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EDTE 250 23 February 2003 Research Critique

The purpose of the research (problem statement, hypothesis):
This article documents a study undertaken by Seton Hall University to understand how learning takes place, when computer-based technology is integrated throughout a courses’ curriculum. The university transformed teacher education programs in elementary, secondary, and special education into laboratories, which enabled faculty and teacher candidates to improve technology skills, gain confidence, and examine their pedagogy.

How the research was conducted (methodology, subjects):
Study was conducted over a two year period using mixed methods, within the context of a case study. Quantitative methods included a survey using a Likert-type scale in which students self-evaluated their technology skills based on National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Qualitative methods consisted of faculty and student focus groups and interviews. Subjects included administrative staff, faculty, and pre-service teacher students.

Findings:
Lowest knowledge was revealed to be in presentation, evaluation, and publication technology skills. Over the two year period subjects self evaluation of a lack of technical knowledge decreased from 56% to 16% Subjects gained confidence in learning and mastering new tools Individuals appeared to go through multiple and expanding spiral of development Faculty reported increased confidence in technology and its uses in the classroom

Personal reaction/response:
This research paper did much to confirm many of my beliefs that current and emerging technology has to play in the methods and practices of education. One interesting concepts mentioned in the study was the partnering between the university and cooperating schools in the community to develop and design instruction. This partnership also extended to many student interns who became “technology mentors” for classroom teachers at these cooperating schools, thereby increasing and accelerating the adoption rate of teachers at all levels. However, one most not loose site of the fact that much of what was accomplished by the university took a great deal of time to develop. It was noted that the some faculty members regarded the buy back of their time from teaching which enabled them to attend workshops and conferences as the most beneficial component of the grants uses.

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