) experiences related to issues confronting today’s teachers through a four stage process as part of an international online collaboration project, they were immersed in issues directly related to the demands of teaching and were engaged in meaningful intellectual work where they reflected, discussed, questioned, clarified and made judgements. as part of the experience, pre-service teachers were required to move beyond the reproduction of in- 266 Redmond and Lock formation to creating and exploring new ideas and extending their current knowledge. the key aims of this project were to provide: • opportunities for authentic learning experiences, • environments for authentic discussion between pre-service and practicing teachers, • opportunities for deep understanding of the issues of diversity, and • a model for authentic use of information communication technologies (icts) in learning and teaching. Authentic learning What is authentic learning and what are the key factors to guide the design of authentic learning experiences? newmann and Wehlege (1993) use the word authentic to “distinguish between achievement that is significant and meaningful and that which is trivial and useless” (p. 8). authenticity might be characterised as having real world application beyond the classroom and being relevant to the learner. it requires everyday problem solving, sustained over time, and encourages collaboration. authentic problems mirror problems in real life. they are complex and ill-structured with multiple and contextualized solutions. authentic learning requires the learner to actively construct, perform, create, or produce their own responses for an audience beyond that of their peers and the teacher. Herrington, oliver and reeves (2003) would add that authentic activities provide the opportunity to collaborate and reflect, and are integrated across disciplines. “Students must be challenged with authentic tasks that drive the need to use, transform, apply, and reinterpret that information” (Woo, Herrington, agostinho & reeves, 2007, p. 38). the learning context changes from an accumulation of isolated facts and skills to an emphasis on the application and use of knowledge in the real world. this impacts on the quality and importance of the intellectual work that learners engage in, where the knowledge and skills have meaning beyond ‘passing the test’. newmann and Wehlege (1993) established the following three criteria to assist with the identification of authentic instruction: “(1) students construct meaning and produce knowledge, (2) students use disciplined inquiry to construct meaning, and (3) students aim their work toward production of discourse, products, and performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school” (p. 8). constructivist approaches to teaching and learning consider that “an individual learns best from experiences characterized by a high degree of personal relevance” (Lebow, 1993, p. 7). in addition “authentic learning intentionally brings into play multiple disciplines, multiple perspectives, ways of working, habits of mind, and community” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 3). authentic learning should have value for both the individual and also to a community of learners. to assess the authenticity of instruction, newmann and Wehlege (1993) generated the following five standards: • Higher-order thinking: requires learners to synthesize information from a variety of sources and perspectives. Learners need “to go beyond the information given, to adopt a critical stance, to evaluate, to have metacognitive awareness and problem solving capacities” (mcLoughlin & Luca, 2000, ¶ 4). depth of knowledge: Learners establish complex relationships between key concepts, “translate newly-acquired information into their own terms, connecting it … with their lived experience” (Henri, 1992, p. 130). Practices such as the following are involved: “identifying problems of understanding, establishing and refining goals based on progress, gathering information, theorizing, designing experiments, answering questions and improving theories, building models, monitoring and evaluating progress, and reporting” (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003, p. 1371). connectedness to the world beyond the classroom: Learning that is relevant beyond the classroom context (department of education, 2002) and can be taken up either by addressing real-world problems or making direct links to students personal experiences (newmann & Wehlege, 1993). • • Substantive conversation: intellectual substance, dialogues, logical extension and synthesis, and a sustained exchange 267 Authentic Learning Across International Borders are features of substantive conversation (department of education, 2002) which promote shared understanding. • Social support for student achievement: characterised as “an atmosphere of mutual respect and support between teacher and students, and among students” (department of education, 2002) and “involves high expectations, respect, and inclusion of all students in the learning process” (newmann & Wehlege, 1993). authentic learning tasks emulate real life; the work is messy, complex and inexact. it requires the learner to undergo a process of inquiry to explore relevant information and multiple perspectives to construct meaning or find solutions to the problem. to accomplish such tasks, learners are required to cognitively engage at a higher level. Context Bruner (1969) reminds us there is a difference between learning about teaching and learning to be a teacher. the practice of teaching requires a depth and breadth of knowledge and a range