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Running head: Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods: An Online Course for Pre-service Teachers M. Scott Alexander J. Robert Esliger Ritwa Smith ETEC 510 65C University of British Columbia

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods: A Course for Preservice Teachers Rationale Research conducted by Hew & Brush (2007) confirmed our belief that teachers new to the profession often feel they are not adequately prepared to use technology effectively in their lessons; therefore, we created an online course to assist preservice teachers in obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills required in order to be successful and current, as they enter the classroom as teachers.

During the past decade, growth in the practical applications of the Internet and computerbased technology in the classroom has been immense. It has become second-nature for students to log on to the Internet and/or utilize email on a daily basis (Thompson, 2008). The advancement in website development, together with the simplicity of available online software and applications has pushed the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the classroom more than ever before. According to Statistics Canada almost three-quarters (73%), or 19.2 million Canadians aged 16 and older went online for personal reasons during the 12 months prior to the 2006 census survey. This was up from just over two-thirds (68%) in 2005 when the survey was last conducted (Stats Canada, 2008). Therefore, we believe that accessibility to the necessary technologies will not be a hindrance in accomplishing the goals of our design project. Our research indicates that although classroom teachers have access to technology and online resources these items will have little effect unless teachers receive sufficient training in their effective use in teaching and learning (Ringstaff and Kelley, 2002). Nonis & OBannon (2001) found that most preservice teachers, in different content areas and disciplines, know little about the effective use of technology and are not confident in using it when they teach.

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods Therefore, the course that we will create as our design project will be contextualized in preservice teacher training as they prepare for entry into K-12 classrooms in public education. The activities in our course are designed to engage preservice teachers in creating

learning contexts for their students that focus on developing five main objectives: (a) skills in the use of accessing and applying various technologies, (b) higher-order thinking, (c) deep knowledge, (d) collaboration, and (e) connections to the world beyond the classroom. The context for our course activities is supported in academic research by Wehlage, Newmann, & Secada (1996). We are also supported in our claim that technology training is necessary for preservice teachers by Evans & Gunter (2004).

Key Frameworks As Prensky (2001) cleverly stated, todays students are termed digital natives because they were born into a world where digital media is readily available for their entertainment, communication, learning, and shopping, and that these students are native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. Prensky (2001) goes on to say that those of us who were not born into the digital world but have adopted aspects of the new technologies are being termed digital immigrants. Therefore our digital immigrant teachers and university professors who speak an outdated language of instruction will face a significant challenge as they endeavour to teach a population that speaks a completely new digital language. Today, students who do not have access or skills related to digital media will face the likelihood of being behind their peers and/or disadvantaged in their learning (Austin, 2004). In addition, it is believed that the current generation of learners will make demands for educational institutions to provide technology-rich and technology-current learning environments (Austin, 2004).

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods Indiana University points out that the primary argument for not using technology in the classroom is that teachers have not had enough training in the use of technology in teaching. With the surge of inexpensive technology available to students and the ever increasing compatibility amongst computer operating systems, the problems outlined by Knill (2007) regarding hardware malfunctions and software conflicts are being reduced. Computer technology is built better and updates are usually available to students at the click of a mouse. Therefore, we will not focus our project on technology itself; instead, our course will focus on the practical use of technology in teaching and learning in order to allow preservice teachers to deliver content to their students in an engaging and meaningful way. Knill (2007) and Whalen (2002) suggest that there are many good reasons why teachers need to have media, Internet and technology skills with one of the most important being that students must be skilled and ready to meet the demands that will be placed upon them in their educational careers and in their chosen vocation. Today's students must know how to navigate the World Wide Web, understand and utilize various software programs and be able to craft presentations using both commercial computer applications and the free Web 2.0 applications.

