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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Torrey Trust

Second Advisor

Kate Hudson

Third Advisor

Gabriela Weaver

Subject Categories

Higher Education and Teaching | Other Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Abstract

The goal of this study was to understand how instructors use technology, and what challenges they face, but also to increase the participants’ understanding of Active Learning Classroom (ALCs) technologies as it applies to their teaching by applying action research methodologies. This study also seeks to lay a foundation for additional research on ALCs, education technology, and the needs of instructors in terms of faculty development in technology.

This study investigates a group of 13 faculty members in multiple disciplines teaching in ALCs. Thus far, research on the impact of technology-enriched learning environments like Active Learning Classrooms has typically centered around student learning (Beichner et al., 2007; Frazee, Hughes, & Frazee, 2014; Morrone, Ouimet, Siering, & Arthur, 2014). Less attention has been paid to the faculty development needed for instructors to properly take advantage of these environments

The research study addresses three questions: First, how and, for what purposes, do faculty use technology in the ALC? Second, what technology adoption factors and barriers were experienced by instructors in an Active Learning Classroom? Third, using Kolb’s experiential learning theory (1984, 2014), how does a semester-long faculty development intervention program impact instructors’ adoption of Active Learning Classroom technologies?

Results indicated that the most frequently used technologies were those that were familiar from traditional (technology-equipped) lecture spaces that faculty had used. Faculty were most comfortable with content delivery tools such as instructor laptops connected to the LCD TVs, the instructor podium, and whiteboards. Additionally, technology adoption factors and barriers to adoption were identified, including time, ease of use, equipment availability, institutional classroom support, peer support, and instructor comfort levels with technology and troubleshooting. Through action research, the newest Active Learning Classroom instructors received the most hands-on training on the classroom hardware during consultations, and the exposure to classroom technologies and troubleshooting tips via an experiential learning framework allowed them to better understand the podium interface, document camera and wall-buttons while having an opportunity to reflect on their teaching.

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