INVESTIGATING ENGAGEMENT IN AN ONLINE TEACHER EDUCATION COURSE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Bogazici University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The primary purpose of this study is to investigate ways of improving preservice teachers’ engagement in a teacher education course designed for online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. While online teaching is a prominent research area, descriptions of online learning environments based on sound frameworks are typically missing in the literature. Addressing this gap, we investigated the role of online instruction, whose design was guided by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) framework, and supporting different types of interaction (Learner-Learner [LL] and Learner-Content [LC]) on students’ engagement. The participants were 38 students from a range of departments in the school of education. Students who were enrolled in two different sections of the course were randomly assigned to one of the online course versions (LL or LC). The LC section had 20 students, while the LL section had 18 participants. A 2x2 mixed ANOVA analysis showed that participants’ post-test engagement scores were significantly higher than their pre-test scores. In other words, participants’ engagement significantly increased after attending the online courses. There were significant differences between the students' engagement scores in the LL and LC sections of the course. However, there was no interaction effect between students’ engagement scores and their course section. These findings showed that online course design based on the NSSE framework was effective for improving students’ engagement in a project-based teacher education course even during the COVID-19 pandemic. We did not identify any interaction effect between attending to the different course versions and engagement. That is, the participants did not differ in terms of engagement scores regarding the course version they attended. The findings suggest that supporting either LC or LL interaction can be equally effective in improving engagement when engagement indicators are successfully used to design the online version of the course. This study highlighted the need to develop online courses based on sound frameworks and provided insight into prioritizing different types of interactions in online course design in teacher education.
Keywords: Online course design, Engagement, NSSE, Interaction modes, Teacher education, Preservice teachers.