Other benefits to students include access to alternate methods of communication and interaction, access to a wide range of research and information, access to various points of view through online research, and access to learning through collaborations and discovery. Our design project consists of two goals: (1) to review the importance of integrating technology into preservice teacher education programs as a method of preparing technologically proficient teachers for jobs in K-12 schools; and (2) to create an online self-paced course for preservice teachers that will provide them with the introductory knowledge, skills and practical experiences necessary to integrate technology into their teaching practice.

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods

As a result of our literature review and personal experience we have formulated our belief statements as follows: (a) we believe that, as a minimum, it is necessity to include a technology course that fosters the practical application of current technologies and multimedia web applications into all preservice teacher education programs; (b) we believe that there will be no chance of updating how teachers utilize technology in schools if they are not actively involved in hands-on learning and become skilled in the integration of technology into their lessons and classrooms (Gunter 19, 2001); (c) we believe that technology integration is a first step toward transforming teaching and learning activities and engaging students (Whetstone & CarrChellman, 2001); (d) we believe that teachers will leave their preservice programs and teach the way they were taught unless they are provided with updated knowledge and skills regarding the integration of technology through a constructivist approach (Bell & Cowie, 2001); and lastly (e) we believe that in order for adequate learning to occur, preservice teachers require time to practice and to reflect on their practices (Coutinho, 2007). Through our review of literature on learning theories and the development of our belief statements, we have created our design project utilizing learner-centered constructivist theories. A constructivist view of learning is that in which learners actively engage in their own knowledge construction by integrating new information into their existing knowledge (Harada, 2003). In learner-centered environments, students respond to academic challenges and the teachers role changes from instructivist to constructivist (Austin, 2004). The teacher will then be in a position to teach, facilitate learning and also learn together with their students. Most educators are somewhat familiar with the educational philosophies of Dewey (1963) and Vogotsky (1962). John Dewey developed the concept that students need to be in a position where they can draw upon past experiences in order to successfully integrate and build

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new understanding and meaning; he viewed learning as social experience. Lev Vogotsky studied learning as a cognitive building process, and developed the theoretical framework that social interaction plays a foundational role in the development of cognition (Wikipedia, 2010). Through their work, John Dewey and Lev Vogotsky are credited for preparing the groundwork for the concept that knowledge is built from the foundation of previous knowledge, known today as knowledge-building. In addition, through the research of Casas (2006) and Hughes & Daykin (2002) we confirmed that constructivist theory and learning strategies are beneficial in the development of online learning environments. Therefore, we have embraced constructivist principles in the development of our online course titled Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods. Literature tells us that teachers only integrate technology in their teaching practices if they feel at ease with the technologies; however, this same research also tells us that when familiarized with information technologies, teachers will integrate technology regularly in their classroom activities (Johnson & Liu, 2000; Woodbridge, 2004). The Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) has identified some basic principles for the development of effective teacher education programs (Aimes White Paper, 1998). These principles include statements that technology should be infused into teacher education programs; that technology should be introduced in context; and that preservice teachers should experience innovative technology-supported learning in their teacher education program. In addition, Hepp, Hinostroza, Laval and Rehbein (2004) document the following three reasons for the necessary integration of technology in K-12 education: (1) due to the fact that computers and Internet technology are the main tools for information processing, students need to become competent in their use, acquire the necessary skills, and have access to computers and

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networks during their school life; (2) because schools are institutions of learning, computers and Internet technology must be the fundamental skill-set taught on all levels of an educational system, from classrooms to ministries; and (3) public schools should update present teaching practices and resources to include more effective integration of technology in order to assist students in becoming life-long-learners. In addition to research from the aforementioned individuals, the US Department of Education (1995) conducted a national study through which they provided significant support for constructivist project-based teaching and learning approaches in public education. This US study, coupled with research from Roblyer (2003) assisted us by confirming many positive effects of implementing effective technology within the K-12 educational context and we have highlighted what we believe to be the six most significant elements as they pertain to the development of our design project; these include: (a) enhanced student motivation, attention and self esteem; (b) increased skills in research problem solving; (c) increased skills in various webbased tools and applications; (d) increased ability to work collaboratively, cooperatively and to share and build upon their learning with others; (e) increased teacher ability to build engaging lessons; and (f) increased ability for students to feel a sense of control over their learning and to work in self-directed learning environments. Therefore, through our review of literature and confirmed need for preservice teachers to have access to an up-to-date course on the integration of technology into teaching practice, we determined that we could provide an online course using Moodle as the learning environment (see Figure 1). Moodle will not only house our course, but it will also provide preservice teachers with skill development and practical application with using Moodle as an online learning environment through which to create their own online course and/or lessons (Jacobsen, Clifford

