Developing TPACK Understanding Through Experiential Faculty Development

Developing TPACK Understanding Through Experiential Faculty Development

Michelle Fulks Read, Gwendolyn M. Morel, Tamarin Butcher, Ann Evans Jensen, Jesse M. Lang
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7001-1.ch011
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The purpose of this chapter was to explore changes in faculty knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding online teaching and learning, as well as faculty's degree of confidence in developing and implementing online courses after participating in a multiweek, experientially based faculty development program. The study draws on change theory, specifically teacher change in knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, self-efficacy, and the TPACK framework. The findings suggest that faculty development that incorporates elements of collaboration, modeling, peer review, coaching, extended time, and numerous opportunities for observation and reflection are key to participants' TPACK development and positive changes in teaching beliefs, e-learning attitudes, and self-efficacy.
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Enrollment in distance education courses continues to rise in higher education (Allen, Seaman, Poulin & Straut, 2016). Specifically, Texas State University (TXST) delivered 453 online/hybrid course sections in Spring 2018, up from 193 in Fall 2014. Many institutions, including TXST, recognize the importance of providing online instructors with meaningful faculty development. Avoiding this investment in faculty can result in poor-quality online courses that lead to negative student experiences (Baran, Correia & Thompson, 2011; Bates & Sangrà, 2011). Because instructor support and involvement are critical to the success of online teaching, irrespective of discipline, instructors must be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills as well as the confidence to embrace their roles as online instructors (Adnan, 2018).

Instructional designers (IDs) in TXST’s Learning Experience Design (LxD) Department used the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) instructional design model (see Figure 1) to deliver faculty development that emphasized the importance of an integrated knowledge base for technology, pedagogy, and subject matter expertise, as further elaborated by Koehler and Mishra’s (2009) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework. ADDIE is the foundation for many accepted instructional design models and is used widely by the military and industry. The use of ADDIE to design and evaluate online courses and training, including faculty development, is appropriate (Hess & Greer, 2016; Read, Morel, Hennington, & Butcher, 2015), because it forces designers to systematically research and create focused learning opportunities for faculty that meet their immediate needs. The model is systematic, sequential, and iterative, and its use ensures alignment between learning objectives, teaching approaches and tools, learning outcomes, and course evaluation. By using the ADDIE model as a guide for LxD’s faculty development, the IDs modeled good practices for faculty as they created their own courses.

Figure 1.

Representation of the ADDIE instructional design model


The purpose of this research study was to explore changes in faculty attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge regarding online teaching and learning, as well as faculty’s degree of confidence/self-efficacy and intentions in developing and implementing online courses after participating in a 16-week, experientially based faculty development program. LxD sought to understand how the faculty development experience potentially affected instructor change. Specific research questions were:

  • Do participants feel confident in developing future online/hybrid courses after faculty development, and what are their intentions to do so?

  • How do participants' knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding online teaching change after faculty development? How does this transfer to face-to-face instruction?

  • How do faculty describe developing perspectives regarding technology, content, and/or changing pedagogical practices?

  • How do participants describe their understanding of the interplay between technology, pedagogy, and their content area?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Transformative Change: In the context of faculty/professional development, learning that leads to deep changes in beliefs and attitudes about teaching and learning.

TRACS: Institutional name for TXST’s local instance of the Sakai LMS.

Learner-Centered: Approach that focuses on the engagement of students with each other, the content, and/or the instructor. Also referred to as student-centered learning , instruction often includes active learning, student choice in assignments or ways of learning, collaboration among peers, etc.

Constructivist/Socio-Constructivist: Educational/sociological theories of knowledge that suggest learning is subjective and constructed within individuals (constructivist) or within groups via interaction with others (socio-constructivist).

Non-Learner-Centered: Also referred to as non-student-centered or teacher-centered instruction, this philosophical approach to instruction is characterized by complete instructor control of the learning environment without student voice, often resulting in students passively absorbing content, followed by independent assignments to demonstrate learning.

Experiential Learning: Facilitated instructional method that provides learners with real-world or real-world-like experiences upon which to reflect.

Planning Matrix: Document used by faculty to plan courses, beginning with identifying objectives and aligning them to assessments and activities.

ADDIE: General ID model, often used in industry and the military, to systematically analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate learning design.

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