Pre-Service Teachers' Perceived Relevance of Educational Technology Course, Digital Performance: Teacher Perceived of Educational Technology

Pre-Service Teachers' Perceived Relevance of Educational Technology Course, Digital Performance: Teacher Perceived of Educational Technology

Ogunlade Bamidele Olusola (Veritas University, Abuja, Nigeria) and Bello Lukuman Kolapo (University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTESSS.2019010103
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Educational technology courses are designed to equip prospective teachers with knowledge and skills to use technology for effective instructional delivery. However, the way students perceive the appropriateness and relevance of the instructional content would go a long way in determining their performance and commitment to the course. Student performance in educational technology courses could be improved, if they perceive the instructional content to be relevant to their academic pursuits and future career development. Therefore, this study examined pre-service teachers' perceived relevance of educational technology content, digital tools and their performance in an educational technology course. The study was carried out on 261 pre-service teachers and the result showed that the perceived relevance of educational technology course by the students was high. The correlation coefficient (r) of 0.015 showed a positive relationship between pre-service teachers' perceived relevance of educational technology courses and the performance at the end of semester examination of the course.
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The modern classroom setting is increasingly becoming technology-based and it is essential that trainee teachers acquire relevant pedagogical competences to meet the needs of today’s learners, who live in media saturated environments. It is imperative that teacher education programmes expose pre-service teachers to the use of computers and other related educational technologies, so that prospective teachers understand the possibilities that digital tools offer for curriculum expansion and enhancement at all levels of education. For these reasons, educational technology courses are offered at tertiary level of education in Nigeria, to ensure that pre-service teachers are adequately trained on the appropriate use of instructional resources to facilitate classroom activities. Different factors could determine students’ performance in educational technology courses and their ability to transfer the technological skills to their future classroom environments. These factors include; availability of resources, the quality of training, students’ attitude towards technology, perceived relevance, technology anxiety, ICT competence and so on. However, one critical variable that could define the applicability of pre-service teachers’ skills and competences in the educational system is the way prospective teachers perceive educational technology course to be relevant to their immediate and future needs. Perceived relevance of the content, method and tools are strategic in determining the performance of students in an educational technology course. The concept of relevance has for many years been debated in higher education circles.

It had been established that the knowledge of the way and manner students perceive an instructional content or a particular subject can aid the teacher to reflect upon classroom instruction and adjust the teaching strategies to enhance students achievement at different levels of education, Hassan, Maizam, Kahirol, and Awang, (2017). Evidence from research has also found that performance of students in a particular subject could be influenced by the level of relevance being placed on learning content, Audrey and Choy (2015). The implication is that, positive perceived relevance could engender deep learning and critical thinking skills of the students, which could alter their choice of career and performance in future workplaces, Wigfield and Cambria (2010). Previous study by (Drewery, Pretti, and Pennaforte, 2015) had identified students’ perceived relevance of the connection between tertiary education learning content and workplaces to be a critical parameter in understanding their satisfaction and commitment to the learning experience in the classroom. These finding affirms that instructional contents which are perceived by students to be highly relevant in terms of connecting to academic pursuits and workplace requirements are more likely to enhance students’ performance in co-operative studies. When students form a negative perception of a course, sustaining their interest in instructional activities becomes almost impossible. It also becomes extremely difficult to encourage such students to choose a career that is related to the course in the future, Warr and Inceoglu (2012). In the words of Keller (2010), making content relevant to learners will increase their level of motivation and engagement in classroom activities.

Apparently, it is the hope of students at all levels of education that every bit of instructional content would equip them with requisite skills for outstanding performance in the digital world, Irene and Elvira (2013). Thus, for students to effectively communicate ideas and exchange opinions, the course content must be placed in context and be relevant to allow for meaningful interaction to take place. As such, there is a strong connection between students perceived relevance of instructional content and academic performance on one hand, and content and performance in workplaces on the other hand. Audrey and Choy (2015) found out that perceived relevance of marketing education in the university has significant influence on students’ performance in the course. In the same vein, findings from Drewery, Pretti, and Barclay (2016) point to the significant role of connections between tertiary education instructional content and their future professional requirements. Students who see a greater degree of relevance between the learning content and future work requirements are more likely to be motivated and engaged in the learning content and in turn are more likely to perform well in the course.

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