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods & Friesen, 2002). Moodle has many characteristics that we believe make it an ideal learning environment for our course; it is free, open course, and runs on any platform without conflict. Moodle itself is designed from constructivist philosophy which is a perfect fit for our design project (Moodle Docs, 2010). Figure 1. Organization of our Moodle Course: Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods

Moodle provides for the creation of online lessons, it permits multimedia sources to be embedded with ease and it has an array of tools built into it that will assist the instructor in guiding students through the course. Moodle tools can be used for constructivist and social learning; these include blogs, wikis, chat rooms, databases, discussion forums, and a glossary in addition to the traditional course management tools such as quizzes, lessons, assignments, calendar and grade book tools. Moodle will serve as the hub for our course by providing a space for us to host the course content as well as provide a collaborative environment for preservice

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teachers to construct their knowledge and reflect on their learning. We will also utilize tools from outside Moodle and incorporate such items as rubric generators, online lesson plans and material repositories, as well as several Web 2.0 tools such as weblogs, digital mapping, moviemaker, YouTube, podcasts, and rich media content (Peachey 2008).

Intentions and Positions The curriculum used in the design of our Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods course is based on five modules that we have created. Upon completion of the five modules, preservice teachers will have developed specific learning outcomes regarding the integration of technology into their teaching (see table 1).

Table 1 Modules of our Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods course

Module Number

Definition & Use of terms/concepts related to T.I.E.

Desired Learning Outcome

Terms/concepts such as instructional media; instructional technology; instructional design; interactive learning; instructional computing. etc. Selection criteria for instructional media/software. Procedures for selection & evaluation of media. Practical applications of media in instruction.

Examples of Activities
Use reference materials research activities; and internet resources.

Describe & illustrate procedures for tech selection & evaluation

Provide draft of selection criteria and involve users in discussions & applications.

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Describe, create, use categories of media e.g. print, Audio/Visual

Types, categories and forms of instructional media. Preparing instructional media of various forms. Using print, visual, audio, displays, software, etc. Methods of instructional presentation for teaching. Uses of demonstrations, simulations, and games. Discovery learning, tutorials, & problem solving. Introduction of events of instruction and planning. Framework, tools, resources and sample plans. Essentials of instructional management strategies.

Involve preservice teachers in (hands-on) creations of the various types of media).

Describe and use methods & strategies of instructional approaches

Conduct/guide demonstrations of teaching; and uses of instructional approaches.

Design instructional plans/activities and manage instruction

Use reference materials; research, planning activities; Web 2.0; and Internet resources.

A constructivist design provided us with the opportunity to create learning modules that preservice teachers will find engaging, develop higher-order thinking, and develop knowledge and skills in the utilization of technology in teaching. The constructivist paradigm also lends itself to knowledge-building through discourse and we will assist the preservice teachers to make connections with one another through a built-in social forum (Asan 2002 & Jonassen 1998). Our goal is to create sustained learning opportunities for preservice teachers specific to the use of technology in teaching and learning and to provide them with methods, activities and strategies that they will, in turn, be able to use to teach their students. Through the built-in activities and utilization of Web 2.0 tools we anticipate that preservice teachers will instinctively begin to include engaging, technology-based activities into their lesson planning (Doering, Hughes & Huffman, 2003).

