A beliefs centred professional development program to support the use of educational technology
AuthorConde Hernandez, Lis Maria
AffiliationMelbourne Graduate School of Education
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Lis Maria Conde Hernandez
Out of the many professional development (PD) models described in the literature to support technology integration practices in higher education, only a small number report visible influences on enhanced uses of technology for teaching (Kane, Sandretton, and Heath, 2002; Lawless and Pellegrino, 2007). This is often attributed to the lack of resources, time, competencies or to teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and attitudes which may present a barrier to PD outcomes (Ertmer, 2005). This study set out to design and implement a PD program based on reflective practice, which aimed to enhance the use of educational technology in higher education. The influence of the PD program on teachers’ beliefs, Pedagogical Technological Content Knowledge (TPACK) and use of educational technology was investigated. The program of research began with a thorough literature review from which six critical elements were identified that informed the design of the beliefs centred PD program. TPACK was then used as the conceptual framework to understand and guide the investigation into the technology integration practices of university teachers. The overarching goal of this PD program is to create awareness about the beliefs that inform the pedagogical decisions of university teachers, so they could identify improvement areas, and subsequently motivate them to enhance their teaching practice and uses of technology. The PD program was implemented over three iterations following a Design-Based Research approach and mixed methods were employed to assess the outcomes of the PD program. Nine case studies were examined and the findings of each case study were integrated into a comprehensive narrative to determine the alignment between what teachers think, what they know and what they do in their individual teaching practice. The findings of the cross-case analysis, suggest a positive influence of the PD program in teaching practice towards more student-centred approaches, an increase in self-efficacy of participants regarding their own teaching abilities, and an improved quality of technology integration in curriculum designs. It was also revealed that beliefs and knowledge have distinct influences on teaching practice. Because teacher beliefs can act as tacit and often unconscious filters of information (Ertmer, 2005; Pajares, 1992), teacher beliefs may have a greater influence on teaching practice than knowledge alone. It is, therefore, argued that an oversight of teacher beliefs in the design of PD programs to support the use of educational technology, may have detrimental effects to successful PD outcomes to be sustained in the long term.
KeywordsEducational technology; Technology integration; TPACK; Technological, pedagogical, content knowledge; Higher education; Pedagogical beliefs; Self-efficacy; Value beliefs Eepistemological beliefs; Learning design; Professional development; Professional development programs
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