About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2793-2802
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY: AN ASSESSMENT OF BEST PRACTICES

E. Carbone

University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UNITED STATES)
Background
As online (OL) education evolves, the need to design quality OL courses has increased and more faculty are expected to teach OL, even if they have little or no teaching experience. A growing body of literature speaks of the need to prepare the next generation of instructors on specific competencies related to the changing teaching environment, including the greater diversity cultural and ethnic background of students. Instructors new to OL teaching may lack skills to respectfully address this issue. Thus, one research priority is to assess instructors’ perceptions of students’ learning needs and evaluate successful strategies used to meet the demands of a dynamic OL learning environment. Second, although resources are available to assist OL instructors with logistics, technology, design, management, and evaluation of courses, there is a paucity of data on how instructors actually use these resources to enhance courses. Third, student-based assessments of OL offerings are routinely conducted at the completion of courses, but there is no systematic instructor-based review of pedagogical practices used in these courses. This study addressed these three research issues by describing experiences of UMass-Amherst instructors teaching fully OL courses, focusing on pedagogical practices, training, teaching styles, and lessons learned. Also included was an examination of instructors’ perceptions of their students’ learning priorities, and strategies used to assess learning needs and skills of culturally diverse audiences.

Methods
This descriptive study employed a primarily qualitative approach. Interview questions were informed by adult education principles and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory was used to develop questions related to instructors’ perceptions of learners’ needs and instructors’ teaching style was assessed using the Trainer Type Inventory (TTI). Interviews were audio-taped and conducted by a graduate student using a semi-structured interview guide. Data were transcribed verbatim and independently coded by project members. Initial themes were identified by consensus; an in-depth inductive review was then conducted through multiple readings of transcripts to identify emerging themes and dominant trends. These trends were used to confirm initial findings and inform development of “best practices” of instructors teaching OL at UMass-Amherst. Quantitative data from TTI surveys identified instructors’ dominant teaching styles.

Results
Thirteen females and eight males were interviewed. Participants had an average of 14.7 years of teaching experience and 5.2 years of OL experience. Most (82.4%) had no OL experience prior to teaching OL for the first time. Dominant teaching styles were facilitators (41%) and directors (35%). “Best practices” emerged at both the individual level and organizational levels.

Conclusions
These data will help new instructors learn best practices and incorporate them into the development of their OL courses.

References:
1. Bloom’s Taxonomy – available at:
http://www.businessballs.com/bloomstaxonomyoflearningdomains.htm#bloom%27s%20taxonomy%20overview
2. Kolb – available at:
http://www.haygroup.com/leadershipandtalentondemand/Products/Kolb_learning.aspx
3. TTI – available at:
http://www.smile.dvv-international.org/materials/TTI.doc
@InProceedings{CARBONE2010TEA,
author = {Carbone, E.},
title = {TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY: AN ASSESSMENT OF BEST PRACTICES},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2793-2802}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Carbone
TI - TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY: AN ASSESSMENT OF BEST PRACTICES
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 2793
EP - 2802
ER -
E. Carbone (2010) TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY: AN ASSESSMENT OF BEST PRACTICES, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 2793-2802.
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