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Research conducted by Clifford & Lock (2004) found that well designed on-line learning environments help to engage preservice teachers in the range of skills that surround teaching and learning with technology. They found that whether these environments provided the primary structure for course delivery or, if only an environment for collaboration, the findings were remarkably consistent in that a well constructed digital learning environment can enhance preservice teacher skill development (Clifford & Lock, 2004). A review of literature by Choy, Wong & Gao (2008) regarding preservice teachers utilization of information technology, revealed a trend that technology-based courses produce positive results by developing preservice teachers basic knowledge and skills, changing their attitudes toward information technology and perceived self-efficacy when using technology. Leinonen (2005) suggests that there have been five major stages in the evolution of technologies in learning (see Figure 1).

Figure 2. Stages of Using Computers in Education

Figure 2. Stages of Using Computers in Education. Adapted from Teemu Leinonen (2005) (Critical) history of ICT in education and where we are heading? Posted on Flosse Posse Free, Libre and Open Source Software in Education Retrieved March 22, 2010 from

In 2005 it was only assumed that social software and free and open content would be the next breakthrough in the field of educational technology because at that time, tools such as blogs

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods and wikis, were already being used extensively in the field (Leinonen, 2005). However, Leinonen (2005) was correct in his thinking as there was a shift in the selection and use of the


availability of free Internet tools which was to become known as the move from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. We believe that Web 2.0 tools can provide a more technological-rich experience for students and the tools can also be utilized for many pedagogical purposes. For example, blogs are effective for building e-portfolios and facilitating interaction and communication competencies; GooglePages are useful in developing skills in searching, organizing and sharing web resources; and Wikis are effective for cooperative and collaborative learning activities. We maintain that by utilizing the aforementioned tools in the classroom, the role of the teacher can shift from provider to that of facilitator, and the students can have a more active and engaging role in a media-rich learning environment (Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam 2009). The educational technology courses for preservice teachers offered at eight Malaysian universities were reviewed by Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam (2009) and were found to cover many areas pertaining to computer related technologies as well as components related to educational practice. A total of five components emerged from the various course outlines and they are listed as follows: (1) Information and Communication Technology, (2) Educational and Instructional Technology, (3) Telecommunication and Networking, (4) Library Science, and (4) Application Practice and Tutorial. Figure 3 was developed by Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam (2009) to illustrate the many components of ICT curriculum in preservice teacher training in these courses. A common focus running through the courses includes educational and instructional technology, and general pedagogy. Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam (2009) determined that preservice teachers in each of the eight universities are trained with different competencies in knowledge and skills, and the courses offered varied in terms of contents, focus,

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title and methods of instruction. In other words, some courses focused heavily on theory, while others focused more on hands-on practice. Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam (2009) hypothesized that this is due to the fact that there are no proper guidelines regarding curriculum design. The courses were developed based on the perceptions, knowledge and experience of each course instructor regarding what they determined to be important. This research by Muniandy, Phing & Rasalingam (2009) confirmed the appropriateness of our course content and ensured us that our course fit with the standards for an undergraduate preservice teacher course in educational technology. However, to strengthen our course we added a module that was not covered in the Malaysian universities and that is our Module 4 which covers instructional presentation for teaching, simulations, discovery and instructional approaches. Figure 3. ICT Curriculum in Preservice Teacher Training

Figure 3. Adapted from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Training Curriculum for Pre Service Teachers in Malaysian Public Universities: Challenges in Preparing Next Generation of Teachers. Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers. by Muniandy, B., Phing, T.P., & Rasalingam, R.R. (2009). Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, MALAYSIA.

