University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Page: 7172 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1692
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Two main distinct approaches to teaching can usually be distinguished: traditional or teacher-focused and constructivist or student-focused (Chan & Elliott, 2004; Trigwell & Prosser, 2004). Previous research showed that teachers' approaches to teaching have been associated with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in classroom, and that student-focused teachers have positive attitudes towards technology integration and are willing to overcome the barriers (Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik, Sendurur, & Sendurur, 2012). On the other hand, teachers with more teacher-focused beliefs do not see technology as important to the teaching and learning process (Lim & Chan 2007).

The aim of the present study was to explore whether teachers' attitudes towards ICT use in teaching in terms of perception of potential benefits and risks in ICT use in teaching and learning mediates the relationship between teachers' approach to teaching (student-focused vs. teacher-focused) and reported ICT based teaching activities with students in the classroom. Additionally, the study aimed to examine possible moderating effect of school level (middle/high school).

The data were collected as a part of a larger study conducted within the First phase of the “e-Schools” pilot project in 20 selected schools (CARNet) aimed at developing digitally mature schools in Croatia. An online survey methodology was employed involving a sample of teachers in 13 middle (N=307) and 7 high schools (N=306). Teachers filled out questionnaires to assess whether they were oriented more towards teacher-focused teaching, characterized by demonstrating transfer of knowledge and demonstration of skills by presenting the content, or towards student-focused teaching encouraging active learning among students and their independent review of their understanding of teaching materials. The questionnaire that examined teachers’ perceived benefits and risks for ICT use in learning and teaching was also applied. On both questionnaires teachers answered on a 5 point Likert-type scale (1 – I completely disagree to 5 – I completely agree). Teachers also assessed how often they use eight different ICT teaching activities for students (e.g. for skills development, knowledge consolidation, searching Internet for information, problem solving) on a 5 point Likert-type scale (1 - I never use it to 5 – I use it every day).

A mediation analysis was conducted to evaluate the hypothesized role of perceived benefits and risks of ICT use in teaching and learning as mediators in relation between orientation to teacher-focused and student-focused approaches to teaching and using of ICT teaching activities. The best fitting model indicated that student-focused approach to teaching directly and indirectly, through perceived benefits of ICT use in teaching and learning, positively affects using ICT teaching activities. On the other hand, perceived risks of ICT use mediate the detrimental effect of teacher-focused approach on using ICT teaching activities. Using a multigroup analysis and Wald test no significant moderating effects of school level (middle or high school) were obtained.
Approaches to teaching, ICT use in teaching, benefits and risks of ICT use.