of pedagogical skills. it is complex and context dependent, impacted by personal values and ethics. teacher action is often tacitly and intuitive enacted drawing from one’s own theories of teaching and learning and reflective practice. as teacher educators, in the design of our international online collaboration project, we wanted to give pre-service teachers a rich and authentic learning experience. the project was designed not only to provide authentic discussion between pre-service teachers, teacher educators and teachers but the topics under discussion were authentic or real-world issues faced by teachers everyday in our schools. the use of technology provided the tool for the authentic conversations across geographic and time barriers. asynchronous environments provide “increased opportunities for reflection and exploration of issues before they respond to a comment or queries” (Woo, Herrington, agostinho, & reeves, 2007, p. 38). to investigate the project, we examined how cross institutional online discussion could provide pre-service teachers with the opportunity to develop deep knowledge in real life issues through authentic dialogue. findings are reported from three iterations of the project involving pre-service teachers from Queensland, australia and alberta, canada who were brought together for six weeks from multiple classes in different courses in each university to inquire into issues of teaching and learning such as ict integration and teaching within diverse classrooms. Pre-service teachers engaged in dialogue through online discussions and the use of video conferencing. they were joined by practicing teachers and teacher educators who formed the role of experts in areas such as cyberbullying, second language learners and autism. Postings and reflective responses from the project formed authentic assessment for the pre-service teachers within their courses. the key questions guiding this investigation were: • • How can authentic online dialogue promote inquiry into teaching about and within diverse contexts? in what ways can international online collaboration promote deep inquiry into real world issues in teacher education? to launch the project, each pre-service teacher read a stimulus novel related to the issues under discussion. this formed a shared experience from which the discussions could begin. examples of the novels used are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Hadden, 2002), Destroying Avalon (mccaffrey, 2006) and A Group of One (Gilmore, 2005). from this shared experience, pre-service teachers engaged in a range of online discussions to explore in depth multiple ways of seeing, thinking, being and reading different issues within different contexts. the discussions were divided into four stages, with each stage having multiple online discussion forums. Stage one involved community building activities where pre-service teachers introduced themselves to the group, and communicated with pre-service teaches from other locations. in stage two, the discussion was based around the stimulus books and inquiry questions these books inspired regarding themes of teaching and learning and they began to explore real world connections and share and discuss examples from their lives and work as pre-service teachers. the third stage of discussion expanded the practicalities of these teaching and learning themes as the pre-service teachers and teacher educators were joined by practicing teachers who acted as experts in the themes previously identified by pre-service teachers. the final stage involved reflective post- 268 Redmond and Lock ing regarding the participants’ learning and the project. communication within the project was through the use of online discussion within a learning management system. in addition, video conferencing was also used to assist with the establishment of rapport and social presence. it also provided a synchronous aspect to the learning. Details and Outcomes of the Project data for this project were collected from the archives of asynchronous online discussions, focus group meetings, and artefacts created for the reflective activity. the online dialogue was analysed using Henri’s (1992) content analysis model. Henri’s (1992) model provided a framework to analyse the postings using the 5 dimensions described below: • • • • • Participative – focusing on the quantity of messages posted in each forum; Social – postings which are of a social nature or are not associated with the formal content; Interactive – postings which make connections between messages e.g., responding to questions of others, sharing of experiences or resources; Cognitive – postings which indicate explicit processing of information e.g., exploring strategies, making clarifications and judgements; and Metacognitive – postings which refer to the active deconstruction of the participants own learning. each individual posting or message was the unit of analysis for the purposes of coding using Henri’s dimensions. When a unit or message exhibited the indicators of more than one dimension the unit was coded-up to the highest level. this judgement was made because messages at a higher level (e.g., cognitive and metacognitive) include elements of the lower levels. in addition the data were coded by categories based on each of the stages of the study. the constant comparative method of data analysis was used in the construction of themes to capture patterns in addition to indentifying inconsistencies from the reflective activity and focus group interviews. categories and themes were analysed looking for similarities and areas of conflict found in the data. the