Using Wenger's social theory of learning to examine university teachers' understanding of how instructional technology affects their experience in practice
Laura L. Adams, West Virginia University, United States
West Virginia University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to take an exploratory look at how university teachers come to understand their experience in educational practice and their professional role as teachers who integrate instructional technology into their coursework using the framework provided by Wenger’s Social Theory of Learning. University faculty who teach in a college of education that integrate instructional technology into their courses were important to inform this study.
Qualitative research methods were used to gather data that was collected from (1) university teachers’ engagement in an annual instructional technology professional development activity and (2) eight participants who teach in a college of education. Data collected from the teachers’ engagement in a professional development activity included a week long observation, binders that chronologically described the history of the professional development activity, the college’s current technology support structures, and shared resources that help teachers within the college integrate instructional technology. Data collected from the eight teacher participants to inform case studies included interviews, observations, and the review of the participants’ courses from one academic semester that displayed instructional technology integration. The data from the teachers’ engagement in the professional development activity and the eight teacher participants was analyzed and coded by the framework provided by Wenger’s Social Theory of Learning to identify emergent themes and patterns that informed the teachers’ understanding and experience of their role responsible to integrate instructional technology.
Findings of this research revealed the importance for teachers to collectively discuss their experiences teaching with instructional technology, the importance for teachers to engage in professional development opportunities that focus on pedagogical practices using instructional technology, the importance for teachers to observe and view other colleagues’ instructional choices with the use of instructional technology, and the opportunity for teachers to become more familiar with synchronous audio-video communication technology to enable for more authentic teaching experiences with their students.
Keywords: Social Theory of Learning, identity, practice, meaning, community, instructional technology, teacher professional development
Adams, L.L. Using Wenger's social theory of learning to examine university teachers' understanding of how instructional technology affects their experience in practice. Ph.D. thesis, West Virginia University. Retrieved February 18, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/119584/.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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