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The US National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (NETSS) state that all teachers should meet the following six standards: (Standard 1) Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts; (Standard 2) Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology; (Standard 3) Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning; (Standard 4) Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies; (Standard 5) Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice; and (Standard 6) Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice (NETSS, 2002). Through our literature review we believe that our course modules will prepare preservice teachers to meet the six standards as outlined by NETSS. Colleges and universities should build preservice teachers competence in teaching with technology as Ringstaff & Kelley (2002) have concluded through their research. They determined that significant improvements in student achievement can result from formal preservice training in the use of technology. Therefore, we contend that teacher education programs should consider all aspects of technology integration while providing preservice teachers with ample opportunity to apply what they have learned in the course either through online simulations and/or through their practicum placements. To conclude this section it is important to note that our course is designed in such a way that preservice teachers will move independently through the five modules. It is our expectation that preservice teachers will have already developed independent learning skills and that they will take responsible for their own learning. It is also our expectation that preservice teachers

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will complete all the individual, group and project-based assignments in each module in order to complete the course.

Key Concepts and Contexts Hixon & So (2009) determined that providing preservice teachers with opportunities to observe and interact with classroom environments, real or simulated, is critically important to educating high quality, well-prepared teachers. While technology's role in relation to field experiences continues to be explored, it is important to identify the benefits of technology's use in teaching that have been documented in literature. Such information is relevant to those involved in preservice teacher education to ensure that postsecondary institutions design the most effective field experiences possible. Hixon & So (2009) determined that there are five major benefits of using technology in preservice teacher field experiences and they are as follows: 1) exposure to various types of teaching/learning environments, 2) creation of shared experiences, 3) reflection on practice, 4) preparing students cognitively for problem solving, and 5) learning about technology integration. We believe that our design project includes these important components (see Table 1). One item identified in research that we have not worked into our design project is that of providing a mentor teacher to work with preservice teachers in a real life context. Current research by Evans & Gunter (2004) and Swain & Dawson (2006) contends that while coursework on technology integration is necessary during undergraduate studies it is equally as beneficial to provide mentorship between preservice teachers and mentor- teachers who have expertise with integrating technology into their teaching. This research goes on to state that this mentorship will provide preservice teachers with real-life experiences while they are engaged in

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods their teaching practicum rather than integrating technology into hypothetical lesson plans. Further to this, research by Evans & Gunter (2004) also indicates that it is not sufficient just to


see technology modeled; preservice teachers must be required to integrate technology into their real-life teaching. Therefore, the body of research that we have identified has assisted us in our project design by confirming that our online course for preservice teachers is meaningful and purposeful while also indicating that a best case scenario would be to have mentor teachers associated with preservice teachers while they are engaged in the online technology course, or shortly thereafter in a practicum placement. We have not built this aspect into our design project. Hixon & So (2009) state that while there are many research-based advantages to using various forms of technology in teaching field-experience, there are also some serious concerns that must be addressed through future research. Hixon & So (2009) and Knill (2007) noted that some of the concerns that need to be addressed can be stated quite simply as: (a) the use of technology may result in a reduction in interaction between teachers and students, (b) that technology may limit the reality and complexity of the tasks presented to students, and (c) that technical problems may interfere with the consistency of lesson planning and lesson consistency over time. We have taken the concerns of Hixon & So (2009) and Knill (2007) into consideration and believe that our course will address the necessity for teacher interaction with students and for the teacher to take an active role with the students; we believe that the use of technology in the classroom will make learning more real, more up-to-date, and more engaging for students; and finally, we believe that educational institutions have far fewer network conflicts and it would be a rare occasion that software and hardware conflicts would interfere with lesson consistency.

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods InterActivities Interactive learning as defined by Brogan (Interactive Learning Definition, n.d.) occurs when a student puts knowledge and skills together by connecting with the information and experiences that are provided by the teacher. Brogan (n.d.) further states that in interactive