pre-service teachers’ online postings were analysed by the two researchers independently using these 5 dimensions. if there was a disparity in coding, discussion occurred to resolve the differences through justification and negotiation. the researchers were also designers and teacher educators of the project. data from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 implementations of the project will be provided, compared and discussed within this section. Pseudonyms have been used to protect the identity of the pre-service teachers and teachers when quotes have been included. Stage One: Community building Given the pre-service teachers were working in an online text-based environment, it was necessary to establish a climate of trust and rapport so that participants could feel free to communicate openly. if pre-service teachers are to have cognitively productive conversations to co-construct meaning and confirm their understanding of complex concepts, the learning community needs to create a “climate that supports and encourages probing questions, scepticism and the contribution of more explanatory ideas” (Garrison & anderson, 2003, p. 50). in this stage pre-service teachers were establishing a social presence within the online environment. through introductions, sharing of personal images or stories and responding to those from different locations, pre-service teachers were beginning to interact with new colleagues and to establish familiarity with and acceptance of others. the number of posts per pre-service teacher in this area increased from 2.68 in 2006 to 4.47 in 2007 and then dropped in 2008 to 3.64 (table 1). an emphasis on the discussion of community and engagement by the teacher educators may have caused an sharp increase in average postings per pre-service teacher from 2006 – 2007. Authentic Learning Across International Borders Table 1 frequency of Pre-service teachers online Postings in the introduction discussion forum Year Number of Participants Participative Social No. 2006 2007 2008 22 57 17 59 255 62 18 51 57 % 31 20 92 Interactive No. 41 203 5 % 69 79 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 Cognitive Meta-cognitive 269 it is not surprising that Henri’s (1992) social and interactive dimensions carried all but one of the postings given the nature of the forum and the task completed by pre-service teachers. the pre-service teachers felt that the nature of the tasks achieved an effective social presence outcome. mandy commented that the social presence online created “an intimate atmosphere, even though we had never met, as [we] were able to understand other students’ perspectives and get to know their personalities”. Stage Two: Learning from a shared experience Pre-service teachers created a novel overview for the stimulus novel they read. In addition, they identified key themes from the books and made links to both pedagogical implications and to their respective curriculum documents. Finally, pre-service teachers developed inquiry questions from the themes and teacher educators selected several of these questions to drive the inquiry discussion forums. For example: It is interesting to see the world through somebody else’s eyes. From this novel, you gained an insight into one person’s view of the world. How does perspective change the way we see other people? How does the way we see children affect the way we teach? Beyond the shared experience of reading the books, topics from the books themselves were planned as a dilemma or to trigger a sense of dissonance. this dissonance is part of the process of authentic learning and requires the learner to gain various skills and information to address the problem. anthony’s comment suggests this did occur: “the novel opened my eyes to issues i had not previously considered”. another pre-service teacher, kane, revealed that after reading the book he spent time researching further information on the themes, and this continued throughout the project. However, it was found that most of the dissonance came from the fact that pre-service teachers were part of a large and international online project as Pam revealed “i have to admit when this project first started i was not overly enthusiastic” supported by Greg’s comment “this online project gave me mixed feelings”. as the project progressed however preservice teachers were enthusiastic. dennis remarked that “once i got involved in reading the posts and seeing how others were able to interact with one another i began to warm up. i even began to really enjoy engaging with others and learning from their experiences”. Table 2 frequency of Pre-service teachers online responses in the novel Study and inquiry Questions forums Year Number of Participants Participative Social Interactive No. 2006 2007 2008 22 57 17 104 350 94 0 1 0 71 215 50 % 68 61 53 Cognitive No. 27 131 39 % 26 37 42 Meta-cognitive No. 6 3 5 % 6 1 5 table 2 indicates that the average number of posts per pre-service teacher within the novel study and inquiry forums 270 Redmond and Lock increased from 4.72 in 2006 to 6.14 and 5.52 in 2007 and 2008 respectively. again we had a increase in the number of postings per pre-service teacher from 2006 to 2007 with a drop off in 2008. this may have occurred because in 2007 and 2008, the teacher educators emphasised the importance that the pre-service teachers engage online a number of times each week to post and respond, rather than post once. effective conversation can occur when participants move from a post and run type of engagement to a post and response cycle over time. Pre-service teachers were also encouraged to move to from statements such as ‘i