Designing and Delivering Technology Integration to Engage Students

Designing and Delivering Technology Integration to Engage Students

Kevin D. Biesinger (University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA) and Kent J. Crippen (University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-899-9.ch016
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In order for educators to effectively build, select and integrate technology into the delivery of curriculum and pedagogy, an accepted set of critical program design and delivery elements is needed. The authors propose that research based components such as user validation functions, trace methods, and worked examples be among these accepted design elements of technology supported learning environments. As for the pedagogical methods employed to effectively integrate technology into K-12 curricula, an epistemological shift is needed by which more instructors view learning from a student-centered perspective. Systematic changes needed to foster this view include a migration away from the traditional computer lab scenario, on-going professional development as a continuous support system, and the expectation that technology integration is required as an indication of quality instruction as evidenced in teacher evaluations.
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Providing teachers with pedagogically sound methods for introducing technology into their instruction has become a newly needed skill in order to keep students of the 21st century engaged. Recent research has noted the importance of not only creating effective e-learning environments, but remaining cognizant of student behaviors within such systems through the use of trace methods (Winne & Hadwin, 1998). In addition, education’s most recent paradigm shift has moved the goals of instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered, promoting motivational constructs such as goal orientation and engagement to center stage when conducting educational research. It is our contention that the importance of motivational constructs is even more pronounced within e-learning environments, with engagement and self-efficacy serving as key predictors of performance (Pajares, 2002).

In addition to creating effective learning systems, the onset of technology supported learning environments has made it possible for both researchers as well as instructors to obtain more authentic indications of student behaviors while engaged in academic tasks. While recent advancements made in this area have made it possible to find out what learners actually do as opposed to what they claim to do (i.e. self-report), this additional data point should enhance, and not replace learner perceptions. Using the additional information to better triangulate learner behaviors, instructional designers can keep closely informed of effective instructional strategies and better yet, design dynamic systems that can change based on learner characteristics as well as the content to be learned.

This chapter will outline the theoretical foundations of self-regulated learning (SRL) within technology supported learning environments with an emphasis on critical motivational constructs such as goal orientation (Elliot, 1999). Specific pragmatic examples will be used to illustrate important considerations for building efficient technology supported learning environments such as cognitive load (Sweller, 1988), worked example usage (Crippen & Earl, 2007), and feedback (Bower, 2005). In addition, we will introduce the concept of technology integration rather than implementation as well as the critical elements necessary to put these instructional practices into place. Our intent is to provide the reader with a sampling of empirically sound studies in order to gain the knowledge needed to select or build effective and engaging technology supported learning environments as well as the ideal conditions to ensure a successful migration into this new arena.

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