Developing Online Instructional Resources: Building Organizational Capacity and Promoting Professional Competency

Developing Online Instructional Resources: Building Organizational Capacity and Promoting Professional Competency

David Pratt (Purdue University Northwest, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4041-0.ch012
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Online delivery of content is emerging as an efficient means for training and development in the private and non-for-profit sectors. At the same time, preservice teachers face a growing need to become effective leaders in the use of technology to support instruction. This chapter presents a framework for developing effective online learning resources for building organizational capacity while strengthening professional competency of preservice teachers. Specifically, mutually beneficial partnerships created with a regional campus of a Midwest university teacher preparation program and non-profit organizations resulted in the creation of online instructional resources. An examination of two grant-funded cases involving non-profit organizations and preservice teachers illuminates the benefits and limitations of such service-learning partnerships.
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Literature Review

To set the stage for this project, it was necessary to identify the foundations that constitute the guiding principles of the framework. To conceptualize this framework and structure a systematic examination of the intersection of community partnerships and preservice teacher engagement, a review of literature was conducted. The guiding principles of the framework include: 1) technology learning standards for preservice teachers; 2) gaps in the teacher education curricula which address technology usage; 3) the need among corporate and non-profit organizations for online instructional resources; and 4) the value of service-learning for preservice teachers. The case studies and the literature review offered a lens through which to examine the structure and function of a framework to support a service-learning model. The result was the application of this framework to create two funded projects during which preservice teachers developed online resources for non-profit organizations.

Technology Learning Standards for Preservice Teachers

The field of research regarding preservice teachers’ need to understand the impact and implication for technology to support teaching is not new. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a well-established organization which offers many professional development opportunities for teachers. ISTE has designed standards for teachers, students, and administrators on appropriate uses of technology for teaching. One of the standards for teachers highlights designing and developing digital age learning experiences (International Society for Technology in Education, 2000). Educause, another professional resource, is a support network for educators interested in technology. Since 1998, Educause has actively engaged “colleges and universities, corporations, foundations, government, and other nonprofit organizations to further the mission of transforming higher education through the use of information technology” Educause (2000). These standards of best practice in technology use are an integral foundation for this project.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Capacity: Developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes, and resources that organizations and communities need to survive in a growing and changing society.

Case Study: A research method utilized in social sciences to explore detailed traits of a particular event or phenomenon.

Instructional Designer: A person who specializes in creating or selecting learning experiences using theory and best practices from the field particularly in the area of technology delivery.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): An education-based organization designed to establish standards and professional development for effective uses of technology for teaching.

Junior Achievement: A non-profit organization designed to help children in school understand financial literacy.

Community-Based/Corporate Partner: Term used to describe the company (profit or non-profit) who serves as the partner for the service-learning experience.

Online Training Module: A web-based learning experience where users interact with content delivered through audio or video.

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC): A consortium of state education agencies and national educational organizations dedicated to the reform of the preparation, licensing, and on-going professional development of teachers.

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