agree’, or ‘xxx is what i feel/think’, or ‘xxx has been my experience’, to a higher cognitive level of engagement where they purposefully questioned each other, shared examples and resources, supported comments with statements from literature, made connections to concepts from other posts, literature, and experience etc. alison commented that “the criteria for the posts encouraged participants to create considered responses to others and publish intellectually valuable material.” this encouragement and modelling by the teacher educators had a positive outcome over the three iterations as the average postings per pre-service teacher coded as cognitive postings increased twofold: from 1.12 in 2006 to 2.29 in 2007 and 2008. the decrease in the proportion of interactive postings and the subsequence increase in the proportion of cognitive postings over the 3 years was one of the goals of the teacher educators. the data indicates that the modifications in the design and teaching of the project from one year to the next supported students to increase postings at the cognitive level when participating in the novel study and inquiry question forums. this increase in the depth of engagement in terms of the quantity of cognitive posts is supported by one of the preservice teachers, tom, who commented that “the discussion was informative, and it was personally enriching to hear real-life experiences on particular issues. it was great to have an opportunity to learn through other people’s experiences with topics surrounding inclusion, instead of just learning everything from a text book.” Jillian’s comment “[a]ctually a lot of research was required to participate in any forum” indicates that the pre-service teachers took the time to contribute in an informed manner rather than only sharing their perspectives or experiences. Stage Three: Learning from teachers as experts Pre-service teachers and teacher educators were joined by teachers from australia and canada who took on the role of experts. forums were established in areas such as cultural diversity, second language learners, autistic spectrum disorder, teaching in an inclusive classroom, ict integration, and cyberbullying. Table 3 frequency of Pre-service teachers’ online responses in expert discussion forums Year Number of Participants Participative Social No. 2006 2007 2008 22 57 17 30 318 92 0 7 0 % 0 2 0 Interactive No. 20 212 49 % 67 67 53 Cognitive No. 10 97 43 % 30 31 47 0 2 0 Meta-cognitive table 3 indicates that again, the average number of posts per pre-service teacher increased from 1.36 to 5.57 and 5.41 over the three years. the pre-service teachers tended to use the expert forums to ask for resources and strategies. from the information provided by experts the pre-service teachers were willing to share their experiences in-depth, and continued to question to gain deeper knowledge of the key concepts and issues. interestingly, the pre-service teachers also kept linking the discussion with the concepts from the stimulus books. a favourable outcome over the three years was an impressive increase in the average number of cognitive postings 271 Authentic Learning Across International Borders per pre-service teacher from: 0.45, in 2006, 1.7 in 2008 and 2.25 in 2009. from 2007 to 2008 there was in increase in the proportion of postings at the cognitive level and a decrease in the proportion of interactive postings. these results mirror the results in the novel study and inquiry forums and have been a positive result of the alterations made as a consequence of reflective practice by the teacher educators. it was disappointing to see the results from Henri’s (1992) metacognition dimension. metacognitive statements are those “related to the general knowledge and skills and showing awareness, self-control, and self-regulation of learning” (Henri, 1992, p. 125). from the data, it appears that the project did not encourage metacognitive postings from pre-service teachers. Perhaps the researchers were expecting too much when coding at this level or perhaps in both online and face-to-face environments pre-service teachers do not overtly make their metacognition visible. However, there was positive feedback from both pre-service teachers and experts in relation to newmann and Wehlege’s (1993) standard for connectedness to the world beyond the classroom. Jack revealed that having ready access to experts, as part of his learning experiences was not a regular part of his learning experiences: “the input from ‘experts’ was very helpful. it was a method of learning that i have not been involved in before.” many pre-service teachers indicated that they lurked in expert forums (and others) that were not connected to their stimulus book and found that they gained ideas and information from these forums. from the experts’ perspective, two items were evident. first, experts were surprised how in-depth the pre-service teacher engagement was which reflects the authentic learning standard of substantive conversation. one expert, Louise, noted that the pre-service teachers “were not just posting but were putting their hearts into it and it felt after a while you were getting to know them”. this was surprising given that the experts were online for only 7 to 10 days in an asynchronous online environment. Second, it appears that the experts also thought the experience was valuable with statements such as: “i loved the different perspectives”, “it was personalized participation”, and “the discussions were pretty meaningful”. Pre-service teachers echoed these comments; fred added “the idea of this project was great. i think that it was an innovative way to