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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Technology and Cognition
 Degree Discipline: Educational Computing
An assessment of technology learning styles, skills, and perceptions among teachers of grades pre-kindergarten through four.
This study investigated whether a relationship exists between learning style and the self-reported technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies of teachers in a large suburban school district. The Gregorc Style Delineator was used to identify dominant learning style, and the Snapshot Survey was used to measure technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, and software expertise. Technology competencies were measured using the Technology in Education Competency Survey. Data collected from 499 participants was included in data analysis. The study was conducted at each of the 12 elementary schools of a large suburban district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between learning style and the technology-related needs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and competencies of teachers. The relationship between learning style and technology-related needs was significant at the p < .01 level. The relationships between learning style and technology-related stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies were significant at the p < .05 level. Members of the abstract sequential [AS] learning style group reported having significantly fewer needs and significantly higher stages of adoption, software expertise, and competency than members of one or more of the other learning style groups. More research is recommended to determine whether these findings could be utilized to improve teacher staff development in the area of technology. Possible applications may include mentoring programs and the customization of training models to more closely match learning style profiles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4715/
Cross-Cultural Validation of the Will, Skill, Tool Model of Technology Integration
The teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration was tested for predictive validity in the cross-cultural context of data from Texas, USA, and data from Mexico City, Mexico. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, path analysis, and multiple regression analysis, were statistical procedures employed. The analyses yielded positive results for the model's validity and reliability. The resulting model was found to be a reliable tool to evaluate technology integration among elementary and middle school teachers in Texas and in Mexico City. For the purposes of this study, the teacher professional development component of the will, skill, tool model of technology integration is referred to as the will, skill, tool model of technology integration (WiSTTI). This was one of the seven alternative models tested for goodness of fit across a total of 7 data samples. The structural equation modeling approach proved to be a good technique to find the best fit model in a cross-cultural environment. Latent variables and a set of parameters to judge the validity and reliability of each model were set for testing and retesting in an iterative process. Eventually a "new" modified version of the WiSSTI model was found to fit the data for all samples studied from both countries. From a theoretical perspective, the variation of the WiSTTI model found to be the best fit to the data indicates that increased teacher willingness to integrate technology brings about increased skill, and increased skill leads to more advanced technology integration, if access to technology is available for instruction. Results derived from the model with respect to the evaluation of technology integration for teachers from Texas and Mexico City suggest a differential effect by country, with the Texas teachers (representing USA) currently more advanced in technology integration than their colleagues from Mexico. No large effect was found for educational level, with elementary school teachers and middle school teachers at approximately equivalent levels of technology integration in both countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5256/
The effects of ARCS-based confidence strategies on learner confidence and performance in distance education.
The purpose of this research was to manipulate the component of confidence found in Keller's ARCS model to enhance the confidence and performance of undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a Texas university using SAM 2003 software delivery. This study also tested whether the aforementioned confidence tactics had any unintentional effect on the remaining attention, relevance, and satisfaction subscales of the ARCS model as well as on learners' overall motivation for the class and the instructional materials. This study was conducted over a 5.5-week period with an initial sample of 81 total students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure confidence and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The results indicated that the treatment group showed statistically greater gains than the control group in terms of learner confidence on the CIS but not the IMMS. In terms of performance, the treatment group outperformed the control group on all of the individual posttest measures and on the overall aggregate mean performance score. The results showed no statistically significant difference on the attention subsection of the ARCS model. However, statistically significant differences were noted for the relevance and satisfaction subscales of the model. There was also a statistically significant difference in overall learner motivation as measured on both surveys. This research study suggests the feasibility of improving overall learner motivation and performance through external conditions such as systematically applied confidence tactics. The research further supports claims about the effectiveness of the ARCS model as a viable tool for enhancing online learner motivation and performance. What was unclear in this study was whether individual subsections of the ARCS model, such as confidence, can be independently manipulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5268/
Enhanced learning performance in the middle school classroom through increased student motivation, by the use of educational software and question-based gaming technology.
