Comparing differences in teacher learning and involvement in water quality activities with the use of a Web tutorial and with face-to-face instruction
April Jones Cleveland, North Carolina State University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, North Carolina State University . Awarded
The integration of technology into the K–12 classroom has become a key focus in the last several years. However, teachers are often left out of this integration process, and subsequently training in the use of the technologies in a classroom setting is often minimal in nature. Teachers are left on their own as they struggle to integrate technology into their curriculum. Web-based professional development has the potential to alleviate both time and place constraints teachers often confront when trying to attend traditional professional programs to upgrade their technology skills. This study focuses on 70 upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers who volunteered to take part in this study in which a web-based tutorial was used as a tool for professional development and data collection. A comparison of settings allowed these teachers to participate in one of three ways: (1) in a workshop-type setting with an instructional leader; (2) in a workshop-type setting with a facilitator; and (3) on the web without an instructional leader or informal peer interaction. All the groups used the same web-based tutorial on water quality monitoring for instructional purposes. Research data included pretest and post-test measurement from all three groups as well as their analysis of a known water sample. The Microcomputer Utilization in Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (MUTEBI) was administered to all the participants as a measurement of self-efficacy beliefs as they relate to the use of computers in science teaching. In addition to the quantitative data collected, qualitative data was also compiled. The results of the study indicate that all the participants were equal in terms of knowledge acquisition, but may have derived “unanticipated benefits” from interaction with their peers in the workshop-type settings. The results also indicate that as teachers' self-rating of computer expertise increased, their scores on the Microcomputer Utilization in Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (MUTEBI) increased as well.
Cleveland, A.J. Comparing differences in teacher learning and involvement in water quality activities with the use of a Web tutorial and with face-to-face instruction. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, North Carolina State University.
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