deepen my understanding as a student on the topics of diversity, special needs mainly autism, humanity, and inclusive practices”. Stage Four: Critical reflection the key data for this stage were gathered from the assessed reflective postings and focus group interviews that occurred after the project. as part of stage four, pre-service teachers were asked to develop an action plan indicating their short term and long term professional learning goals. from the focus group interviews, seven critical themes were evident. first, multiple perspectives provided diversity in knowledge and experience. Jillian shared that “i think that it forces those in the discussion to consider ideas and beliefs beyond what they already hold.” Second, the novels provided a shared experience that triggered online dialogue and provided an anchor that pre-service teachers could keep linking back to when new ideas or concepts were introduced. Sam observed that “i found the story very real and got me thinking about bigger issues in teaching.” third, the learning experiences provided an increased awareness and a model for how icts might be used for learning in the classroom. John suggested that “[e]xposure to new ways to implement technology is fantastic as an aspiring teacher because it helps to develop confidence within us. i definitely found a new confidence in regards to the implementation of technology in a classroom.” Jill explained that “i can definitely see the advantages of using this type of project in my own classroom one day”. fourth, the diversity of participants provided a range of resources that pre-service teachers would not previously had had access to and also acknowledges the diversity of today’s classrooms. fifth, pre-service teachers valued the authentic conversations. kent offered that “it was valuable to have authentic conversations with other pre-service teachers and experts”. Whereas kelly believed “it provided a model of what teachers do as professionals, it encouraged collaboration”. Sixth, pre-service teachers gained deep understanding from the authentic and meaningful assessment. “i got so much more out of this – well beyond reading papers and or listening to lectures etc” remarked James. Seven, authentic issues for teaching became central to the conversations. “talking especially to students from canada made me realise that they are facing a lot of the same issues that australia is facing in education” commented Peter. Sarah revealed that “[t]he information i have learned from here will impact my pedagogical practices because the topics covered affect today’s society significantly”. 272 Redmond and Lock Conclusion the international online collaboration project provided an opportunity for pre-service teachers to “makes sense of experience within the context of his or her current world” (Lebow, 1993, p. 9). this learning opportunity enabled preservice teachers’ experiences to be valued in addition to providing access to the experience of multiple participants who have a range of backgrounds. one of the pre-service teachers observed that “i have had opportunities to hear the view of many different people about inclusive education in a way that would not normally have been possible.” through a disciplined inquiry, pre-service teachers developed greater depth of knowledge and engaged in higher order thinking as part of this authentic learning experience. the use of the novels as a stimulus and shared experience, the encouragement to consider multiple perspectives, the sharing of resources and the authentic dialogue with experts provided pre-service teachers with the means, motivation and model to inquire deeply into teaching about and in diverse contexts. in addition, the international and online collaboration enabled not only authentic conversation but also authentic inquiry into real world issues for teachers. from pre-service teacher feedback, it appears that authenticity and depth of learning challenged them to understand both theory and practice of teaching within today’s classrooms. the conversation and concepts explored “will impact beyond the present to my future” stated Janice. mark verified that the learning experience “[a]ssisted me in building capacity to teach in a diverse classroom in the future”. for the next iteration of the project, consideration must be given to enhancing the metacognitive aspect of learning. this will require changes in the design and facilitation to ensure there is alignment among metacognition as an objective, curriculum, pedagogical approaches and assessment. further research is required to investigate how teacher educators might promote and make visible metacognitive outcomes from authentic learning tasks. to aid in the development of authentic tasks, teacher educators need to examine more case studies or examples of both successful and not so successful authentic learning experiences. By having such cases or examples, it could assist in forming a clearer image of what is possible and what is happening today. Such a vision may assist them in the application of authentic tasks in the assessment, teaching and learning of others. authentic learning experiences “expose the messiness of real-life decision making” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 10). Preservice teachers “must be challenged with authentic tasks that drive the need to use, transform, apply and reinterpret” (Woo et al., 2007, p. 38) multiple sources of information because within their professional lives they need to be “able to deal with ambiguity and [be] capable of higher order analysis and complex communication (dede, korte, nelson, Valdez, & Ward, 2005, p. 3). this will enable them to respond in ways which are knowledgeable, reflective, thoughtful, intentional, and situational. References Bruner, J. (1969). The Process of Education. cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press. darling-Hammond, L. (2000). How teacher education matters. