About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1395-1402
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

REDUCING BARRIERS, INCREASING FLEXIBILITY, AND CLARIFYING PHILOSOPHIES: FACULTY REFLECTIONS ON DISTANCE LEARNING FOR TEACHER EDUCATION AT A SMALL COLLEGE

L. Cleeton, S. Kim, H. Kress, C. Lalonde, A. Thering

D'Youville College (UNITED STATES)
This paper examines one U.S. college’s recent implementation of distance (online) education in light of the current literature on best practices for preparing elementary and secondary school teachers (i.e., K-12 teachers). The authors are professors in four fields of teacher education and are all engaged in developing online learning for their graduate-level students at a small liberal arts college along the northeast U.S.-Canada border. Two concerns are analyzed: learning barriers in online environments and definitions of quality expected for graduates. We end the paper with recommendations for our college and for our teacher education colleagues at other universities. These issues are of critical importance as traditional teacher education competes more with alternative routes to initial teacher certification and graduate-level professional development.

First, when distance education is offered, how can university faculty or administration identify and reduce any learning barriers that students or faculty might face in the online classroom environment? According to Liu & Ginther (1999) most of the distance education students in higher education are adult learners. In addition, Harper & Kember (1986) explain that these students tend to be more intrinsically motivated than their younger counterparts. However, there are different reasons why some of the distance learners cannot achieve what is expected. According to Coggins (1988), preferred learning style is influential on students’ completion of external degree programs in education. Schmeck (1988) argued that individuals’ learning styles were simply the styles that they exhibit when faced with a learning task. Braun (2008) shares research involving survey data gathered from 90 graduate students in an education program about their attitudes regarding their online learning experiences. Flexibility was one of the top reasons students cited as influencing their decision to choose online over in-class coursework, though they do note less interaction between students and teachers, and between students in the online environment. We report the results of administering “Online Learning Barriers” and “Course Delivery Choices” questionnaires at the beginning and end of some courses in our college.

Second, within the online classroom environment, how can faculty foster positive learning experiences that will improve K-12 teacher quality? This question deals with both (1) the philosophy of education that the individual faculty ascribes to, and (2) the purposes or goals for teacher training as reflected in the program or college mission. For example, McCrory, Putnam and Jansen (2008) studied how faculty and students engage, as well as the impact of content matter and types of student assignments online. Their teaching and research efforts reflect their conscious effort to use constructivist pedagogical philosophies. We compare and contrast our personal teaching philosophies within the context of our college’s mission and the leading teacher education policy debates.
@InProceedings{CLEETON2010RED,
author = {Cleeton, L. and Kim, S. and Kress, H. and Lalonde, C. and Thering, A.},
title = {REDUCING BARRIERS, INCREASING FLEXIBILITY, AND CLARIFYING PHILOSOPHIES: FACULTY REFLECTIONS ON DISTANCE LEARNING FOR TEACHER EDUCATION AT A SMALL COLLEGE},
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 = {1395-1402}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Cleeton AU - S. Kim AU - H. Kress AU - C. Lalonde AU - A. Thering
TI - REDUCING BARRIERS, INCREASING FLEXIBILITY, AND CLARIFYING PHILOSOPHIES: FACULTY REFLECTIONS ON DISTANCE LEARNING FOR TEACHER EDUCATION AT A SMALL COLLEGE
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 - 1395
EP - 1402
ER -
L. Cleeton, S. Kim, H. Kress, C. Lalonde, A. Thering (2010) REDUCING BARRIERS, INCREASING FLEXIBILITY, AND CLARIFYING PHILOSOPHIES: FACULTY REFLECTIONS ON DISTANCE LEARNING FOR TEACHER EDUCATION AT A SMALL COLLEGE, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 1395-1402.
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