The purpose of this research was to determine if the introduction of a competitive and collaborative computer-based gaming software system into middle school classrooms would result in improved attendance and grades, and motivate students to have a greater interest in their studies. This study was conducted over a 6 week period, with attendance and performance data being collected from 284 students. Two quantitative surveys were used to measure course interest and motivation: (a) the Course Interest Survey (CIS), and (b) the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). Participation in these surveys consisted of 84 students taking the CIS and 40 students taking the IMMS. The results indicated that the experimental group showed statistically better scores than the comparison group in attendance and performance. Students participating in the experimental group had significantly lower mean ranks of absenteeism compared to students in the comparison group. Results also revealed significant differences on grades. Students that were in the experimental group had significantly higher grades compared to students that were in the comparison group. Results of the CIS suggest that a statistically significant difference does not exist on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction between the experimental and comparison groups. Results of the means and standard deviations for the IMMS Motivation Scores fell somewhere between Moderately true and Mostly true. This research study suggests that student's attendance and performance can be improved when quiz based gaming software that is both collaborative and competitive is used regularly in the classroom. However, for student's that participated in the gaming software, their interest in studying the subject doesn't appear to be significantly different from students that did not participate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5613/
An Investigation of the Impact of Technology Expenditures on Student Achievement in Texas Districts
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between money spent on technology hardware, software, and training on district-wide achievement as measured by Texas standardized achievement tests, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and the American College Test (ACT). A series of studies were carried out to develop a model of the relationship between Texas district TAKS, TAAS, ACT, and SAT scores for all subjects and district expenditures on technology hardware, technology software, and technology training. The findings of this study showed that although the mixture of uneven distribution of training, incentives, and equipment in these Texas districts clouds the issue of effective integration as it does for all districts (Anderson & Becker, 1998), and the mean level of per pupil technology expenditure for participating districts is of an amount ($192 per student) deemed unlikely to have substantial impact on student outcomes (Anderson & Becker, 1998), there are strong positive links between levels of expenditure and student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and the American College Test that indicate that establishing guidelines for levels of expenditure, schedules of acquisition of materials and equipment, and timeframes for training and implementation may be vital to the success of technology integration in these districts and potentially for all districts in the nation. More study into effective funding levels, schedules of acquisition of materials and equipment, and timeframes of implementation is necessary to create truly successful programs of technology integration in school districts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4875/
An investigation of the use of instructional simulations in the classroom as a methodology for promoting transfer, engagement and motivation.
Innovative educators seek technologies to facilitate or enhance the learning experience while taking nothing away from the message of instruction. Simulations have been shown to meet this requirement. While simulations cannot replace the teacher or the message of instruction, they can provide a deeper and more cognitively engaging learning experience. Classroom use of simulations has been ongoing since the 1960's. However, substantive research on their efficacy remains limited. What research has been conducted indicates that simulations possess great potential as aids to instruction. The author of this dissertation pursued this question focusing on whether simulations contribute to instruction by facilitating transfer, improved motivation and increased engagement. This dissertation documents a study in which instructional simulations were used in undergraduate science courses to promote engagement, transfer and knowledge-seeking behavior. The study took place at Midwestern State University (MSU), a public university located in north-central Texas with a student population of approximately 5,500. The study ran during the fall 2006 and spring 2007 terms. Samples consisted of students enrolled in GNSC 1104 Life / Earth Science during the fall term and GNSC 1204 Physical Science during the spring term. Both courses were offered through the Department of Science and Mathematics at MSU. Both courses were taught by the same professor and are part of the core curriculum for undergraduates in the West College of Education at MSU. GNSC 1104 and GNSC 1204 yielded samples of n = 68 and n = 78 respectively. A simulation focusing on earthquakes was incorporated into the curriculum in GNSC 1104 while a simulation which presented concepts from wave propagation was included in GNSC 1204. Statistical results from this study were mixed. Nevertheless, studies of this type are warranted to gain a more complete understanding of how students are impacted by their interactions with simulations as well as the role simulations can play in the curriculum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3943/
One-to-one technology and mathematics achievement for eighth grade girls and boys in the state of Maine.
This study analyzed the eighth grade mathematics portion of the spring 2004 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) achievement test and the survey questions that were also administered. The analysis was on a school-wide level (n = 182). The two survey questions used were: “Which statement best describes the use of calculators in your mathematics classes?” and "Which statement best describes how you use your laptop in mathematics class: getting data from the Web, finding mathematics problems online, creating graphs?" Correlational analysis, partial correlation, and regression were used to determine if there was any association between calculator usage, laptop usage, and mathematics achievement for girls and for boys in the first state-wide group of students to have one-to-one laptops in Maine. Calculator usage was found to be positively associated with mathematics achievement for both girls (partial correlation coefficient of .189 (p = .011)) and for boys (partial correlation coefficient of .193 (p = .010)) even after controlling for school size and socio-economic status. Though no significant association between laptop usage and mathematics achievement for either girls or boys was found, this may be more a reflection on the survey question being a weak measure than the usage of laptops. In a post-hoc analysis of findings, schools were rank ordered based on the average mathematics achievement score regardless of gender; the top 25% (n = 45) and the lower 25% (n = 45) of the schools were evaluated. In the top 25%, there was no statistically significant difference between school-wide girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores. However, in the lower 25% of the schools, there was a statistically significant difference (p = .01) between the school-wide average of girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores, with the girls' score being 1.49 points higher (p = .01, d = .447) than the boys'. Recommendations for refinement of MEA survey questions as well as future studies are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3632/
Participant's perceptions of online staff development and learning tools.