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 166-173. dede, c., korte, S., nelson, r., Valdez, G., & Ward, d. J. (2005). Transforming Learning for the 21st Century: An Economic Imperative. naperville, iL: Learning Point associates. department of education. (2002). a guide to productive pedagogies: classroom reflection manual. retrieved december 19, 2008, from Garrison, d. r., & anderson, t. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: a framework for research and practice. new York: routledge falmer. Gilmore, r. (2005). A Group of One. markham, on: fitzhenry and Whiteside. Hadden, m. (2002). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. toronto: doubleday canada. Henri, f. (1992). computer conferencing and content analysis. in a. r. kaye (ed.), Collaborative Learning Through Computer Conferencing: The Najaden Papers (pp. 117-136). Berlin: SpringerVerlag. Herrington, J., oliver, r., & reeves, t. c. (2003). Patterns of engagement in authentic online learning environments. Australian Journal Of Educational Technology, 19(1), 59-71. Lebow, d. (1993). constructivist values for instructional systems design: five principles toward a new mindset. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(3), 4-16. prodped.pdf Authentic Learning Across International Borders 273 Lombardi, m. m. (2007). authentic Learning for the 21st century: an overview. Educause Learning Initiative, (eLi Paper 1: 2007). mccaffrey, k. (2006). Destroying Avalon. freemantle, Wa: fremantle arts centre Press. mcLoughlin, c., & Luca, J. (2000). cognitive engagement and higher order thinking through computer conferencing: We know why but do we know how? Teaching and Learning Forum 2000 retrieved december 19, 2008, from newmann, f. m., & Wehlege, G. G. (1993). five standards of authentic instruction. Educational Leadership, 50(7), 8-12. Scardamalia, m., & Bereiter, c. (2003). knowledge building. in G. W. Guthrie (ed.), Encyclopedia of Education (2nd ed., pp. 1370−1373). new York: macmillan reference. Woo, Y., Herrington, J., agostinho, S., & reeves, t. c. (2007). implementing authentic tasks in web-based learning environments. Educause Quarterly, 3, 36-43. au/tlf/tlf2000/mcloughlin.html Acknowledgements the authors would like to acknowledge financial support for this project from the faculty of education’s internationalization fund at the University of calgary, the alberta initiative for School improvement (aiSi) in partnership with the University of calgary, and the internal research Grant Scheme from the University of Southern Queensland. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009, 275-282 From Conventional Spaces to Virtual Places: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communication in the Hybrid/Online Course Renee Robinson Saint Xavier University, USA DaRylann WhitemaRsh Marian University, USA United states’ postsecondary institutions and their organizational environments have changed significantly regarding constituency expectations of student learning, instructional practices, and technological tool usage. although these changes have occurred, the need for a positive student-teacher relationship and effective communication between these two groups has been consistent. a teacher communication variable that has been examined in relation to student learning is teacher immediacy. although a wealth of information about teacher immediacy in traditional instructional environments exists, little has been done to examine this communication phenomenon in virtual classrooms. Consequently, this paper contains a literature review of teacher immediacy in traditional classrooms and provides some instructional techniques for transferring these practices into teacher-student communication interactions in hybrid/online courses. since the mid-1980’s, two significant academic issues have driven postsecondary institutions: information technologies and student achievement in relation to measurable learning outcomes. lane and shelton (2001) noted that the institution of higher education has been (and continues to be) preoccupied with information technologies. this concern has impacted the ways in which colleges and universities communicate and interact with various constituencies as well as how academic programs and courses are delivered to students. in the past, postsecondary institutions consisted of traditional classroom environments with face-to-face interaction and lecture-style pedagogy. however, changing student demographics and organizational environments led to the postsecondary institutional focus on educational accessibility, competition, and information technologies that would enhance accessibility and decrease competition. information technologies created opportunities to deliver course content to students in a variety of channels and formats that extended far beyond the traditional classroom environment while also promoting a diversified instructional pedagogy. therefore, the traditional brick classroom environment was transformed into an audio, video, ipod, online rich format capable of reaching students in various locations. this ability to overcome geography coupled with technological advancements revolutionized distance learning programs. although information technologies have infused and radically 276 Robinson and Whitemarsh altered the classroom, they have not been thoroughly