learning the student is engaged both intellectually and emotionally and that feedback, reflection and dialogue are integral components. A definition of learning through interactivities can be further defined as communication with an objective or goal. The aforementioned definitions were instrumental in assisting us to frame the interactive components of our course. It is common knowledge that interaction plays a variety of roles in online courses, but most notably it is used to stimulate learning. Additionally, we understand that interaction can assist us in getting the learner's attention; keep the learner's interest; assist us in transferring information to the student; assist the student with retention and reflection, and assist in both formative and summative evaluation of student learning. The nature of our course is both theoretical and practical. Preservice teachers will utilize many different multimedia and online tools that they will incorporate into the development and teaching of their lessons. We believe that our course must be interactive and we will use social networking offered through Moodle and Wiki as the methods by which to build in this studentto-student and student-to-teacher interaction. It is our hope that through the engaging lessons and activities coupled with the online interaction that our learners will come to be engrossed in the content, feel challenged and engaged. Through the interactivity we want to give preservice teachers real-life problems and scenarios through which to push and stretch their thinking, while at the same time have them enjoy the process. We want our preservice teachers to understand how the use of technology in our course can, in turn, be used to enhance their future lessons.

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Therefore, we will be modeling, coaching and scaffolding (Jonassen, 1998) the use of technology in lesson plan development through interactivities included in our course. As stated earlier, our course content will be hosted using Moodle, but other tools will be introduced to the preservice teachers during the course so they will have many choices to select from when creating their lessons. Moodle has many different features, which will be utilized, but we will also require them to locate and utilize other applications outside of Moodle. In order to ensure that there is interactivity throughout our course on Moodle, the instructor will create the tasks, and the preservice teachers will be asked to give responses to the various questions, scenarios and problems. The concepts of the students role will be very important in this course as we will need to be very clear and include an outline of the students role on the course Moodle shell. As a part of our course the preservice teachers will study two models regarding the teaching and learning process; the ASSURE Model and DALES Cone of Experience. The ASSURE Model governs the steps in preparing lessons for teaching and the word ASSURE is an acronym (A =Analyze, S = State Objectives, S = Select Methods, Media, and Materials, U = Utilize Media and Materials, R = Require Learner Participation, and E = Evaluate and Revise). We will model the ASSURE Model in our course as we believe, just as Gulati (2004) and Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino (2002) believed, that well-designed lessons begin with the arousal of students interest followed by the introduction of new material. Throughout any online course, the aforementioned researchers believe that students should be involved in practice with feedback, assessment of their understanding, and conclude with follow-up activities. It is important to note that we will make use of the content that we want the preservice teachers to learn and become fluent with as part of the design of our course.

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Figure 4. Moodle Shell for our Design Project

Figure 4. See ITMM Moodle Site located at

Moodle's assignments, forums, resources, wikis and lessons enable us to create course material that our preservice teachers can interact with. We believe that this type of interaction is more engaging and effective than courses consisting of a textbook or binder of materials. However, we have learned that it is common to begin creating a course by adding static material the next step would involve adding interactivity. Our assignments take the place of many static

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods resources as they consist of web pages with assignments that probe, stimulate further research and culminate in a question and/or student response. Moodle has many features (see Figure 4)


that provide us with the opportunity to assess students, their attitudes towards their new learning, and their satisfaction with our course. Moodle has two tools specifically designed for collecting ungraded feedback from our students: surveys and choices. A survey is created with a set of predetermined questions. Surveys focus on getting feedback from students about the nature of the course or assessing their learning. Choices are small, one-question surveys. They act as small web polls. It is possible to use a choice to get feedback from students about any topic, as long as its only one question long. Finally, we believe that if we add a Critical Incidents survey after completion of each course module the result is a structured, ongoing conversation between the students and teacher.

Verifications The evaluation of our designed educational environment would consist of two parts: (1) to examine how well the course was implemented in the preservice teacher program (formative approach) and; (2) to analyze the extent to which the outcomes of the course were achieved (summative approach). The formative aspect of the evaluation would be designed so that we could collect data throughout the term and to encourage reflection by the various people involved in the course including preservice teachers, mentors (if implemented), instructors and the postsecondary institutions technology team. In the summative part of the course evaluation the students grades would be assessed to determine student success and, in addition, an online survey(s) would be created in order to collect and assess the specific course outcomes as well as the following additions: (a) a means to collect student feedback regarding the use of online social