This study analyzed participants in an online professional development and certification program can to see if they could predict the learning value of individual distance education tools. The Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) funded by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) designed the Technology Applications Certification Program (TACP). In the TACP, students are offered four graduate level classes which, when combined, meet the standards for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Technology Applications certification. The four courses that comprise the TACP are Computers in Education, Introduction to the Internet, Multimedia in Technology Applications, and Introduction to Video Technologies. The first course started in January 2002 with approximately 706 participants in 40 cohorts across the state of Texas. The TACP combines two different worlds of technology training. Half of the coursework was completed through asynchronous content and discussions, while the remaining classes were hands-on classes in local district computer labs. These face-to-face meetings enabled learners to get hands-on training with direct assistance. Between the online and face-to-face segments, a variety of learning tools were introduced to the participants. Participants were surveyed through the online Snapshot Survey in January and again in September. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4175/
The Relationship of the Learning Styles of High School Teachers and Computer Use in the Classroom
This study sought to determine if the dominant learning styles of high school teachers is related to the amount of time computers are used in the classroom by students. It also examined the types of software used by those teachers, and their levels of technology adoption. Subjects (N=177) were from high schools in a large urban school district. Instrumentation included the Gregorc Style Delineator, a modified version of the Snapshot Survey and the Stages of Adoption of Technology. An ANOVA showed no statistical significance between teachers with different dominant learning styles in the numbers of minutes per week that computers were utilized in their classrooms with students. A chi square test showed no statistical significance in the types of software used in the classrooms of teachers with different dominant learning styles. A chi square test showed no statistical significance in the Stages of Technology Adoption of teachers with different dominant learning styles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5580/
Technology adoption and integration levels: A comparison study between technology-minded general educators and technology-minded deaf educators.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether working in the field of deaf education, as opposed to general education, results in a higher level of technology integration. A secondary goal was to determine if deaf educators who are deaf integrate technology at a higher level than their hearing counterparts. The instrument chosen for this study was the LoTi Technology Use Profile, a tool used to explore the role of technology in the classroom. A total of 92 participates were included in the study of which 48 were regular educators and 44 were deaf educators. The participants were selected from a population pool whereby teachers were presumably pre-disposed to using technology based upon their attendance at a technology training session in the form of a conference or a class. Deaf educators as a whole did not perform as well as general educators on the LoTi scales. Given the fact that the technology-minded general educators who comprised the sample population of this study scored exceptionally high on the LoTi scales, further research is needed to ensure comparability between the two groups. The findings of the current study do suggest, though, that deaf educators who are deaf have the potential to integrate technology to a greater degree than deaf educators who are hearing. Thus, a primary recommendation is to conduct a national LoTi survey of typical, rather than technology-minded, deaf educators as a comparison to the 2004 national survey of typical general educators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5352/
The use of journaling as a means of reflection for greater technology implementation among teachers.
The purpose of this multiple case-study was to determine whether the use of reflective journals during graduate coursework impacts the level of technology implementation in instructional settings for experienced teachers. This study examined the relationships between: (1) levels of reflection demonstrated in journal responses, (2) the level of technology implementation, and (3) teachers' attitudes about technology implementation. The coding scheme used to determine levels of reflection in the journals was based on the framework of Leung and Kember. The LoTi questionnaire, developed in 1995 by Chris Moersch, was used to determine the levels of perceived technology implementation. The goal of this study was to provide information that may be utilized to plan more effective technology staff development. By providing insights on how to evaluate written work consistently for reflective thinking and on teachers' perceptions of technology implementation, university programs and school districts can develop better strategies for technology professional development. The findings suggest that teachers who demonstrated the characteristics of high levels of reflection also demonstrated characteristics of higher levels of technology implementation. Four of the five cases demonstrated a relationship among their scores on the Level of Reflection, Level of Technology Implementation (Loti), and Current Instructional Practice (CIP) measures. This study adds to the research regarding evaluation of reflection, the use of journals for reflection, and the impact of this strategy on technology implementation. The results of this qualitative study illustrate the process of using the theoretical framework of Lueng and Kember to evaluate the levels of reflection in written journal responses during professional development programs. The findings suggest that the use of reflective journals, in the context of the action research process during technology training, has a positive impact on technology implementation for practicing teachers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4920/