Author

Anna Loftus

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael M. Grant

Second Advisor

Tammi D. Kolski

Abstract

Many faculty teaching online lack the skills and knowledge in technology to effectively integrate technology into their course design. Faculty feel they are not provided enough professional development opportunities to improve their technology integration skills. Therefore, online professional development specifically designed for online faculty interested in integrating technology into their course design can assist in preparing faculty for the online classroom. The purpose of this action research was to implement and evaluate the impact of online technology integration professional development for faculty teaching at a distance at an institution of higher education. This study focused on three research questions. The first question asks how, and to what extent, does participating in online technology integration professional development impact faculty perceptions about readiness to integrate technology? The second question asks how, and to what extent, does participating in online technology integration professional development impact faculty perceptions about the advantages and challenges of integrating technology? The third question asks how, and to what extent, does participating in online technology integration professional development impact faculty plans to integrate technology into their course design?

The intervention was a six-week online technology integration professional development including a combination of 16 full-time and part-time faculty participants teaching online at an institution of higher education. This research used a convergent mixed-methods design, collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, including the Technology Integration Faculty Perceptions and Beliefs Questionnaire (TIFPBQ) pretest and posttest, discussion boards, and semi-structured interviews. The TIFPBQ pretest and posttest were analyzed using descriptive statistics, followed by inferential statistics utilizing the nonparametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Discussion boards and semi-structured interviews were analyzed using inductive analysis and coding.

Findings from this study indicated the professional development had a positive impact on faculty perceptions about readiness to integrate technology, but also revealed elements impacting readiness. Additionally, the professional development positively impacted perceptions about advantages and barriers of technology integration. Finally, the professional development had a positive impact on faculty plans to integrate technology into their course design. Implications for designers of online technology integration professional development and areas for future research in this field are offered.

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