investigated to determine the implications of use in relationship to student learning or teacher pedagogy (Freitas, myers, & avtgis, 1998). according to Freitas, myers, and avtgis (1998) distance learning “involves an electronic link between students and instructors through the use of audio and video teleconferencing” (p. 366). some examples of distance learning include interactive classrooms, online instruction, and videotaped courses. Distance learning continues to grow in practice. Cotton (1995) noted that more than half of all postsecondary institutions practice some type of distance learning activities. in addition, laRose and Whitten (2000) reported that “the World Wide Web is the fastest growing instructional medium in higher education today” (p. 320). this growth, in part, is due to the appealing qualities the web possesses to both students and university/college administrators (Freitas, myers, & avtgis, 1998). For students, distance learning provides access to courses, an educational opportunity that fits around family and work responsibilities, and flexibility in scheduling. For university administrators, distance learning provides ways to address limited space/facilities and can be cost effective and inexpensive. although delivery systems have changed and grown in practice due to advances in information technologies, so has the significance of student achievement in terms of measurable student learning outcomes in U.s. society. one only need examine documents such as A Nation at Risk (1983) or turn to regional accrediting organizations such as the higher learning Commission (2009) to understand the importance of learning outcomes and student achievement. in pursuit of accreditation or student learning, a variety of studies have been conducted to examine factors that influence student achievement. one area of study has been the role of the student-teacher relationship in the learning process. as a result, the influence of teacher communication on student learning has been investigated. a communication variable that has received much attention is teacher immediacy and its influence on student achievement (Freitas, myers, & avigis, 1998). although a number of researchers have studied teacher immediacy (e.g., anderson, 1979; Christensen & menzel, 1998; Christophel, 1990; Gorham & Zakahi, 1990; Plax, Kearney, mcCroskey, & Richmond, 1986), most of the studies were conducted in a traditional classroom environment (Freitas, meyers, & avtgis, 1998). the findings of these studies have been important in understanding how teacher communication influences student learning in conventional classrooms; however, since that time, the traditional classroom has been infused with technology and in many instances transformed from a “brick space” to a “click space”. Consequently, hybrid/online teachers are exploring how to communicate effectively with students for rapport-building purposes and ways to capture the openness and warmth of traditional, face-to-face instructional places so that they can transfer these positive instructional characteristics to their virtual instructional spaces. to better understand teacher communication in classroom environments and how teacher immediacy impacts student learning, a literature review of the phenomenon is discussed here. afterwards, instructional strategies aimed at improving teacher immediacy in hybrid/online classes are provided. Teacher Immediacy and Student Achievement several studies have been conducted to provide insight into the teacher-student communication relationship, in general, and what motivates a student to learn (Robinson, 2007). bainbridge-Frymier and houser (2000) reported affinityseeking, caring, communicator style, compliance gaining, humor, and immediacy as variables that have a relationship to student learning. however, teacher immediacy has perhaps received the most attention. Immediacy is as an action(s) that decreases the physical and/or psychological distance between individuals with respect to communication behavior (Gorham & Zakahi, 1990). baringer and mcCroskey (2000) viewed immediacy as being produced by communicative behaviors that “enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with another” (p. 178). the communicative behaviors that a teacher employs to reduce the psychological and physical distance between students and themselves is teacher immediacy (Robinson, 2007). immediacy communication behaviors involve verbal and nonverbal communication (Robinson, 2007). examples of teacher verbal immediacy include calling students by name, encouraging feedback, and soliciting student opinions. other effective forms of teacher verbal immediacy are the use of humor, storytelling, and teacher self-disclosure (Christensen & menzel, 1998). some nonverbal teacher immediacy behaviors are eye contact, facial expressions (e.g., smiling, frowning), gestures, and use of voice among others (Robinson, 2007). Chory and mcCroskey (1999), Christensen and menzel From Conventional Spaces to Virtual Places 277 (1998), Gorham and Zakahi (1990), and Kelley and Gorham (1988) each investigated the relationship between student achievement and teacher immediacy and found a positive relationship between these two variables. teachers who were perceived by students to practice immediacy promoted student learning. however, differences between nonverbal and verbal immediacy behaviors with nonverbal communication appearing to have a more significant effect on learning than verbal communication have been documented (Christensen & menzel, 1998). teacher immediacy enhances student learning from a number of perspectives (Gorham & Zakahi, 1990)