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods network in encouraging a learning community with the instructor (see choice in Figure 4); (b)


frequency analysis to show that the required online involvement actually took place; (c) review the patterns of communication regarding instructor interaction and student response; (d) that the tasks designed for online discussion generated online interaction with a cognitive focus; (e) that the content of the course pointed to the role and importance of integrating technology into teaching practice; and evidence that (f) students perceived the value of considering other students' perspectives, ideas and resources as a major addition to their successful online learning. In addition to creating our own surveys and online data collection instruments, we have also found that Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative (MCCVLC) has created guidelines that identify the issues that faculty at Michigan community colleges should address when developing online courses. It has been determined by MCCVLC that by appropriately addressing these guidelines all of their members can be assured that the courses on their website are of the highest quality and provide exceptional learning experiences for their students. A Task Force of the MCCVLC has designed a rubric to accompany the guidelines, and MCCVLC states that other institutions may utilize their guidelines as a faculty self-assessment instrument when developing online courses, and it can also be used to review courses that have already been developed. We believe that this offer to use something that is already created could be beneficial and prevent us from reinventing the wheel. Use of the MCCVLC self-assessment instrument would have to be further researched to determine applicability and cost. In our online research for verification tools and instruments we also located the Quality Matters Rubric Standards (see Figure 5). We believe that there may be some merit in utilizing a

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combination of the standards set by the International Society for Technology in Education, those set by MCCVLC and those created by Marylandonline (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Quality Matters Rubric Standards

Figure 5: This rubric can be located at Marylandonline at: %20Library/About%20QM/RubricStandards2008-2010.pdf

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods Reflections and Connections Technology is everywhere, and we need to assist future educators to embrace it if they


are to assist students in their learning and future careers. The rapid rate of growth in the field of technology and the growth of web-based tools that can be utilized in teaching and learning, has allowed teachers to utilize various web-based applications to enhance their teaching and that, in turn engage students in their learning. Our course will not cover all of the Web 2.0 tools and applications that exist and can be utilized in some manner in the classroom, as that would be impossible to cover in one course; however, the intent of our course is to provide preservice teachers with the introductory skills needed to utilize technology in their teaching practice. The interactivity of this course provides the preservice teacher with a hands-on approach that they can take into their classrooms as they become certified teachers. The 21st century offers teachers many different tools and applications of technology than ever before and to fully grasp this rapid growth, teachers need the skills in order to embrace and utilize this technology in the classroom in order to relate to the digital natives who will be present there. Leinonen (2005) determined that it is long overdue that we begin to understand the role of technology in student learning. He states that we are approaching a critical mass of technology in the classroom and yet are faced with never-ending budget demands for new and better hardware and software and the subsequent professional development needs of existing teachers. The advancement of technology in the classroom creates rich opportunities for research. The possible questions for new research can be rich, and the opportunities are great for extending knowledge of how children best learn, how teachers best teach and how educational institutions can partner with one another to extend the possibilities of this digital age.

Instructional Technologies, Media and Methods In this paper we have discussed the necessity of teacher skill development in order to


integrate technology into their teaching. Through this design project, we have created an online learning environment in which to demonstrate the component skills that we believe, based on our research, are paramount in providing to preservice teachers before they become qualified teachers. In our course we have not only created content but we have modeled the use of the technology that we hope preservice teachers will, in turn, make use of in their teaching practice. Throughout our course, preservice teachers are provided the opportunities to explore innovative and emerging technology resources in authentic learning and teaching situations. However, by providing them with authentic experiences we have in turn exposed other issues that can hinder their success with integrating technology and pedagogy. As with many teacher education programs, we are not able to select practicum placements that provide optimal technology integration experiences nor do we have the ability to connect the preservice teacher with a mentor who has the skills in this area. Therefore, we know that some preservice teachers practicum placements will be with teachers who are not comfortable using technology for instructional purposes and who do not have the necessary skills with using technology in innovative ways. This is why we believe that it is so important for preservice teachers to gain the skills and practice while in their undergraduate teaching programs and why we felt compelled to create our course.

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